Pizza is popular all over the world with many variations. The Neapolitans have created designated pizza recipes which must be followed in order for a pizza to be genuinely called Pizza margherita (with tomato, mozzarella cheese, and basil) or Pizza alla marinara (with tomato and no cheese). The recipe requires that the pizza must be cooked in a wood oven, have rounded edges and that the dough must have no fat in it. Homemade pizza can be made relatively quickly with some advance planning. I typically make the pizza dough before I go out in the morning, come home and roll the dough balls and then about an hour before dinner time, I heat the oven and make the pizzas.
To see step-by-step illustrated instructions, please go to this page:
1 recipe Pizza Dough
480 grams very good quality tomato (if not available, use tinned San Marzano tomatoes), peel the tomatoes, deseed, and cut into 1 cm cubes (can substitute with simple tomato sauce)
30 milliliters extra virgin olive oil
600 grams fresh mozzarella (preferably mozzarella di bufala (buffalo mozzarella)), torn into 25 gram pieces and placed in a strainer to remove excess liquid
12 basil leaves
Sea salt and pepper
Step 1If you have a pizza stone then put it in your oven before turning it on to the highest temperature your oven can go (but not on broiler). My oven goes to 250˚C. Be careful to never get the pizza stone wet, move it from hot to cold or cold to hot, and never place it on the bottom of the oven floor or it will break. Heat the oven to the highest temperature possible.\r\n
Step 2When the oven is hot, take your pizza stone out and place it on some dishcloths, working quickly pull one ball of dough, stretching the dough as thinly as possible without breaking the dough but making it as thin as possible in the middle and the crust can be a bit thicker.\r\n
Step 3Preferably, place the dough directly on the stone. If it is easier, place it first on baking paper and then on the stone.\r\n
Step 4Top the dough with 40 grams of tomato, a pinch of salt, a shake of the black pepper and a drizzle of 5 ml of olive oil. ensuring there is at least 1 cm crust around the edges which is free of toppings.\r\n
Step 5Use your hands to place 100 grams of the mozzarella, broken into 3 or 4 pieces, onto the pizza ensuring to space it out evenly. Do not try to cover the entire pizza evenly with cheese. The cheese should look like islands on top of the pizza. Top with 2 leaves of basil.\r\n
Step 6Repeat with the rest of the ingredients until you have made 6 pizzas.\r\n
Step 7Put in the oven for 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the temperature of your oven. The cheese should be melted, the crust cooked,and part of the pizza should start to turn golden. It is best if the cheese does not colour. Remove and serve immediately. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Step 8Notes: To create variations, any toppings can be placed on the pizza- the only limit is your imagination.