Preparation time: 30 minutes
Rising time: 1 1/2 hours–5 hours
Cooking time: 8 minutes
FOR THE DOUGH
5 cups (650 g) all-purpose flour or Italian “00” flour, plus more as needed
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) lukewarm water
1 1/2 tsp. (4 g) active dry yeast for 2-hour rising time, or 3/4 tsp. (2 g) for 5-hour rising time
3 tsp. (18 g) salt
FOR THE TOPPING
7 oz. (200 g) tomato purée
14 oz. (400 g) tomatoes (preferably beefsteak or other ribbed variety), sliced or diced
1 lb. 2 oz. (500 g) buffalo mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch fresh basil
Extra-virgin olive oil
Put flour onto a clean work surface; make a well in the center.
Dissolve yeast in the water.
Gradually incorporate into flour until a loose dough forms; add salt.
Knead dough until smooth.
Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in volume (from 1 to 4 hours, depending on the temperature).
Divide the dough into four portions and roll them into balls.
Let them rise again until again doubled in size (from 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the temperature).
Flour work surface; flatten each ball, starting with your fingertips and progressing to a rotary movement of your hands as the dough gets flatter and wider, into a round about 8 inches in diameter.
Put the rounds on a baking sheet.
Season the tomato purée with salt and a dash of olive oil, and spread it over each dough round.
Top with mozzarella and tomatoes. Bake at 480°F (250°C) for 8 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.
Garnish with the basil leaves.