Hello! Greetings! Welcome to Quietly Curious’ first ever post all of its own.
Lately Ben and I have been very much into baking our own breads and doughs. Lockdown bread shortages and boredom meant that a lot of people have started baking at home too and I’ve personally been putting my skills to work at home making videos at the Thomas the Baker blog for their At Home with Thomas the Baker section.
Honestly, I describe myself as most definitely “not a baker”. While many cherish their time at the mixing bowl, I’ve never found baking a relaxing activity. I’m not one to measure everything out perfectly and I get stressed if it’s not working perfectly. I absolutely adore fresh homemade bread straight from the oven, but I’m far happier if Ben does the baking for me.
Last weekend, we decided to make homemade pizzas as a bit of a treat. The original plan was to use our old trusty recipe – I’ve blogged about it before as a Neapolitan Pizza on the BBQ, but we’ve used that dough recipe countless times before and since and always loved it. That morning, we happened across a video that mentioned a few techniques we hadn’t thought of before, including giving your mixture only a quick mix then leaving it to rest before doing the proper kneading and using half Italian ’00’ flour and half plain flour.
And oh my goodness, it worked so well! These pizzas had a beautifully crisp underside with a slight chew to the crust. Topped with our signature garlic tomato sauce and simple margherita toppings, I could eat this every single day.
This is a recipe not to be rushed – ideally you want to start making the dough the day before you want to use it as it can be rested in the fridge for up to 24 hours to develop a wonderful flavour. The sauce also needs time to blip away in the pan to reduce well. The real key though is to get a super hot oven – set it as high as it will go, we had ours at 280C – and preheat a pizza stone in the oven.
Take a look at our (pretty informal!) recipe video where we tried this out for the first time and the recipe below.
Best Ever Pizza Recipe
For the dough
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- 1 tsp honey can be substituted for milk, sugar or golden syrup
- 500 ml cold water
- 440 g Italian '00' flour
- 440 g plain flour
- 20 g salt
For the sauce
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 400 g tinned plum tomatoes
- Grated Parmesan
- Mozzarella torn
- Add the dried yeast to the cold water along with a squeeze of honey (can be substituted for milk, sugar or even golden syrup). Leave to activate for around 10-15 minutes.
- Once the yeast is frothing on the surface of the water, add both types of flour and the salt.
- Bring together briefly using a mixer or your hands then leave to rest for 20 minutes. The dough wants to be quite wet, so add more water if required.
- After resting, knead by hand or using a mixer for 12 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic.
- Leave to rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Knock the dough back then shape into balls and place in the fridge under damp tea towel. Leave for a maximum of 24 hours, ideally minimum of 8 hours to help develop a good flavour.
- Make the sauce by adding the olive oil to a pan on a low heat and adding the chopped garlic. Simmer gently for a few minutes but do not let it colour.
- Add the tinned plum tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon, and leave to simmer very slowly for up to an hour, until it's reduced and thick.
- Once you're ready to start cooking your pizzas, take the dough out the fridge