Delivered straight from your kitchen, this home made pizza with rocket leaves, Grana Padano and Prosciutto di San Daniele is an easy treat
Pizza: on the surface, deceptively simple, but it’s something that really rewards a little effort. That effort can be a lot less than you might think; most of the time when making a pizza is spent waiting for the dough to rise, and the great flavours you get when creating one from scratch are decidedly worth it, rather than resorting to the chiller cabinet of the supermarket or the back of a delivery moped.
Like many dishes with ancient origins (a quick internet trawl tells me that flatbreads with toppings are truly ancient, and the addition of tomatoes happened in Naples in the late eighteenth century), it’s entirely possible to submerge yourself in the lore of what proper pizza is or should be, and how it should be made: pressing out and stretching the base by hand (including the impressive throwing and spinning bit), or spreading the tomato sauce in a carefully drawn spiral using the back of the ladle, and cooking it in a scorchingly hot wood fired oven. As an occasional maker, however, we don’t get to practice our skills enough to pass muster on the streets of Naples, but even for the occasional pizza cook like us homemade wins.
As with all Italian dishes, taking the ethos of quality ingredients simply cooked to heart pays dividends, and with so few ingredients it’s doubly true. Traditionally, “Tipo OO” flour – the most finely milled – is used, but I use strong white bread flour with good results. For the tomato sauce, all you have to do is blitz a good quality tin of tomatoes, stopping when there’s a bit of texture left. I roll out my dough, which would horrify a purist, but leaving a thicker edge is a good plan. And we don’t have a wood fired oven, or a traditional peel for transfer; I find a baking tray dusted with polenta works. We do have a pizza stone, though, which does make a difference. If you don’t have one, a large unglazed quarry tile is an economical solution. The important thing is to get it really, really hot. Give it plenty of time in the oven on it’s hottest setting. Finally, the quality of traditionally produced Grana Pradano and Prosciutto di San Daniele added after the pizza has cooked, gives a savouriness, saltiness and a really rich and fulfilling flavour. So the next time its pizza and a movie night, wow the crowd with a home made pizza.
Both Grana Padano and Prosciutto di San Daniele proudly carry a PDO, or Protected Designation of Origin, which marks them as quality artisan products, they are made according to strict rules, using carefully controlled ingredients, so you can be assured that you are buying a quality product.
- 150 g bread flour
- 105 ml water
- ½ tsp yeast
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil.
- 4 tbsp tomato pizza sauce
- 80 g mozzarella
- Grana Padano
- Prosciutto di San Daniele
- leaves Rocket
Dissolve the yeast in the water. Mix together the flour, salt, the water and yeast mixture and oil. Mix until it all comes together in a dough. Turn this dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and pliable. This will take 5-10 minutes.
Form the dough in a ball and place it back in the mixing bowl. Cover, and leave to rise for about an hour.
Pre-heat the oven on its hottest setting. Place a pizza stone or thick baking tray inside to warm.
Turn the dough out onto the re-floured surface, and roll out to a thin disc. As you roll, keep turning the dough to make sure it doesn't stick.
Sprinkle some polenta onto a baking tray, and place the pizza base on top. Spread tomato sauce evenly onto the base. Spread the mozzarella slices evenly.
Slide onto the hot pizza stone or baking tray, and cook for about 10 minutes. It's cooked when the dough around the edges is lightly browned and crusty.
Garnish the hot pizza with slivers of Grana Padano, slices of Prosciutto di San Daniele, and rocket leaves.
Recipe for Pizza with Rocket, Grana Padano & Prosciutto di San Daniele commissioned by Grana Padano & Prosciutto di San Daniele. All opinions our own.
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