Sunday 16 January 2011
25g/1oz baker's yeast
500ml/17fl oz cold water
1kg/2lb Tipo 0 flour (coarse Italian flour) or plain flour
First, crumble the yeast into the water; the mixture will become cloudy once the yeast is totally absorbed. Place the flour into a large bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture. Draw in the flour in circular movements until it is combined with the yeast and the water, working it into a soft dough. Knead for 10 minutes until you have a soft and sticky dough. Place into an oiled bowl, cover with a clean dishcloth and leave to rise in a warm place for two hours.
Flour a work surface and place the dough on top; knead again for another 2-3 minutes and return to the bowl for a further 30 minutes. Divide the dough into 10 small balls then roll into 20cm discs – they should be as thin as possible.
Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas8. Place a non-stick pan on top of the stove over a medium to high heat. Drizzle a little olive oil into the pan and, when the pan is hot, add the pizza base and cook until the dough begins to bubble and becomes crisp. At this point, turn and cook the other side. This will take no more than a couple of minutes each side.
Add your toppings and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Cook until the topping is piping hot – if using cheese, until it has melted. Remove from the oven and serve at once on a warm plate.
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