Ingredients

  • For the Dough

  • 700g Strong Flour (like Doppio 00)
  • 2 tbsp activated Charcoal Powder
  • 2 tsp Table Salt
  • 1 tsp Instant Yeast
  • 1 and 3/4 cup Ice Cold Water
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • Polenta or Semolina Flour for baking
  • For the Tomato Sauce

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 1 x 410gm tin of Chopped Peeled Tomatoes
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
  • For the Toppings

  • 2 balls of fior di latte (or soft mozzarella), torn into small shards
  • 150 - 200gm Kerrygold Vintage Cheddar
  • 2 Chicken Breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 1 Red Onion, sliced
  • 200g Mushrooms, thinly sliced

Directions

This pizza dough is adapted from a Napolitana style dough that rests overnight in the fridge. It's incredibly soft and pliable so you won’t need to roll it out. The activated charcoal gives it a dramatic black look, but you can totally leave it out if you prefer a regular blonde version.

The sauce recipe makes enough to coat 3 – 4 medium pizzas very lightly. If you like a lot of sauce, then double the recipe. You can always freeze any leftovers or repurpose into other recipes.

By Sam Linsell (@drizzleanddip)

For the Dough

Make the dough the day before. Sift the flour, activated charcoal, salt and yeast into a bowl or stand mixer. Using a spoon, stir in the ice-cold water and olive oil (or use the paddle attachment on low) until all the ingredients are combined.

Once it has come together, replace it with a dough hook and mix for about 5-7 minutes on medium speed until you have a smooth and elastic dough that clears the sides of the bowl but still sticks to the bottom. The dough should be soft and springy to the touch.

Tip the dough onto a floured surface and, using a sharp knife or pastry scraper, cut it into four equal balls. You could also make six small pizzas which would be easier to handle.

Prepare a baking sheet lined with baking paper and give it a light spritz with olive oil spray (if you have). Gently shape and lift each dough ball onto the baking paper and slip it into a large plastic bag. Ensure the plastic bag has air inside to prevent it from touching the dough. Loosely seal or tuck the plastic bag under the baking pan and store in the fridge overnight.

For the BBQ Chicken

Make the BBQ chicken in advance. Toss the strips with the BBQ sauce and pan fry until golden and cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. This can be prepared the day before too.

Preparing the Bases

Take the dough out of the fridge about an hour before you want to bake it and store it in a warmish place. Preheat the oven to the highest temperature (250°C) and heat a pizza stone in the oven on the lowest third rack (one below the middle). 

It should take between 45min to an hour to preheat the oven and the pizza stone. If you do not have a pizza stone, bake the pizza on the bottom of a turned over baking sheet (but don't preheat it).

The dough is very soft and pliable, and it is difficult to roll. The best way is to flour a surface and your hands and then gently tease out the dough to a more or less round shape. You could place it over your floured knuckles and try to stretch it out that way but that is fairly difficult for a first-time pizza maker.

I find it easiest to place a square of baking paper onto a pizza paddle (peel) and then sprinkle that with polenta (or semolina flour). Then shape the pizza on top of that which ensures it will not stick to the paddle when you slide it onto the pizza stone in the oven.

Once the pizza has been shaped and placed on the pizza paddle, let it rest for five minutes. It should develop a few bubbles on the surface. This relaxes the gluten.

For the Tomato Sauce

Make the sauce while the oven is preheating. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot and saute the onions until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the rest of the ingredients and allow to simmer on a gentle heat for about 30 - 40 minutes. Use a potato crusher to break down any large pieces of tomato.

Set aside for when you are ready to use it.

Final Touches

When you are ready to bake, spread over some tomato sauce, then the mozzarella, the grated cheddar and finally the mushrooms, chicken strips and sliced onions.

Bake the pizza for about 10-12 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the dough has puffed up around the edges.

Serve immediately then make the next pizza.

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