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IN SEASON PERFECT


PIZZAS U


FOODLOVER’s guide to achieving the perfect pizzas at home


ndeniably, the Italians know their stuff when it comes to pizza making, but us Brits love a slice or two when hosting friends or family.


Although easy toppings are endless when it comes to pizza, nailing the perfect pizza base is a little more tricky. However, with just a few simple tricks, we’ll have you spinning pizzas like the Italians in no time.


Use digital scales and be accurate when measuring out the flour in particular. Incorrect quantities of flour will affect the moisture content and cause you to make a stiff dough that becomes hard to knead and consequently overworked.


1 ACCURACY 2 CHOOSE YOUR FLOUR CAREFULLY


How you knead, prove and manipulate your dough will depend on the style of pizza you are trying to achieve. For a fluffy, deep-pan style pizza base, proving your dough for an hour or so is essential. However, if you prefer a flatter, crispy base then you can often do away with the lengthy proving process. If you’re feeding a crowd, a minimal fuss, no- knead pizza dough is ideal unless you want to develop muscles like Popeye as you work your way through kilos of dough. Find a recipe that does the work for you. A slow prove overnight will work the dough on its own and will be the perfect consistency for shaping out into pizzas ready for when your guests arrive.


3 PICK A STYLE 4 REFRIGERATE YOUR DOUGH


Allowing your dough to slowly prove in the fridge


can actually enhance the flavour and final texture of the pizza base. Unlike bread dough that is traditionally proved in a warm spot in your kitchen, proving your pizza dough in the fridge for up to 3 days can not only help to improve the flavour but can help brown and crisp the dough when baking. Simply allow it to do one short proof in a warm spot when ready to use, before stretching and baking as normal.


5 HEAT IS KEY


Heat your oven to the highest temperature and cook as quickly as


possible. This will ensure a crispier crust and airier base. Baking on steel or pizza stone that can be heated in advance will speed up the cooking process and help to cook the base all the way through.


The layering process Although alternative flours provide


interesting variation when it comes to breads and dough, a traditional pizza dough relies on a flour that is high in gluten to encourage a strong, elastic dough that will rise well. A traditional Italian pizza dough will always look to use Tipo ’00’ flour which is finely ground and creates a dough that is very smoothed-textured. The addition of a little semolina flour is also a traditional Italian tip, to add a little colour and flavour to your dough.


1. SAUCE Start with a traditional passata with fresh garlic and herbs to add vibrance to the sauce. For a little heat add chilli flakes. Alternatively, start your pizza off with a fresh green pesto.


2. DELICATE INGREDIENTS Delicate ingredients that don't take kindly to direct heat must be next. Layer herbs such as basil leaves on now so the following ingredients can protect them. Cured meats are also best at this stage to avoid them burning and drying out.


3. CHEESE This is the time to add the main cheese element. Mozzarella is great at this stage, torn into large chunks. Reserve grated cheese to sprinkle on at the end.


4. PIZZA TOPPERS Add your chosen pizza toppers such as mushrooms, peppers, olives, and artichokes. Finish the pizza with a generous sprinkling of grated cheese and you’re oven ready.


FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 29


TOP PIZZA DOUGH TIPS


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