It’s trivia that everybody already knows, but the history of pizza goes something like this: The Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians were eating bread topped with olive oil and native spices long before the Italians (we now call this focaccia). Eventually, Italy went one step further and evolved this dish into the one we are familiar with – with tomato, cheese, herbs, and other toppings.
James has always had a penchant for making pizza from scratch – base and all. He’s made so many by now, but I’m a big fan of his simple pizzas – topped with just a few select ingredients and let’s never ever forget a sprinkling of basil and some pancetta (or prosciutto)! I find simple, thin-crust pizzas with minimal toppings more photogenic than ones stockpiled with everything under the sun. Also, skinny pizza = healthy pizza… right? HAHAHAHA.
This one was an experiment. I say experiment because at the time of making this pizza, we used our new oven for the first time. It turned out pretty darn awesome, so yeah, I suppose that means our oven works. With any pizza, it’s all about that base (no treble). James made a simple dough this time – just yeast, water, flour, honey and salt. No rising went into the making of this base (we wanted a thin-crust pizza, after all), so the whole thing came together rather quickly.
Thin-Crust Pancetta Pizza with Puréed Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Garlic & Basil
1/2 teaspoon dry baker’s yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
a pinch of sea salt
can of whole tomatoes (approx. 28 oz. / 800 grams)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
pancetta (or prosciutto), thinly sliced
fresh basil leaves
parmesan cheese, to sprinkle
- To make the dough, combine yeast, water and honey in a mixing bowl and leave aside for 10 minutes for the yeast to dissolve and the mixture to become foamy. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- Add flour and salt to the foamy mixture, stir with a stiff spatula until a shaggy, floury dough comes together. Knead for 5-8 minutes. If too sticky to handle, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until dough is easier to work with.
- Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured pizza tray or pizza stone and bake in preheated oven until brown.
- Meanwhile, purée the tomatoes. You can leave them a little chunky.
- Spread the puréed tomatoes over the pizza base, sprinkle thinly sliced garlic, arrange mozzarella and pancetta slices on top.
- Place pizza back in the oven and bake until the mozzarella melts.
- Add basil and parmesan, bake for a few more minutes.
- Slice and serve immediately with a sprinkle of black pepper.
11 thoughts on “Thin-Crust Pancetta Pizza with Puréed Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Garlic & Basil”
Nice looking pizza! Looks delicious too!
What a coincidence! We are having a very similar pizza tonight: thin crust, tomato sauce a la Marcella Hazan, bacon (no pancetta – *sigh*), and some fresh mozzarella. No basil I’m afraid, but if the rest is good, it won’t matter! Buono appetito!
Wow! Sounds absolutely lovely! I hope your pizza turned out great! :)
Honey in your pizza dough? Mmmm…. I must confess that I’ve never heard of this version before. In Italy we normally use “extravergine” olive oil in the dough. As for the topping, I totally agree with you: less is more! :-)
PS BTW, Romans are the ancestors of Italians, so basically pizza evolved within the peninsula. Its predecessor is the “pinsa romana”, which dates back to the Roman Empire. You might be interested in checking this too as it has become quite popular lately again! :-D
I think James was feeling very experimental when he was making the dough – and honey instead of the usual dash of sugar to start the yeast activation process seemed to work!
I’ve just Google’d pinsa romana and I have to say, they look awesome! They look like rustic versions of the pizza we know and love today! :-)
Pinsa is delicious too. I think the process takes a bit longer than usual pizza and the dough is made with a mix of various a less refined flours. It is becoming popular again here.
Oooh that look delicious. I love the vibrance colour of your pizza :)
Thank you, Atika! I love colourful food! The vibrancy makes eating a whole lot more joyful! ;)
This looks so amazing! I’m definitely gonna try your recipe out! Thanks for sharing! :)
Thank you! The great thing about making your own pizza is that you can just add whatever toppings you want! Versatile and oh so yummy! :)
This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it out, I love pizza topped with fresh basil!