For the dough
Flour – 620g
Water (room temperature) – 380g
Salt (fine) – 14g
Yeast (dried or fresh) – around 0.2g to 0.5g (depending on yeast type & room temperature)
For the toppings
For the dough
Mix all the ingredients into a shaggy mass in a large bowl, starting by adding the water first. You can do this by hand or use a wooden spoon.
Cover the bowl with cling film, a plastic carrier bag, or a damp cloth (if the cloth isn’t damp the dough may dry out).
Leave the dough to rest for around 1 hour (the technical term for this process is the Autolyse).
Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead for around 5 minutes. Feel free to check out my article on kneading here, it’s easy!
Place the dough back into the bowl and cover.
Leave the dough to prove (in one big lump, don’t worry about the shape) for around 20 hours.
Divide the dough into 4 equal parts (250g each) using some kitchen scales and a knife (or dough scraper). Do this about 4 hours before you intend to cook the pizza (after about a 20 hour prove).
Place each dough ball into a small bowl and cover. Alternatively, use a large Tupperware container with a lid, or two smaller ones.
Leave the dough balls to prove again for about 4-6 hours.
Ensure that your baking stone/tray is inside your oven.
Get your oven up to temperature. For pizza ovens 420 – 480 degrees Celsius (790 – 900 Fahrenheit). For a regular domestic oven, as hot as it will get (around 260 Celsius or 500 Fahrenheit). An infrared thermometer is useful here for measuring the temperature of the cooking surface.
Dust a dough ball with plenty of flour and remove it from the container. Place the dough into a large bowl with a generous covering of flour in the base of it.
In the bowl, press down from the centre of the dough towards the edges. The idea here is to move the air from the middle of the dough to the outside, where it will form a crust. Be careful not to press the edge of the dough down (the crust), any air removed cannot be regained and you will not end up with a well-risen crust.
Keep turning the dough as you work the air towards the edges. You should start forming a small pizza shape at this stage.
Turn the dough over and repeat this process in the bowl, on the other side.
Remove from the bowl and place on the counter, ensuring the base of the dough is coated with plenty of flour.
Stretch the dough – remember not to touch the edge of the dough (the crust), hold the dough down with your right hand, and with the other gently stretch the dough outwards.
Repeat the stretch – keep turning the dough and repeating this until you have a base that is about 9 to 10 inches in diameter. You can usually go thinner than you think so don’t worry too much about the dough ripping.
Top the base with around 2 soup spoons (dessert spoons) of aurora sauce and spread gently across the pizza and up to the edges (just before the crusts). Be careful not to press down as you spread or you may make the dough stick to the counter.
Spread about a handful of Mozzarella (half of a 125g packet) evenly across the pizza, and you are ready to cook! (We will add the parmesan, basil, and olive oil after cooking.)
Slide the pizza onto a peel (that has a dusting of flour on it), or chopping board if you don’t have a peel.
Load straight onto baking stone/tray inside the oven.
For a pizza oven, cook for around 60 – 90 seconds and turn every 20 – 30 seconds as required. For a regular domestic oven, cook for around 6 – 8 minutes, turning about every 2 – 3 minutes as required.
Remove the pizza from the oven (preferably with a peel) and place it on a chopping board or a plate.
Grate parmesan on top and add some torn basil. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of black pepper if you like.
Let the pizza cool a little and tuck in!