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Pizza Margherita (Paul Hollywood – Signature Dish)

Method

  1. For the dough: Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix together, using one hand or a wooden spoon, combine the mixture until you have a soft dough that comes together as a ball. Tip the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead well for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Alternatively, use an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook to mix and knead the dough, allowing 2 minutes on a slow speed and 7 minutes on medium.
  2. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with a large plastic bag and leave to rise for at least 2 hours, ideally 3–4 hours if you have time.
  3. Tip your risen pizza dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into four 200g pieces. Flatten down each piece then fold it over and place in a cage formed by your cupped hand on the work surface. Move your hand in a circular motion to roll each ball lightly but firmly into a smooth, taut ball. Leave the balls to rest on the floured surface covered with a roomy plastic bag, to prevent them from drying and cracking, for about 30 minutes.
  4. Roll out and stretch each ball of dough on a lightly floured surface to a thin circle, 25–30cm in diameter. If using a domestic oven, dry-fry the bases.
  5. For the topping: using a blender or food processor, blitz the tinned tomatoes until smooth.
  6. If you are using a standard domestic oven to cook your pizzas, heat to its highest setting.
  7. Put a small ladleful of tomato pulp in the middle of each pizza base (dry-fried if cooking in a standard oven, uncooked if using a pizza oven, see below) and spread out to 2–3cm from the edge. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan, then break off little pieces of mozzarella and scatter all over the tomatoes.
  8. Bake each pizza on a tray in the hot oven for 5–7 minutes until the topping is melted and golden and the pizza crust is crisp. Scatter the basil over the pizzas and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Serve at once.
  9. If you’re using an outdoor pizza oven: Heat up your pizza oven. Roll out your pizza bases to 25–30cm. Prepare the topping (as above) and distribute over the uncooked bases. Bake in the hot