This pizza dough recipe is my go to, it’s very simple but with the semolina and olive oil it has such a delicious flavour. Paired with a simple ricotta base and a courgette ribbon salad it is the best way to ring in the new courgette season.
The inspiration for this dish actually comes from my favourite pasta dish from Carluccio’s, their Penne Giardiniera. A delicious pasta with jumbo rigatoni, grated courgette and loads of garlic and chilli. It also comes with these little spinach balls which are flavoured with nutmeg. I make this pasta all the time but thought I would switch things up a little to make a pizza version.
This pizza dough is seriously the best pizza dough ever! As well as tasting delicious it’s a dream to work with as its so elastic and you will be able it get really thin.
Seriously look how thin that crust is!
I actually find it handles best after frozen which is perfect as you can make a couple had keep in zip lock bags in the freezer, ready for whenever you need a pizza fix!
If you are serious about making pizza I highly recommend a pizza stone. We got one as a Christmas present a couple of years ago and it really makes the best pizzas. It’s also great for breads or tarts like my heirloom tomato galette.
The trick is using it properly. By the way this trick also works with just a regular sheet pan (the more heavy duty the better). First you need a really hot oven. Then you need to heat your pizza stone for about half an hour so it can get really hot. Then as soon as you put your pizza on it, the base will start cooking straight away, hence crispy base!
I then prepare the pizza on a sheet of baking paper so I can slide it onto the pizza stone, an upturned baking sheet works great for this if you don’t have a pizza paddle (clearly next on our Christmas wish list).
- 400 grams strong bread flour
- 100 grams fine semolina
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 x 7 gram pack of instant yeast
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 325 ml lukewarm water
- 150 grams ricotta
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 courgettes
- 1 medium red chilli
- 3 garlic cloves
- Small handful parsley
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Pinch of dried chilli flakes
- To make the pizza. In a jug add the oil, sugar and yeast to the water. The water shouldn't to too hot or too cold. I like to start with half a jug of cold tap water and add water from a recently boiled kettle slowly, adding some more cold water if it gets too hot. Mix well and leave for a couple of minutes. In a large bowl, add the flour semolina and salt and mix, making a little well in the centre.
- Slowly add the liquid and using a fork gently mix with the flour, bringing in the flour from the edge of the bowl. As soon as there is no more liquid, spread some flour on your work surface and flour your hands. Tip out the dough and bring everything together. Knead really well for about 10 minutes. It should be stretchy and springy. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave somewhere warm until doubled in size, about half an hour.
- To use, knock the dough back by kneading it a little and divide into four. Either use straight away or place in a zip lock bag in the fridge or freezer.
- Before you shape your dough prepare everything for your pizza. Heat a fan oven to 240 degrees Celsius and either place a pizza stone or sheet pan in the oven to heat up half an hour before you want to use it.
- In a small bowl add your ricotta, a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Mix well to loosen it.
- In a large bowl, using a vegetable peeler or mandolin, peel the courgettes into large ribbons. In a small dish add the remaining olive oil, finely chopped chilli and crushed garlic. Stir well then toss with the courgettes and a generous pinch of salt.
- To assemble the pizza, lay out a large piece of baking paper, this is how we will move the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven. Take your ball of dough and rather than rolling it out, gently stretch the edges using the palms of your hands and rotating the bling paper round. It doesn't have to be a perfect circle. Try to get the base as thin as possible.
- Spread the ricotta over the pizza and add the courgettes to the top, remember they will reduce in volume as they cook.
- Bake on a pizza stone for 7-8 minutes. If you can't get the pizza really thin you may want to take it for about 10 minutes. Either keep an eye on the courgettes in case they burn or add them half way through cooking.
- Serve drizzled with the paprika oil.