Recipe: Crusty base for a transatlantic pizza

THE CALL for pizza recipes produced some striking non-conformists. Kim Wilson of Edinburgh uses store-bought nans, then stacks them with all sorts of goodies. Janet Clarke of Isleworth adapted stuffed parathas to make 'Indian pizzas'. Elaine Gately of Cardiff offers a pizza with a potato base. Surprising numbers of you make wholemeal pizzas.

This week's winner, from Ruth McKergow of Edinburgh, has a thick, bready crust. Ms McKergow, who wins a 1986 Chianti Classico Felsina Berardenga, credits the crust to a certain Ike Sewell of New York, and tops it with tomato sauce and mozzarella. The tomato sauce recipe, as she did not give one, is my own. For the crust, use a strong bread-making flour, preferably organic.

Ike Sewell's Pizza

Serves 8

Ingredients: 1lb/450g strong white flour

2oz/60g cornmeal

1tsp salt

2fl oz/60ml olive oil, plus several tsp for topping

1oz/30g fresh yeast

8fl oz/235ml lukewarm water or milk

450g/1lb tinned plum tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

2fl oz/60ml red wine

good sprigs of fresh oregano, or 1tsp dried

1/4 lb/125g mozzarella

Preparation: Dissolve yeast in water in large mixing bowl. Add one cup flour, then the cornmeal, salt and oil. Mix well, then stir in remaining flour, 1/2 a cup at a time. Knead until smooth and elastic. Allow to rise in a lightly oiled and covered bowl until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Punch down, knead lightly. Press into oiled 12-inch tart tin or pizza pan until it comes up 2 inches on the side and is even on the bottom. Allow to rise in pan for 20 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 450F/230C/gas 8. Heat 1tsp olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook garlic until smell rises. Do not brown. Add tomatoes and their juices, wine, salt, pepper, herbs, and simmer until reduced to a good sauce consistency, about 20 minutes. Brush lightly with olive oil, top with tomato sauce and sliced mozzarella and bake 15 minutes at 450F/230C/ gas 8, then reduce heat to 400F/200C/ gas 6 and cook for another 20-30 minutes. Crust should be golden brown.

Joanna Kjaer, who sent in the recipe for 'hot eggs' several weeks ago, asks us to point out that it is coriander, not hot eggs, that is recommended as beneficial by the Ayurveda School of Asian medicine.

Next week, the last of the pizzas. New entries are welcome for our following category: cooking with pork. The prize will be a bottle of Hugel Gewurztraminer Jubilee Reserve Personnelle 1986 from Reid Wines in Bristol. Send recipes, stating source if not original, to: Emily Green, Recipe, Weekend Features, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

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