6/27/2012 03:00:00 AM

Franco Manca's 5 Top Tips for Making Perfect Pizza

Pizza is very definitely one of those foods that most of us will happily leave to the professionals. If, however, you're feeling inspired to try it yourself, we thought we'd get some top tips from the experts to help you out.

Giuseppe Mascoli is the owner of Franco Manca, arguably one of the pioneers of what has now become the foodie haven of Brixton Village Market. With two further pizza parlours now open in Chiswick and Stratford, there's not a lot this man doesn't know about perfect pizza. Here then are his five golden rules…


1. Use as much water as possible
A wetter mix works better for pizza so use as much water as possible in the mix. I would suggest about 1 kg of strong flour, 600g water and 60 g of oil.

2. Let it ferment for a long time
Long fermentation is one of the keys to the perfect base so try to ferment the dough for about 20 to 24 hours (you will need less the 1 g of dry yeast per kg of flour to do this).

3. Let it ferment for a long time (again)
No, this isn't a typo, after the dough has spent 20-24 hours fermenting, shape it into balls and leave them to rise again for about 4 hours.

4. Keep the base quite thick
Be wary of making your pizza base too thin, you may have to experiment to get it just right but a base that's too thin will dry out very quickly in a domestic oven and become biscuity.

5. Use a terracotta tile or pizza tile
As most homes don't have a wood-burning stove and the associated hot temperatures, it can be hard to get your pizza crisp without overcooking the toppings. So use a pre-heated tile and the oven at full blast to speed up cooking and get the result you want.

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