Our friend Patrick makes, without doubt, the best pizza we’ve ever had. We go round to his place for an evening of catching-up over a glass (or two) of red wine and these fabulous pizzas. He tends to make them one by one so we all take a slice from each as they come straight out the oven – each with a different mix of toppings. His two main secrets are to age the dough for 2-3 days in the fridge and rolling it in semolina or polenta so the pizza is super crispy and delicious. This also makes for a fun family evening where everyone can get involved (especially with the kids now back at school!).

How To Make Patrick's Pizza Dough

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 tsp baking yeast
  • 600g strong white flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 340ml water
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Ground polenta or semolina

For the sauce:

  • 1 tin of good quality plum tomatoes (chopped)
  • Salt & black pepper
  • Oregano or thyme
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)

For the topping:

  • Mozzarella
  • Your choice of toppings
 

Method:

  1. If you have a bread maker or food mixer with a dough attachment, just throw all of the ingredients in and run it until you have a smooth springy dough. Go to step 7
  2. If making by hand, sieve the flour and salt on to a clean work surface and make a well in the middle
  3. In a jug, mix the yeast, olive oil and lemon juice into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well
  4. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid
  5. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your flour-dusted hands
  6. Knead until you have a smooth springy dough
  7. Divide the dough into four. Roll these balls in the semolina/polenta, transfer into cereal bowls, cover in cling film and transfer to the fridge. The dough will prove slowly, doubling in size. They will be best after 2-3 days
  8. If you cannot wait that long, just put them in a warm part of the kitchen, and they should prove in an hour or so
  9. For the sauce, bring to the boil and allow to cool
  10. Once ready to cook, turn your oven up as high as possible. Have your pizza stone already in the oven and put a ramekin of water in the bottom of the oven. The steam improves the quality of the pizza
  11. Stretch the dough out by hand using semolina/polenta and onto a pizza peel. There are good youtube videos on how to stretch pizza dough
  12. Put plenty of semolina/polenta on the peel underneath your dough so that the pizza will slide easily into the oven, onto your pizza stone
  13. Spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce on the dough. Top with mozzarella cheese (if it contains water, squeeze it out using your hand)
  14. Add the toppings of your choice and put in the oven
  15. The pizza will cook in 5-6 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is and how thinly you have stretched your pizzav