To make the poolish, mix the yeast and warm water, making sure that all the yeast has dissolved. Add this to the flour, mix and cover with a tea towel.
Set aside for at least 8 hours. However, this is best left for between 18-24 hours, if you have the patience.* The poolish is ready when it has a bubbly and stretchy texture.
Once the poolish is ready, prepare the pizza dough. In a large bowl, combine the salt and flour and mix. Once again add the yeast to water in a separate small bowl, making sure it dissolves completely.
Mix the poolish and new yeast mixture into the bowl, until a sticky dough forms.
Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for about 10 minutes until soft and elastic. (this is a wet, sticky dough to begin with)
Shape into a ball and place into a pre-greased bowl. Cover with a tea towel and set aside for 1 hour while the dough rises.
Place a pizza stone OR inverted baking pan in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to the highest temperature it could go (e.g mine goes up to 250ºC).**
To make the pizza sauce first fry the garlic with the olive oil over medium heat for about 30 seconds in a large pan.
Add the tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes with a lid on. Add the salt, pepper and sugar and stir for a couple more minutes. Finally, add the oregano, stir well and switch off the heat.
Use some parchment paper or a baking sheet under your pizza in the absence of a big pizza spatula/peel. This is essential when the pizza needs to be transferred quickly to the oven without collapsing. Sprinkle some semolina/polenta (or flour) on the baking sheet.
Roll the dough ball into a big pizza circle (around 20-25 cm/8-10" depending on preferred thickness) for your pizza crust.
Add the pizza sauce, basil leaves, and when you are ready to bake the pizza, make sure the oven is as hot as possible.
Carefully transfer the pizza to the oven and bake for about 9 minutes. If you want to add some mozzarella, do it the last few minutes of baking the pizza.
As soon as you are happy with the look of the pizza, take it out of the oven. Optionally, you could now drizzle with a little bit of an infused olive oil such as chilli oil or garlic oil - however, this is not necessary at all.
Your pizza is now ready to enjoy!
*Poolish preparation: if you are using dry yeast, leave it outside the fridge. If you are using fresh yeast, then place it in the fridge.
**Preheating the oven: it's important that the baking tray/pizza stone is inside the oven while it is heating up.
If you've made enough dough for multiple pizzas then once risen, it can be portioned and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Simply remove from the fridge a couple of hours before baking.