500g 00 flour/strong white bread flour – plus extra for rolling out
325ml luke warm water
7g dried yeast (usually 1 packet)
1/2 tsp salt
4 medium sized ripe tomatoes (cherry tomatoes could also work), stalks removed, thinly sliced
3 x 125g Mozzarella di Bufala balls, drained of liquid
60g 22 month Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt and pepper, to season
This pizza base includes yeast, however we have a non-yeast base, which you can find here. Combine the water and yeast in a bowl or jug and mix to dissolve. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl then make a well in the centre. Add the water and yeast mixture then use a spoon to stir and gradually bring in the flour from the edges.
Once it is too thick to stir its time to get your hands in there. Bring together all the flour to form a ball of dough. Remove from the bowl and place on a clean and lightly flavoured work surface. Knead for 10 minutes so that the dough has a springy texture and smooth surface. Divide into 4 and roll into small balls, then place on a floured tray and cover with a damp cloth or loose fitting cling film. Leave somewhere warm to prove for 45 minutes to an hour, or until they have doubled in size.
When ready to make the pizzas, lightly flour the work surface, place 1 piece of dough on top then flour again. Press the dough out with your finger tips whilst turning it to form a circle. At this stage you can use a rolling pin to roll the base out to about 25cm wide, adding a little more flour as you go to prevent sticking, or have a go at hand stretching it (and even tossing it in the air), but this is best described in an online video rather than just print.
Lift the base onto a square of baking paper, with semolina scattered underneath to prevent sticking, as this allows easy movement whilst putting toppings on and placing in the oven. Repeat with the remaining bases then its time to add your toppings.
Preheat an oven to 250C. If you have a baking stone then this can come in handy, otherwise an upturned large baking tin can all work well.
For each pizza, spread 1tbsp of Pesto all over the base, leaving a 1cm gap around the edge. Place the sliced tomatoes on top, then tear off just over half a ball of Mozzarella and place on top. Grate the Parmigiano Reggiano on top, then season with black pepper. You can add salt if you wish but the Pesto is highly seasoned so perhaps best to wait until after cooking.
Place the baking tray straight onto the upturned roasting tray/bakingstone/oven rack. If you are feeling brave, you could try sliding the pizza straight onto the baking tray or pizza stone, which will give the pizza a crispy base. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and begun to colour, the pizza has puffed up in places, and the edges have started to crisp. Remember to give your oven a few minutes after opening it to come back up to temperature.