I use this simple recipe whenever I make pizzas. The whole process starting from making the dough, the tomato paste, shaping it, placing the topping and baking it was easy and fun.
Pizza size: 2 Medium Round / 2 Square Pizzas
300ml warm water or 100ml beer + 200ml water
1tsp fast-action yeast
1½ tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
1tbsp olive oil
400g Wheat flour or any white flour
Pour the water & beer into a large mixing bowl, then add in the yeast, olive oil, brown sugar, flour, and salt. Mix it and leave the dough for 10 minutes. Don’t worry if your dough is sticky, it will be trickier to shape but you will get a crisper crust.
Lightly knead it on an oiled worktop, stopping when it starts to stick. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave it for 90 minutes. (Use the heel of your hand to push the dough away from you and then lift it with your fingertips and fold it into itself towards you. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat again)
- Tips: You can spend the 90 minutes waiting time to make the Tomato Paste.
After 90 minutes, if you wish to store some for later, take the portion you need, and either keep it in a bowl or a ziplock bag and place it in the fridge for a few days. But make sure to bring the dough to room temperature before using it.
3. Stretch & Fold
Stretch & fold the dough into an Oil worktop and return the dough to the bowl to rest for 30 minutes. (Pull the dough to the right and fold it onto itself, do it on the other 3 sides too – left, top & bottom)
4. Divide Dough
Divide the dough into two. Dusting a little flour over your hands and the top of the dough, shape each piece to forms a ball. Placed it on a large floured tray, cover with a cloth and leave it for at least 30 minutes. This allows the dough to relax, making it easier to shape.
5. Pre Heat Oven and Shape Dough
Heat the oven to 240C. Dust flour over your hand, and begin shaping your dough to fit your pizza tray. (Dimple the dough out into a circle then place your knuckles underneath it and stretch the dough out to fit the tray size)
6. Pre Bake and Topping
Bake it on the bottom rack for about 8 minutes. I usually stab the dough surface with a fork before baking it to prevent it from rising. When it starts changing colour, take it out and you can then spread the tomato paste and place your choice of topping on top of it. Bake for another 8 ~ 10 minutes but keep watch to make sure the cheese doesn’t burn.
Square pizza Four Cheese Pizza
The Tomato Paste
Tomato Paste Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
3 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp chilli powder
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt to taste
1. Put the oil in a pan with onions, garlic, water and a big pinch of salt. Boil until the water evaporates and the onion and garlic are sizzling and translucent.
2. Add the tomatoes and cook until it’s almost dry, then add the tomato paste, chilli powder, and oregano.
- Tips: I use the potato masher to squash the tomatoes for faster results.
3.Cook until the sauce just starts to catch on the base of the pan. Transfer it to a plate and use it when it cools down.