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Pizza |

Take a pilgrimage to your own slice of heaven by making this authentic Neopolitan pizza. Recipe from Pizza Pilgrims.

Prep time: 26 hours

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 pizzas


500g 00 flour

1g fresh yeast (or 1/2g dried yeast)

300ml cold water

15g salt

1 tin of tomatoes (not chopped)


Fresh basil

150g mozzarella

Olive oil

1. Don't stop, just go doughly

Weigh out 500g of 00 flour and tip onto your worksurface, so it looks like a Head and Shoulders advert. Make well in the centre and add in your yeast: 1g fresh or 1/2g dried (it doesn't seem like a lot, but it will do donkey). Gradually add 300ml water to the well, bring flour in as you do so to form a custardy mixture. Once it's thick enough, add in 15g salt and keep bringing in the flour.

Give it a little knead now guv'nor for 10-15 minutes until smooth like Ross Kemp's head. Cover with a tea towel or cling film for ten minutes then give it a stimulating knead for ten seconds.

Look at this little blob fish

Goodness gracious great ball of dough! Time to cut it down into 4 x 200g dough balls. Cover and leave in a cool place for at least 8 hours and up to 48 hours. Don't forget that the dough will grow, so make sure the balls don't touch.

2. Take a pizza my heart

After your dough has had its growing time, it's time to shape. Tip one dough ball onto a lightly floured work surface, leaving the others covered. The rounder it comes out, the rounder the base will be.

To flatten the base push out from the middle with your fingers, like you're massaging a doughy bottom. When the stretching gets more difficult, flip the dough and keep pushing outward with your fingers, leaving a ridge around the edge for the crust. Push down with the palm of your hand once so that your base is fully even.

Using your knuckles, like a silverback gorilla, pick up the base and rotate like you've seen them do in all of those very authentic Pizza Expresses. Do this twice so that the dough is nice and thin and big. It should end up being about 10 inches in diameter (across).

3. Top of the toppings

Now your base is ready, time to prep your pizza oven. Pop your grill on to the highest setting and wack a frying pan on the hob on the highest heat.

Make your passata first. Pour your tin of tomatoes into a large bowl and crush those toms with your hands.

Add a healthy pinch of salt and blend gently with a hand blender (i.e your peg leg). It should be pleasantly chunky at the end.

Once your frying pan is screaming hot, tell it to be quiet and carefully put the pizza base in the pan. Quickly ladle on a thin layer of your passata, leaving a space around the outside for the crust. Sprinkle on some parmesan, a few basil leaves and about 40g of mozzarella ripped into small chunks, drizzle over olive oil. Accessorize with your choice of toppings!

Once the base of the pizza is browned (you can check this by gently lifting it with a spatula and peeping underneath), after about 2 minutes, place the pizza on the highest shelf under your scorching grill. It should only take a couple of minutes to cook!

Repeat with the next few pizzas.

Pop yourself somewhere al fresco and...

dinka e sinka!

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "Pizza Pilgrims has been my go to pizza bae for the past five years, their pizza started a revolution and now everywhere you go there is fluffy, doughy Neopolitan pizzas - such on that Pizza Express with your crusty Roman pizzas. But, I'm not sure this recipe compared to the original. For some reason my dough didn't rise very well over night, so the end result was chewy in the wrong way and not doughy enough. It was also far too hot whilst making this to have both the grill and the hob on full. The toppings, and the ability to personalize was fun though. I woul perhaps try this again to see if I could make it more authentic. 8/10 "

Kate says: "This recipe requires a bit of foresight, but as Lizzy rightly said to me when I mentioned this as a problem, when is one not in the mood for pizza for tea?! This is probably one of the most 'authentic' pizzas I have made at home, and I really think the sauce is great. I had a little trouble when building my flour walls and had to scramble to mop up my yeast water so make sure you build your defences high! The cooking process was super easy, but it makes your kitchen scorching if you're making it in summer so just bear that in mind. Part of me wonders if 24 hours rise time is a bit excessive, would 6, 8 or 12 hours be enough and then the difference in result is negligible? Who knows, I suppose I'll just have to try it again! 10/10 delicious and easy if you have thought to make the dough in advance"

9/10 Gasps


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