Pizza Express may have revealed their secret recipe for the famous Margherita pizza BUT talented chef Jamie Polito at The Cricketers On The Green is delighted to share with you a rival recipe for the perfect make-at-home pizza complete with some delicious suggestions for store-cupboard friendly toppings.
The dough (to make 2-3 pizzas)
500g strong or bread flour
325ml tap water, warm
5g dry yeast or 15g fresh yeast
NB Strong or bread flour will give you the best results when making pizzas, do not use plain flour. You will achieve a dry and hard pizza base after all your hard work and effort.
Mix the flour and the salt together.
In a small bowl, add some of the warm water to the yeast, to cover, and dissolve.
Mix the rest of the water with the flour. Mix well to combine. Add the yeast mix and mix again. Knead well until elastic, around 8- 10 minutes if you do it by hand. If you have a kitchen aid, you can use it for kneading the dough. It’ll be easier and take half the time!
Leave to prove in the bowl in a warm spot, until the dough doubled in volume, covered with a damp tea towel, for around 35- 40 minutes.
Split the dough in 2 or 3, depending on the size of the pizzas. Shape gently into balls.
Allow to prove again, this time uncovered, until doubled in volume.
Use a rolling pin to “open” the pizzas on a floured surface until 5 mm thick.\
Blend a can of chopped tomatoes (400g) until fine, add 20 ml olive oil and a pinch of salt. Do not drown the pizza in tomato sauce. Around 3 tablespoons per pizza should be plenty. Start from the middle and work towards the edges, leaving a 1 cm gap.
Turn the oven to 240 degrees.
If you don’t have a pizza stone or flat baking tray, turn a roasting tray upside down. Leave to get as hot as possible.
Carefully slide the pizza onto the hot flat surface. Check after 4 minutes. You may need to turn the pizza if it is cooking faster on one side than the other. Check the bottom and see if it is cooking.
When the bottom of the pizza is cooked, (golden brown) it is ready. The cooking time should not take more than 10 minutes, depending on the strength of your oven.
Store cupboard friendly topping suggestions
Tinned tuna, sliced red onions, bacon, tomato sauce, oregano.
Breakfast pizza - tomato sauce mixed with HP sauce. Cumberland sausage, mushrooms, bacon, fried egg.
Smoked salmon, Philadelphia, crème fraiche, dill, capers and rocket
Multiple cheese pizza – whatever you get your hands on in the fridge and loads of it
Veg box classic – (when you have 1 of a few things left over) red pepper, aubergine, courgette, red onion, rocket, mozzarella and tomato
Pizza ‘nduja - a Cricketers favourite
Tomato, mozzarella, nduja, pepperoni
Add 1 ball of ripped mozzarella, 10 g crumbled ‘nduja and 8-10 small slices of pepperoni.
Spread the ingredients equally across the dough and cook as attached
Takeaway pizzas are also available for collection at The Cricketers on The Green on Friday and Saturday nights. Made in a wood-fired Neapolitan pizza oven and made by the amazing volunteer chef team (Gio, Angel, Connor and Tony), four options are available; Margarita (£6.50), Pepperoni (£7), Italiana(£7.75) and Nduja (£7.50). You can also collect your wine and beers at the same time to ensure your evening is complete. Place orders online and a member of the team will be in touch to arrange a collection time.