Ultimate Italian Style Thin Crust Pizza
photo by david_8956
- Ready In:
- 1hr 40mins
For the Dough
- 500 g of strong white 00 bread flour
- 175 ml cold water
- 150 ml cold milk
- 7 g of dried activated yeast
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the tomato sauce
- 400 g fresh plum tomatoes (can substitute with canned tomatoes)
- 200 g tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon sugar (removes bitterness from tomatoes)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic puree
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 12 fresh torn basil leaves (a sprinkle of dried basil would also suffice)
- 80 g fresh mozzarella cheese (in brine or something similar)
- 15 g parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- 40 g provolone cheese
- Sift the 00 flour in to a large mixing bowl and add the yeast and salt, make a well in the centre. Next mix the cold water, milk, honey and olive oil together in a mixing jug. Pour this in to the well, little by little, stirring and gradually bringing more flour in to the centre with a fork. Do this until all the flour is mixed in to the dough.
- Next you want to knead the dough for 5-10 minutes so that it is of a smooth elastic consistency and does not stick. If you don't know how to knead dough check out www.youtube.com there are some great video's. Do this on a lightly floured surface with floured hands, applying a dusting of flour when needed. Hint: Use latex gloves to prevent dough from sticking to your hands.
- Put the dough back in a lightly oiled bowl with a damp cloth to cover it. Let this sit in a warm place ideally about 40C or 100F until it has doubled in size this should take about an hour to an hour and a half. Remove the dough from the bowl and 'knock it back' punch the air out of it, do this for 1-2 minutes. Set this aside for later.
- The secret of great dough is using ice cold ingredients (milk, and water). If you have time, let the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight when you reach this stage, you will need to knock it back once more before you roll it out. This will make approximately 2 largish pizzas.
- For the tomato sauce i find using fresh tomatoes gives a better taste, plum tomatoes give a nice sweet taste or you can use canned ones here. Take the plum tomatoes and pierce the skin with a fork then blanch in boiling water for a few seconds, you should be able to remove the skin now. Put these in a saucepan and mash them up. Add all the other ingredients, apart from the basil, you can garnish with that on the finished pizza. Gently warm the ingredients for 5-10 minutes, don't burn it. There should be enough here for 2 fairly large pizza's.
- Roll out the dough with a rolling pin on a well floured surface, apply the tomato sauce and then add your cheese. The amount of cheese in the recipe is per pizza, and should be enough for 1 fairly large pizza.
- Grate the Mozzarella and apply evenly over pizza, sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano and the grated provolone. The secret here is not to smother the pizza in cheese you want to be able to taste the full flavours in the pizza. A selection of Italian cheeses really makes a difference too.
- Add your favourite topping, My favourite topping is some portobello mushrooms sauteed in garlic butter and bell peppers, but you can add whatever you want. Again try not to smother it with toppings, the Italians tend to take the less is sometimes more approach here.
- Cook in a preheated oven on your maximum setting, probably about 250°C Watch it doesn't burn it will only need about 10 minutes. A great tip is use a pizza stone, if you cook a lot of pizza and don't have one then buy one. It transfers the heat very fast in to the dough and creates a great crispy base that is unmatched to any other methods of cooking it, apart from using an authentic pizza oven.
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