Simple steps to making restaurant quality pizza at home

Takeaway and restaurant pizza can be pretty good, especially when cooked in a searingly hot, wood-fired oven.

Pizza perfection

Strong Italian 00 flour, or pizza flour, is the best flour to give a crisp, light crust with lots of big, airy pockets. It's very finely ground and the Italians love it for pasta-making too.

The best flour to use

Pizza dough consists of just four ingredients – flour, yeast, water and salt. It's by working and kneading the dough that the gluten protein in the flour expands and stretches

Making dough

Leaving enough time for the dough to rise will give it a better structure and improve the flavour.

Allow the dough to rise

Once the dough is ready to shape into pizzas, it will be stretchy and pliable, so you can pull it into shape with your hands.

Rolling out the dough

A fresh tomato sauce for pizza needs a specific type of cooking tomato, namely San Marzano. They have thick skins and flesh, and contain much less water than salad tomatoes

Sauce: fresh tomatoes

There's nothing wrong at all with using tinned tomatoes for the sauce. However, buy Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano.

Sauce: tinned tomatoes

For a speedy, easy sauce, try using passata – tomato sauce which has been strained of its skin and seeds.

Sauce: passata

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