Pizza Dough

Once you experience how easy it is to make your own pizza dough and use fresh toppings to create your own favourite pizza, you skip takeaways.

A basic recipe for making pizza at home.

It’s a tricky business to pinpoint were the pizza originated from. The Greeks, the Arabs and of course the Italians all have their own versions. It is also believed that Pizza is another one of those delights that was introduced by Marco Polo after his travels.  In its most simple form Pizza is a dough crust baked with some toppings. The most circulated story is that the modern Pizza was invented in Naples. When the Royal Palace of Capodimonte commissioned the Neapolitan pizza maker Raffaele Esposito to create a pizza in honor of the visiting Queen Margherita. Of the three different pizzas Raffaele created, the Queen strongly preferred a pizza swathed in the colours of the Italian flag: red (tomato), green (basil), and white (mozzarella). Supposedly, this kind of pizza was then named after the Queen.

In a certain way we should be glad that the humble pizza has so many origins. After all when it is up to the Italians, we would not know anything close to Pizza Hawaii or a Meat lovers with BBQ sauce. 

Who connected us?!  I pinched this basic Pizza Dough recipe from “The Naked Chef” Jamie Oliver.

Makes: 4 Medium size pizzas | Preparation: 10 min | Proving & resting time: 1,5 hours | Rolling & Baking: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Strong bread flour, 400 gr
  • Semolina flour, 100 gr + extra
  • Luke warm water, 325 ml
  • Salt, 1 tsp
  • Dried yeast, 7 gr (1 satchel)
  • Honey (or sugar), 1 tbs

 

Making the dough

  1. Add the dried yeast and honey to the luke warm water, mix and left to activate. After a few minutes bubbles should form on top like a cappuccino froth.
  2. For the next step you can choose to use a stand mixer with a dough hook or you can choose to knead the dough by hand.
  3. By Hand: Pile the flour onto a clean surface and make a well in the centre. Pour the water mixture into the centre and slowly start to mix in the flour from the inner edge of the well into the water using a fork or your fingers.  Continue to mix, bringing in all the flour.  Then add the salt. When the dough comes together and becomes too hard to mix with your fork, flour your hands and begin to pat it into a ball. Knead the dough by rolling it backwards and forwards, using your hands to stretch, pull and push the dough. Keep kneading for 10 minutes, or until you have a smooth, springy, soft dough.
  4. With a mixer: Put the flour into your bowl and add the water and yeast mixture. Mix for a minute and add the salt. Keep kneading the dough for around 10 minutes. I usually knead the dough a little further by hand.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or just onto the bench. Cover with clingfilm or a damp towel and leave in a warm place to to prove for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  6. After the dough has proved, divide the dough into 4 equal balls. Flour each ball and cover them with the towel or clingfilm and leave for 30 minutes to rest. This makes it easier to roll the dough.

Rolling 

  1. After the dough has rested it will only take a minute to roll it and start baking.
  2. Dust a clean surface and the dough with a little flour or semolina, and roll it out into a rough circle, about 3mm thick. Or thicker if you prefer.
  3. To bake the pizza you can use a pizza stone or if you do not have a pizza stone you can use a baking tray. 
  4. To prevent the pizza from sticking I sprinkle some Semolina or Polenta on the baking tray/pizza stone. Use a coarse grind semolina, normal flour will not work as well.
  5. With a fork, make little holes in the pizza, this will improve the chance of getting a crispy pizza.
  6. Now you are ready to apply the topping or your choosing and bake the pizzas. Turning your oven on the highest temperature for best results, pizzas should be ready in about 8-10 minutes max. 

 

Notes:

How many; 125 grams of flour makes enough dough for 1 medium thin pizza. You do the maths from here.

Resting; Resting the dough before rolling is an important step. Resting makes it easier to roll the dough

Whole meal flour; You can make pizza with other types of flour like wholemeal or spelt or even rice flour. The pizza will most likely not be as crispy but give it a go if you prefer to try a healthier option.

Salt;  I prefer to add the salt after the water and yeast mixture is mixed with the flour. Adding the salt early could possibly kill the yeast.

 

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