Thom and James Elliot are the brothers by birth, and brothers in pizza. After traveling to Italy together back in 2011, the two bought a Piaggio Ape van and converted it into a mobile pizza oven, bringing a little touch of Napoli to the streets of London. Christening themselves the Pizza Pilgrims, they eventually turned that lauded van into a chain of 16 brick-and-mortar pizzerias, and now they’ve published Pizza, which is not so much a cookbook as it is a 274-page love letter to the world’s most perfect food.
The Elliots write that “Nutella is almost a way of life in Italy,” which means that in addition to all their discussions of pizza within the book, they had to slip in a recipe for a decadent Nutella ring. It’s been one of their bestselling items since Pizza Pilgrims’ days selling pies out of a van, and it’s described in Pizza as “criminally addictive.” As if Nutella could ever be anything but.
Reprinted with permission from Pizza by Thom and James Elliot
- 130g (4 ½ oz.) Neapolitan pizza dough (see recipe below)
- 40g (1 ½ oz.) ricotta
- About 100g (3 ½ oz.) Nutella
- Sea salt
- Vanilla ice cream, to serve
Preheat your oven as hot as it will go. Using your fingertips, stretch out the dough into a long rectangle about 35cm/14in long and 12cm/5in wide.
Using a spoon, spread the ricotta over the dough lengthways in a long line. Then, spoon as much Nutella as you can onto the dough in a long line down the middle of the ricotta. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Fold the dough over itself lengthways so you have a long Nutella parcel, then, using a closed fist, hammer the long edge to ensure a really strong seal on the dough. Bring the ends of the parcel around to create a ring (with the seam on the inside)and press the two ends of dough together, using your fist again to make a strong seal.
Bake until the ring has inflated and the crust is golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Tip: Weigh out all your ingredients before you start.
- 1000g (35 oz.) ‘00’ flour (we recommend Caputo ‘blue’)
- 2g (⅔ tsp.) fresh yeast
- 620ml (21 fl. oz.) tepid water
- 30g (1 oz.) fine sea salt
Make a mountain of flour in the middle of the table. Using your fist, make a deep well in the middle of the flour, exposing the surface of the table (turning your mountain into a moon crater).
Crumble the yeast into the tepid water. Use your good hand to mash up the yeast in the water until it has dissolved. (Keep the other hand dry for taking Instagram photos to show off to your friends.) Fill your crater of flour with a third of the yeast/water mix. Using your fingertips, start making very small circular motions to combine the flour and water.
Start dragging in some more flour to the mix, by “undercutting” the walls of the crater with your fingertips. As you do this the mixture in the middle will become thicker. Once it reaches the consistency of porridge you need to add a bit more water. Don’t let it get too thick; if it starts to form a dough too soon it becomes difficult to incorporate the rest of the water. Keep dragging in a little flour to thicken the mix, then pouring a little bit more water in to loosen it, until you have all the water used up.
Sprinkle the sea salt over the mixture while it’s still very wet to ensure it dissolves and disperses evenly throughout the dough. Now use both hands to push the remaining flour from the outside into the middle. Fold and press the mix until all the flour is absorbed and a dough comes together. If you have a dough scraper it really helps get everything off the table, but you can improvise with a paint scraper, spatula or knife.
Work the gluten by kneading the dough. Use the heel of your hand to stretch out the dough and roll it back up, while the other hand acts like an anchor. You’ll be able to see the strands of gluten stretching, breaking, being put back together and becoming stronger. Continue this for about 8 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and glossy. It should also feel tighter and elastic.
Let the dough have a 10-minute rest to relax the gluten. Cover the dough with a damp cloth or some clingfilm (plastic wrap) to keep the air from drying it out. Then divide your bulk of dough into individual portions. We recommend 230g (8-oz.) dough balls for 10-inch pizzas. Ensure your dough balls are neatly shaped—pinched at the bottom and tight on the top—then place them in a tray or container 3cm (1 in.) apart. Cover with a tight lid or clingfilm (plastic wrap).
Now you can relax. The yeast will take over from here. Leave the dough at room temperature for approximately 6 hours until it expands to almost double its size, then store in the fridge overnight. The next day remove the dough from the fridge for 1–2 hours and bring it back to room temperature before making your pizzas.