For the pizza base
- 1 kg (2.2lbs) 7 cups pizza flour (Caputo Molino Tipo 00 if you can get your hands on it)
- Pinch caster sugar
- Pinch salt
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups (500ml) water
- 1 tablespoon & 1 teaspoon powdered, dry yeast
For the topping
- 6 large vine-ripened tomatoes, de-seeded and cut into half then quarters
- Good pinch sea salt flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Handful fresh basil
- Top quality, aged balsamic vinegar
- Sift flour into a large bowl, make a well in the centre into which add all the other ingredients in the order listed above, using a spoon or fork whisk gently the wet ingredients in the centre then gradually incorporate the outer flour into the centre, then using clean hands continue to form a dough. Knead firmly for 5 minutes, stretching dough as you go and ensuring all flour is incorporated. Place kneaded dough into a lightly floured large bowl, cover with a damp tea-towel and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile to prepare the tomatoes, place cut tomatoes into a medium-sized bowl and drizzle with a good glug of EVOO, season with a decent pinch of sea salt flakes (I use probably about 1/2 teaspoon, maybe a little more) and coat tomatoes thoroughly. Transfer to the fridge for 1 hour to macerate.
- After 1 hour dough should have doubled or tripled in size. Turn out onto a floured surface and cut into 6 or 8 equal-sized pieces, gently form into balls. Place pieces you want to freeze for a later date in individual freezer bags and store in the freezer for up to one month.
- Roll out dough on a floured surface ‚Äì this dough is super elastic and generally very easy to work with so it makes the thinnest pizza base. Roll out to your desired thickness and top with the half tomatoes.
- Cook in a pizza oven or on a pizza stone in the oven. To create you own pizza stone, grab a piece of 3mm granite stone from a tile shop and use this in place of a conventional shop-bought pizza stone.
- Scatter the remaining tomatoes over the cooked bruschetta, season well with freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with best quality aged balsamic
Note – This makes enough dough for 12 individual 20cm bases. I normally make this quantity every few weeks and freeze what I have left over so it’s ready to go the next time I want to make pizza bases.