Pizza is a treat we look forward to at home. It usually makes it on to the menu at the weekend when we've got some tasty leftovers to use, such as pulled pork or spicy lamb. This week it made it on to the menu by its own merit; we just really really fancied a quattro formaggi.
We've tried a few pizza dough methods, but the one below is our go-to recipe, courtesy of James Martin. We gave the dough 24 hours' proving in the fridge, which develops a great flavour, and in the traditional style, we skipped a tomato base and just loaded it with cheese.
800g/1lb12oz Italian ‘00’ white flour
200g/7oz semolina flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
14g/½oz dried yeast
640ml luke warm water
Whatever you feel like! For a classic quattro formaggi, go for Mozzarella, Gorgonzola, Parmesan and a soft white cheese of your choice.
This recipe makes quite a lot. Enough for four good sized pizzas, so we usually make half measurements.
I tend to add half the sugar to the water, along with the yeast, and leave it for ten minutes. This allows it to start its business.
Then, the remaining ingredients can be put into a bowl, just stirred together with a balloon whisk. I find this a fast and effective alternative to sieving.
The water and yeast mixture can then be added, and the whole mixture brought together into a dough, which requires a good knead. I like to knead mine by hand. I find it more satisfying for some reason, plus it always gives good results.
The dough needs to be proved for a few hours, or for a really authentic flavour, make it the day before and prove it in the fridge overnight.
Finally, roll it out, on a floured surface, and top it with anything that takes your fancy.
We roll them quite thin and pop them in a preheated oven at full whack, preferably on a pizza stone, until the crusts are starting to colour.