Italian pizza bases

There is no doubt that the best pizza is found only in Italy, and Naples, being the birthplace of this national (and international) favourite, is the city to head for is your want to delight your tastebuds with the best pizza! However, that shouldn't stop you having a go at creating your own at home.

Follow our simple recipe for the pizza base below and then get creative by adding your own toppings! A Bellarome favourite is a Marinara, which has a simple tomato topping with oregano and garlic.

Serves: 6

Ingredients
800 g strong white bread flour or Tipo '00' flour, plus 200 g finely ground semolina flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
7 g dried yeast
1/2 tbsp golden caster sugar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
325 mL lukewarm water

Preparation method
Sieve the flour and add it to the semolina and salt in a large bowl. Give it a brief mix and then make a central well. In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. To make the dough, draw flour from the edges into the liquid well and mix it around (it is best to do this with your hands - even though it gets a little messy)! Keep repeating this process, drawing larger amounts of flour in to the centre. You will see that the dough starts to come together.

Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough, which you may find easier to do on a clean, dusted work surface if you don't have a large enough mixing bowl.

Next, the dough needs to rise. To do this, simply place the dough ball in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about an hour until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

After rising, turn the dough out onto a flour-dusted surface and knock it back with your hands (this essentially means kneading the dough again to push the air out). Now divide the dough into 3 to 4 little balls, each of which will be one pizza. Dust your work surface with a little more flour, if necessary, and then roll out each ball with a floured rolling pin. The thinner you roll the dough, the crispier the base will be so roll it to your desired thickness.

For the best pizza, it's best to roll the dough out about 15-20 min before you bake it and you can use this time to prepare your toppings.

Want to learn how to make pizza from a true pizzaiolo? We offer cooking classes in Italy, where you can learn to make pizza, bread, pasta and much more!

Tip: Your don't have to use all the dough immediately. To save you time, simply store the knocked-back dough in the freezer in pizza-sized balls.

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