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Recipe idea: Margherita Pizza

For 4 people (2 pizzas)

Ingredients

  • 300g strong bread flour
  • 1 x sachet instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
  • 100ml passata (mixed with herbs)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic puree
  • 125g ball fresh mozzerella
  • Handful cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • Fresh basil leaves (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Handful grated parmesan/grated cheddar cheese

Method

  1. Make the base: Put the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt. Make a well, pour in 200ml warm water and the olive oil and bring together with a wooden spoon until you have a soft, fairly wet dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and set aside. You can leave the dough to rise if you like, but it's not essential for a thin crust
  2. Make the sauce: Mix the passata, basil and garlic puree together, then season to taste. Leave to stand at room temperature while you get on with shaping the base
  3. Roll out the dough: if you've let the dough rise, give it a quick knead, then split into two balls. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into large rounds, about 25cm across, using a rolling pin. The dough needs to be very thin as it will rise in the oven. Lift the rounds onto two floured baking sheets
  4. Top and bake: heat the oven to 240C/220C fan/Gas 8. Put another baking sheet or an upturned baking tray in the oven on the top shelf. Smooth sauce over bases with the back of a spoon. Scatter with cheese and tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and season. Put one pizza, still on its baking sheet, on top of the preheated sheet or tray. Bake for 8-10 mins until crisp. Serve with a little more olive oil, and basil leaves if using. Repeat step for remaining pizza.

Tips

  • If the dough is too wet: add a bit more flour and work it in
  • If dough is too stretchy to roll out: leave it to rest for 10 mins or so, then try again
  • You need more pressure when rolling dough than when rolling out pastry. If the base isn't cooked: baking the pizza on top of a preheated sheet or tray should prevent this. However, it could be too thick or have too much topping

Did you know

  • The origin of pizza goes back to ancient times when the Greeks and Egyptians were cooking a pizza - like flatbread and topping it with olive oil and spices but the 'modern-day' pizza as we know it, evolved in Naples, Italy when tomato was added to it in the late 1700's
  • A commonly held belief is that the Margherita pizza dates back to11 June 1889 to honour the queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy. It was garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil to represent the colours of the Italian flag

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