Colin McGregor was a “Topgun” pilot in the Royal Air Force for 20 years but retired in 2007. The former fighter pilot, who flew Tornado GR4’s, has always loved planes. His father instilled his interest in flying by taking him and his elder brother, actor Ewan, to air shows from an early age.
Colin actually appeared alongside Ewan in Trainspotting 2 but didn’t have a talking part. In April 2018, to celebrate the centenary of The Royal Air force, Colin and Ewan co-presented the BBC show, “RAF at 100”, taking to the skies in some of the world’s most iconic planes.
Colin McGregor’s Pizza
For the dough (makes 3-4 pizzas)
200ml cold water mixed with100 ml boiling water
7g instant dried yeast
500g “00” flour, plus extra for dusting
For the tomato sauce (makes enough for 8 x 12”” pizzas)
1 x tbsp olive oil
2 x garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
800g canned whole plum tomatoes (we like San Marzano)
2 x heaped tsp sugar
1 x tsp salt
Handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
For the dough
- Mix the boiling and cold water together…This creates the correct temperature for activating yeast. Whisk the salt and yeast into the warm water. If using a mixer, fit the mixer with the dough hook and place the flour in the mixer bowl. Turn the machine on at a low speed and gradually add the yeast mixture to the flour. Once combined, leave the dough to keep mixing to at the same speed for 5-10 minutes, or until the dough is firm and stretchy. Cover the dough with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for around 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- When the dough has roughly doubled in size, divide it into 3 or 4 equal pieces, depending on what size you want your pizzas to be (either 12 inches or 16 inches wide). Place each piece of dough in a separate bowl or tray, cover with cling film and leave to rise for another 30-60 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Kneading and stretching the dough – our top tip is always to start with a perfectly rounded ball of pizza dough as this helps to keep the shape of the pizza base circular during the stretching process. Place the ball on a lightly floured surface, flour your hands and use your fingertips to press the dough into a small, flat disc. Working from the centre, push the dough outwards while spreading your fingers, making the disc slightly bigger. Pick up the pizza dough and gently pinch it all around the edge, allowing gravity to pull it downwards into a circle. Neapolitan-style pizza bases are very thin, so you should be able to see through the base when you hold it up to the light. Take care when doing this – you don’t want it to tear.
- Once the pizza dough is fully stretched, lightly flour your pizza peel and lay the base on it. If at this point you see any small holes in the dough, gently pinch them back together. Once you’re happy with the base, add your toppings and bake in your pizza oven.
For the tomato sauce
- Place the oil in a pan over medium heat. When warm, add the garlic and fry until softened but not brown.
- Pour the can of plum tomatoes in the pan and use a masher or fork to crush them down.
- Add all the remaining ingredients, then simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes, or until the flavour has deepened and the sauce has thickened slightly.
(This sauce can be used straight away, or placed in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to a week, ready to be used as required.)
Add whatever toppings you want then cook in the pizza oven.