It's pretty hard for homemade pizza to measure up to those cooked in a wood-fired oven, but a good dough recipe and top-notch toppings help you get pretty close. If you don't have a pizza stone, heat a couple of heavy steel baking trays in the oven and you'll end up with a good crisp crust.
- 400 gm canned whole tomatoes, drained
- 2 anchovy fillets
- 2 whole garlic cloves, plus 1 extra, thinly sliced
- 140 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
- 12 thin slices hot sopressa, torn
- 12 thin slices mild sopressa, torn
- 2 baby fennel bulbs, thinly sliced on a mandolin, fronds reserved and a few tops thinly sliced, to serve
- 80 gm pecorino, finely grated
- 4 burrata
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 7 gm dried yeast (1 sachet)
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 450 gm pizza flour
- 1For pizza dough, combine olive oil, yeast, sugar, ½ tsp salt and 350ml lukewarm water in a bowl and set aside until creamy on top (2-3 minutes). Gradually add flour, mix until a rough dough forms, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (6-8 minutes). Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stand until doubled in size (1-1½ hours). Knock back dough, knead lightly, then return to bowl, cover and set aside again until doubled in size (45 minutes to 1 hour). Meanwhile, preheat oven to 250C and place 2 heavy oven trays in the oven to heat.
- 2Process tomato, anchovies, whole garlic cloves and 50ml oil in a food processor until smooth. Season to taste and set aside.
- 3Combine sliced garlic, chilli, and remaining oil in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Set aside.
- 4Divide dough into 4 equal pieces, then form each into 30cm-diameter round with the palm of your hand or a rolling pin, and place on separate pieces of baking paper. Thinly spread reserved tomato mixture over bases, top with sopressa, fennel and pecorino, and drizzle with a little oil. Bake pizze, still on baking paper, in batches on heated trays, swapping trays halfway through cooking, until browned at the edges and cooked through (6-8 minutes). Top each with a burrata, fennel fronds and sliced fennel tops, drizzle with chilli oil to taste, season to taste and serve.
Drink Suggestion: Gutsy southern Italian red. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.