tomato, basil, and mozzarella pizza
PREP TIME 30 mins, plus rising, COOK TIME 15–20 mins
2 1⁄4 tsps active dried yeast
1 tsp sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
2 tbsp fine polenta or cornmeal, for dusting
For the topping:
3 tbsp olive oil
6 ripe plum tomatoes, skinned and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1⁄4 cup thinly sliced mozzarella
handful of basil leaves, roughly torn
1 Whisk the yeast and sugar in 1 cup of warm water until the yeast has dissolved. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and leave for 5 minutes until the surface is frothy.
2 Sift together the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center and mix in the yeast mixture, along with the oil. Bring the mixture together and add a little more water, if needed, to form a soft, pliable dough.
3 By hand or in a food processor with a dough hook, knead the dough for 5–10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and a clean dish towel, and leave it to rise for 30–45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
4 Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. In a large, heavy-based frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the tomatoes and garlic. Season well and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes have broken down and any liquid has evaporated to leave a thick paste. (If the tomatoes are not ripe, try adding a pinch of sugar and 1 tsp of tomato paste to enhance the flavors of the sauce.) Set aside to cool.
5 Preheat the oven to 475ºF (240ºC). Scatter two 12in (30cm) square baking trays with 1 tbsp each of the polenta. Place the dough on a floured surface and knock it back. Divide it into 2 equal pieces and roll out the pizzas to a diameter of 11–12in (28–30cm).
6 Place the rolled out pizzas on the prepared trays and stretch them to fit the tray. Divide the tomato sauce equally between the pizzas, then scatter the mozzarella evenly over the surface. Bake for 10–12 minutes until the surface is bubbling and crispy at the edges, and the base is crisp. Finish by scattering the basil over the pizzas.
|tomato, basil, and mozzarella pizza|