(Each base is technically for one, but it’s great sharing food)
1. Scrape a dough ball out of its container using a spatula and as much flour as you need to ensure it doesn’t stick. The rounder the dough ball comes out, the rounder the final pizza base.
2. Put the dough ball onto a well-floured surface (honestly, if you are going to get serious about pizza making, get used to having flour play a large part in your life).
3. Using your fingertips, press out the dough ball firmly, starting at the centre and working out to the edge. Ensure you leave a centimetre around the rim of the pizza untouched.
4. Turn the dough ball over and repeat the pressing out process on the other side.
5. Using the palm of your hand, do one firm push in the centre of the dough ball to ensure the thickness of the base is consistent (not counting the raised edges).
6. Take the newly flattened dough ball on the back of your hands, ensuring the weight is on your knuckles and that your fingertips and nails are not going to poke a hole in the dough.
7. Using the back of your hands, stretch the dough out as far as you can without tearing it (now there’s a challenge). Turn the dough through 90 degrees and repeat this stretching. Do this a few times.
8. You should now have a disc of dough around 10 inches in diameter, consistently thin but with a slightly thicker rim. We are ready to cook.
The fact of the matter is that the conventional oven you find at home will never be able to make a great Neapolitan pizza, even if the best pizza chef in the world was in charge of it. Most domestic ovens will only reach 250.C tops, and this is nowhere near the 500.C you would find in a domed pizza oven. Luckily, there is a simple technique to try at home that uses equipment you will definitely have, unless you are a student. This method recreates the intense heat of a domed pizza oven and will put your conventional oven efforts to shame. The key thing to remember is the ‘less is more’ mantra of any Neapolitan pizzeria – too much cheese will result in a soggy, greasy mess.