Theo Randall: Perfect Pizza

Theo Randall Pizza Recipe

It’s not a 15-minute meal but this Theo Randall pizza recipe, from his new book My Simple Italian, is perfect for a leisurely weekend kitchen project and is a great way to get kids interested in cooking (and eating the results).

Theo Randall Pizza

PIZZA

Makes one big pizza

There is nothing like good pizza. I find that the best ones tend to be the simplest, with not too many ingredients on top, and a good tomato passata as the base. When making a pizza it’s important to be sure that it cooks from the bottom as well as on top. A hot pizza stone helps with this, or you can use a heated baking sheet. If you don’t do this you will have uncooked dough with a soggy base. 

For the dough stage 1:

– 30g tipo 00 flour

– 2 tsp dried yeast

– 60ml lukewarm water

For the dough stage 2:

– 200g tipo 00 flour, plus extra for dusting

– ½ tsp salt

– 120ml lukewarm water

– 1 tbsp milk

– 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing

– semolina, for the baking sheet

For the topping:

200ml tomato passata

3 slices prosciutto di Parma, torn into strips

2 x 150g balls buffalo mozzarella, torn into pieces

150g Datterini or cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 tbsp oregano leaves

75g pitted black olives, preferably Taggiasche

50ml extra virgin olive oil

  1. For stage 1 of the dough, put the flour and yeast into a large bowl and mix in the water. Leave in a warm place (35–40°C) for 15–20 minutes until frothy.
  2. Add all the ingredients for stage 2 and mix together to a dough using a wooden spoon and then your hands. Turn out on to a floured surface and knead for 10–15 minutes to develop the elasticity of the dough.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and rub with olive oil to prevent a crust from forming. Place in a clean bowl, cover the bowl with a towel and leave the dough to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour until doubled in size.
  4. Knock back the dough, then let it rise again for a further 40 minutes.
  5. When you are ready to make the pizza, preheat the oven to 250°C, and put a pizza stone or a large baking sheet in to heat. Turn the dough on to a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a rough rectangle or other shape that is about 2cm thick. Lift on to a large, semolina-dusted baking sheet.
  6. For the topping, spread the passata evenly over the pizza base to within 1cm of the edge. Add the remaining topping ingredients, scattering them evenly, then drizzle the olive oil over all.
  7. Slide the pizza on to the hot stone or baking sheet in the oven and bake for 5–7 minutes. Serve hot.

Theo Randall Family FoodExtracted from My Simple Italian by Theo Randall. Published by Ebury Press. Photography by Mike Lusmore.

Read our interview with Theo on family cooking or see more recipes from his new book.