Pizza Margherita with Ballymaloe Italian Tomato Pasta Sauce
- Cooking Time: 30 minutes (excluding time for dough to rise) - Preheat the oven to 250°C/475°F/Gas Mark 9
- Serves: 6-8
- Allergens: Wheat, dairy
A margherita pizza, done well, is one of the tastiest things you can eat. We use Ballymaloe Italian Tomato Pasta Sauce as our pizza sauce and it really works. We use only 100% natural ingredients in the sauce and the blend of ripe tomatoes, onions, pepper and garlic with a hint of white wine is just the thing for a good margherita. Drizzling some homemade basil oil over your cooked pizza brings out the flavour too. There is a great amount of satisfaction in making your own pizza bases. This pizza dough recipe comes courtesy of Saturday Pizzas at Ballymaloe Cookery School.
- For the bases - makes 6 x 25cm (10") pizzas:
- 550ml cold water
- 950g “00” flour or strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1½ x 7g (¼ oz) sachets of fast-action dried yeast
- 1 tbsp fine sea salt
- For the topping (per pizza):
- Ballymaloe Italian Tomato Pasta Sauce
- 75g Buffalo Mozzarella
- 50g Mozzarella (grated)
- 1 bunch of basil
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 250°C/475°F/Gas Mark 9.
- Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, then add the flour on top of the water and add the yeast and salt in separate piles. Mix for 10 minutes on a medium-low speed. For the first few minutes it will look shaggy and you might be worried that it won’t come together, but leave it be and by the end of the 10 minutes the dough should be smooth, springy and slightly sticky. Check the dough after a couple of minutes though to see how it’s coming along. If it’s really dry and isn’t coming together, add another tablespoon of water. If it looks really wet, add another tablespoon of flour. Alternatively, if you don’t have a mixer, you can knead the dough by hand.
- Sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and tip the dough out onto it. Knead it by hand a few times to bring it together into a smooth, round ball that holds its shape well and springs back when you poke it. If it doesn’t pass those tests, knead it for 1-2 minutes more.
- Using a dough cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough in half. Pressing it firmly into the work surface, roll each piece into a smooth round, like a tennis ball. Put the dough balls on two side plates or a baking tray dusted with flour. Cover tightly with cling-film or soak a clean tea towel in cold running water from the tap and wring it out really well, then cover the dough with the damp cloth. Place the covered plates or tray in the fridge for at least 6 hours, but ideally overnight or even up to 48 hours to let it have a long fermentation and a slow rise. The longer you let the dough sit in the fridge, the more flavour it will have.
- Take the dough out of the fridge 1 hour before you want to cook the pizzas, making sure you keep it covered with the cling-film or damp cloth so it doesn’t dry out. When you’re ready to shape the dough, dust a pizza peel or a thin wooden chopping board generously with flour. You can either stretch the dough by hand or use a rolling pin. If you’re using a rolling pin, dust that with flour too.
- Heat your Ballymaloe Italian Tomato Pasta Sauce in a saucepan until bubbling.
- Flour your work surface and roll out one of the pizza bases (the rest can be rolled out and frozen if you’re not using them).
- Place the pizza base on a flat baking sheet, preferably without edges/ rim and top with some of the sauce and the grated Mozzarella and Buffalo Mozzarella.
- Bake in the oven until the edges are golden-brown and the cheese is melted and bubbling. This takes from 8-12 minutes.
- While your pizza is cooking, make your basil oil by blending together the basil leaves and extra virgin olive oil, before drizzling over your pizza.