Making Pizzas. Which Pizza flour is best? Cooking Pizzas using a pizza oven
Finally, there’s a real feeling of Summer in the air and with lockdown restrictions easing and a promise of warmer weather on the horizon, many of us are moving to entertaining outside. Garden kitchens have never been more popular with the use of outdoor pizza ovens on the rise. Gas and wood fired outdoor pizza ovens are bringing people together again and make a great talking point for any party you may be hosting.
Margarita or pepperoni? Deep pan or thin and crispy? Pineapple or no pineapple? This Italian staple is a family favourite we all know and love and the variety of choices that accompany the classic pizza pie means there’s something for everyone.
A sight we may be familiar with is that of expert chefs tossing and twisting elastic pizza dough to make the fluffy and workable base ready for the topping of your choice. But how difficult is it to achieve at home? Pretty easy as we have found out here at Ratton Pantry!
Here’s an example of a recipe we have used.
- 1 kg white bread flour or Tipo '00' flour , or 800g strong white bread flour or Tipo '00' flour, plus 200g finely ground semolina flour
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 x 7 g dried yeast
- 1 tablespoon golden caster sugar
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Sieve the flour/s and salt on to a clean work surface and make a well in the middle.
- In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and oil into 650ml of lukewarm water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well.
- Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.
- Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
- Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands – this is called knocking back the dough. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in clingfilm, in the fridge (or freezer) until required.
- If using straight away, divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizzas – this amount of dough is enough to make about six to eight medium pizzas.
- Timing-wise, it’s a good idea to roll the pizzas out about 15 to 20 minutes before you want to cook them. Don’t roll them out and leave them hanging around for a few hours, though – if you are working in advance like this it’s better to leave your dough, covered with clingfilm, in the fridge. However, if you want to get them rolled out so there’s one less thing to do when your guests are round, simply roll the dough out into rough circles, about 0.5cm thick, and place them on slightly larger pieces of olive-oil-rubbed and flour-dusted tin foil. You can then stack the pizzas, cover them with clingfilm, and pop them into the fridge.
So there you have it! But what’s the secret to achieving that golden, crispy but soft base?
It’s all in the flour.
The best pizza base is made with either an Italian Tipo ‘00’ flour, such as Matthews Cotswold TIPO 00 Flour (which is finer ground than normal flour, and it will give your dough an incredible super-smooth texture), or Mugnai di Napoli San Felice Traditional Blue flour which is a Certified Traditional Neapolitan Pizza flour and presents great stability and water absorption and elasticity, ideal for Neapolitan style pizza. The wheats used for this pizza flour are hard wheats with a protein level slightly lower than your standard bread flour resulting in a smooth flavoursome flour
If using bread flour instead, make sure it’s a super strong one which is high in gluten as this will help give you the elastic texture that you need.
You can find a range of our ‘00’ type flours available in 1kg, 5kg, 15kg and 25kg bags to suit your preference. We also stock Caputo Semolina in 1kg bags to add to your dough to aid that stretch you are trying to achieve. Adding semolina to your dough also creates a different flavour profile to your pizza whilst adding the chew to your favourite crust.
The wide range of Caputo flours on offer at Ratton Pantry
Caputo are widely considered to offer some of the best authentic Italian pizza and pasta flours around.
Caputo has always selected and mixed the best wheat in the tradition of the ancient art of milling, following a slow grinding process. This method permits them to obtain high-quality flours preserving the starch, the organoleptic properties and, most of all, the authenticity of the flavour.
Mixing a lot of qualities of the national wheat coming from Umbria, Marche, and other Italian regions to obtain the base of their product, they later mix them with wheat from the North of Europe, particularly from France, German and Finland. Caputo's products are therefore extremely natural, especially due to the fact they don't use any artificial enzymes and extra additives.
The Gozney Dome, releasing Summer 2021
Produce pizzas as good as any pizzeria from the comfort of your own home with brands such as Ooni, Gozney Roccbox and Gozney Dome. With a warm-up time of around 15 minutes you can cook your very own home-made pizzas in 60 seconds using one of these restaurant grade ovens which are simple to use and adaptable. What better way to welcome in the Summer than showing off your kitchen skills whilst offering a versatile selection of exciting toppings to tempt your guests.
For all your pizza making needs, featuring everything from a range of flours, to passata, extra virgin olive oil and even your pizza cutters visit our Italian Pizza and Pasta making section of our website and discover everything you need to make your own pizzas at home.