In my opinion it doesn’t get better than this! Cooking Pizza outside, in a stone oven, tucked away in the hills of Tuscany. The sun is setting and the guests are both excited and appreciative of the food they are enjoying. It’s such a wonderful food to share, and it can be very nutritious as well as super yummy!
400 g Spelt flour
200 ml luke warm Water
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar (optional)
20 g fresh Yeast
4 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tin Chopped
1 Garlic Clove, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp dried Oregano
Topping for 200 g Dough
2 * 125 g Buffalo Mozzarella
1 Courgette, halved and thinly sliced
8 Courgette Flowers
6 Apricots, halved, destoned
1 Bunch Fresh Basil
For the Dough
1. Put 200 ml luke warm Water into a measuring Jug, it should be roughly the same temperature as your own hand, and should never be warmer then 40 degrees otherwise the heat will kill off the Yeast. Crumble in the fresh Yeast, add the Sugar, Salt and Olive Oil to the Water, and using a Whisk rotated between the Palms of your Hands, mix until the Yeast has dissolved into the Water.
2. Place the Flour in a Bowl. Make a Well in the middle and then add the Water – Yeast Mix. Using a Knife, bring the Mixture together until the Knife no longer is effective. Tip everything onto a clean Work Surface and knead the Dough Ball and the rest of the Flour into a Ball. Knead the Dough for at least 5 minutes. In the beginning the Dough Ball will look rough and patchy. After about 5 minutes it should be warm, smooth and elastically. It should resemble a Baby’s Bum! Please refrain from putting any extra Flour onto your Work Surface or to help with kneading the Dough. If it’s a bit sticky in the beginning just persevere with kneading, most of the time it will dry out enough with the intensive kneading.
3. Place the Dough into a plastic or glass Bowl, cover with a Tea Towel and leave in a warm place to rise. The longer you leave it the better the Dough will be. A few hours is best, in a rush 30 minutes will suffice, and if you think about it, you could prepare it the day before and allow the Dough to slowly Rise over night in the Fridge. If you leave it in the Fridge, just take it out an hour before using to allow the Dough to come to room Temperature.
For the Tomato Sauce
1. To prepare the Tomato Sauce, pour the Contents of your Tin into a Sieve placed over a Bowl and leave for 10 minutes. This will remove any excess Water and give a thicker, spreadable, Tomato Sauce. Take the drained Tomatoes and place in a measuring Jug, add the Garlic, Olive Oil, Oregano and Salt. Using a Hand Blender, puree into a sauce. Check for Salt, the Sauce should be well seasoned.
For the Pizza Baking
1. Preheat your Oven to 250 Degrees, and get all your toppings sliced and prepared.
2. Depending on how big your Pizza Form is, divide the Dough into 4 / 5 Balls. Flour your Work Surface and using a Rolling Pin roll out the Dough so that it’s just a few millimeters thin. If you don’t have a round Form then use a Baking Tray.
3. Flour your Pizza Tray and place the Dough onto it. Spread your Tomato Sauce evenly, sprinkle on Mozzarella and add your favorite Toppings. Above is Courgette Flower, Apricot and Buffalo Mozzarella, or Avocado, Feta and Rocket. If you are using Rocket, or fresh Basil, add that after the Pizza has been cooked.
4. Bake for about 5 – 7 Minutes until the Base is crisp and golden, and the Mozzarella has melted and is golden brown.
Check out my Dessert Pizza for a delicious variation on this savory legend.