Requires: X2 rectangular oven trays, approximately 34.5 X 41.5cm in size, food mill
I love using my KitchenAid stand mixer (in Empire Red) for making pizza dough. It gives smooth and elastic pizza dough results every time! If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can also make pizza dough in a food processor or kneading by hand is also an option.
If using a stand mixer for the pizza dough: Break up the yeast in a small bowl. Add the sugar and 3 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Stir, using a teaspoon to combine. Place the flour into the stand mixer. Make a well in the centre of flour and pour in the yeast mixture and a little of the remaining water. Attach the flat beater on the stand mixer and where applicable, secure the clear pouring shield. Mix on the second speed, adding the water a little at a time. Add the salt, then the olive oil a little at a time, until combined. Change the stand mixer attachment to the dough hook and knead on speed 2 for a further 4-5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
To work the pizza dough by hand: Break up the yeast in a small bowl. Add the sugar and 3 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Stir, using a teaspoon to combine. Place the flour into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of flour and pour in the yeast mixture and a little of the remaining water. Use your fingertips to rub the flour and yeast mixture in the well. Add the water, a little at a time, continuing to knead by hand. Add the salt, then the olive oil a little at a time, until combined. Transfer to a clean workbench and continue to knead the dough for a further 10-12 minutes. When it is ready, it should come away cleanly from the work surface and be smooth and elastic.
Tip: We recommend bread flour which contains a higher protein content (between 12 and 14%) compared to plain flour (also known as all-purpose flour which has an average of 8 to 11%). The higher the protein content, the lighter and more elastic your pizza dough. The water needs to be lukewarm for this recipe to activate the yeast. If the water is too hot, it can actually kill the yeast and prevent the dough from rising.
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Place the pizza dough into a large bowl (allowing for the dough to double in size). Cover with plastic wrap. I also like to completely cover a folded tablecloth around the bowl to keep it warm. Set aside in a warm, draft-free place for 5 hours or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 240°C fan-farced (500°Fahrenheit/Gas 10) for 20-30 minutes. Brush two rectangular oven trays, approximately 34.5 X 41.5cm in size with canola oil to lightly grease.
Meanwhile to make the sauce, prepare your food mill over a bowl. Place the whole peeled tomatoes into the food mill and stir to collect the lovely tomato pulp and sauce in the bowl. Discard the tomato skins and seeds that are left in the food mill.
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To make the pizza base, divide the dough into two equal portions. Roll each portion of the dough onto a lightly floured work surface until it is almost large enough to line the baking tray. Carefully transfer each pizza base to the prepared baking trays. Press the dough out to the edges, allowing it to come up the sides of the tray a little. The raised edges will form a thicker crust when baked.
Use the back of a spoon to completely cover one pizza base using up to 1/2 of the sauce. Bake on the bottom grove of the oven for 13 minutes. Remove the pizza base from the oven. Top with 1/2 of the mozzarella slices and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of dried oregano over the pizza base. Return to bake on the bottom grove of the oven for a further 6 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Repeat steps on pizza number two, using the remaining sauce, mozzarella and oregano.
Once cooked, drizzle the pizza in teglia with extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with small basil leaves or large basil leaves that have been torn. Serve immediately – buon appetito!