Pizza

Dough :

-> Into a large bowl mix together the flour and the dried yeast (sachets of it available in Tesco)
-> Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the water. Then using a spoon mix it all together till it forms a sticky dough then using plenty of flour on the worksurface knead the dough for 5-10 minutes (You'll feel when it feels like through experience eventually but 5-10 minutes you can't go far wrong.) then cover with a teatowel and place in a warm place for at least an hour to rise.
------> The water must not be too hot or it will kill the yeast. Too cold is far better than too hot. I use about 100ml of recently boiled kettle water and 200ml cold water. The water should be cold enough that you can comfortable place your finger in the water.

Tomato Mix :

-> Into a bowl put in about half a can of chopped tomatoes (or ideally 3/4 of a carton of chopped tomatoes in rich tomato juice with basil from Tesco) then to this add about the same amount again of tomato puree. It will end up being somewhere between 3/4 and a whole tube of tomato puree. Mix this well, squashing any lumps of tomato to make a nice thick smooth rich-looking tomato paste. Chopped tomatoes alone are too watery and wet but tomato puree by itself it too concentrated and bitted.

Assembly :

-> Preheat oven to highest temperature it will go to. My oven only reaches 230 degrees so that's the temperature I preheat to. In terms of a tray for the pizza you will need a round pizza tray; the best ones have a much heavier base and plenty of holes to let air through the tray and allows for extra crispiness. The tray should be greased using either margarine or soft butter; use plenty smother it in butter, avoid sticking and too much does no harm.
-> Using a fair bit of flour on the table roll out the pizza dough as thin as possible to get it. During rolling out flip it over a couple of times to avoid welding it to the table as you roll it thinner and thinner and thinner. The correct amount of dough for a standard pizza is about the size of a tennis ball, maybe slightly smaller. The thinner you can roll it out the better.
-> Once the rolled out pizza is on the greased tray spread over a very thin layer of the tomato mix and top this with an extremely generous helping of freshly ground black pepper. Top this with mozarella.
------> A mozarella ball is the correct amount for a single pizza. Cut into thin slices then tear this up into small pieces and place all over the pizza covering most of it but gaps are fine. I like to use very small pieces and arrange the pieces like a kind of mosaic with something like 0.5cm or less between any pieces. Gaps though will be solved by melting cheese in the oven.
-> Now add any topping you want on your pizza, too many and your pizza will likely not crisp up properly but we're talking large amount for that really. Keep the tomato down and that makes a big difference.
------> My favoured toppings are 2-4 closed cup mushrooms depending on size (diced as small as I can physically manage to get them), 2 rashers of smoked back bacon (chopped into bitesize pieces) and then some more ground black pepper, generous amount of oregano, some fresh basil leaves (and some more after cooking) a sprinkling of hot chilli powder (or Old Bay seasoning from Baltimore if you can get it) and finally and very importantly a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil.
-> My personal oven heats to 230 degrees and at this temperature (if preheated completely before putting the pizza in) it takes around 10-12 minutes at the very top of the oven to get absolutely perfect. The higher the temperature (and more preheated your oven) the better the pizza results. If your oven is cooler it will obviously need longer but the surprising thing is that the more pizzas there are in the oven the longer it takes to cook. The same result that takes 10 minutes with 1 pizza, takes about 15-20 with 4 in the oven.
-> When the pizza comes out the oven add some more freshly ground black pepper and a couple of basil leaves. Serve immediately.

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