Homemade pizza dough
Can you smell it yet? That rich bready smell that wafts through the air as scorching heat gradually transforms it into a crisp golden hue of forbidden deliciousness…
Can you hear it yet? The shove of the peel as it slides effortlessly under the golden circle; the crackling of the crust as the cutter scratches against it in a bid to pry the circle apart to form slices that will ooze of cheesy delight as you pick it up…
Can you taste it yet? Probably not. You’ll have to make it first!
Here’s how to make 6 medium pizzas:
1 kg white bread flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
14 g dried yeast (2 x 7g sachets)
1 tablespoon caster sugar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
650 ml lukewarm water
- Start by sifting the flour and salt and make a well in the middle.
- Pour the water into a jug and gently mix in the yeast, sugar and olive oil. Leave for a few minutes until the yeast makes the mixture froths. Once it is frothy, pour into the well.
- Use a fork to gradually bring the flour in from the sides and mixing it into the liquid until it comes together.
- Tip the dough onto a (clean!) lightly dusted surface and knead until you have a smooth dough. My grandmother used to say: knead until your hands are clean, meaning that you shouldn’t add more flour otherwise the final product will be too heavy!
- Place the ball of dough in a large (clean) flour-dusted bowl. Cover the bowl with some cling film (I use a disposable shower cap!) and place in a warm spot for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
- Once risen, tip the dough onto a flour-dusted surface and gently push the air out with the palm of your hand. If you skip this step of knocking the dough the end result will be flat and chewy and not pleasant to eat at all.
- Divide the dough into 6 little balls if you want medium pizzas or 4 if you want large pizzas.
- Roll the dough out into rough circles. I like fairly thin pizzas so I roll mine to about 0.5cm thick. Place the circles on greased-and-floured baking trays.
Now you are free to make your creations!
I love making my own tomato sauce (recipe to follow next Wednesday!) and piling things like buffalo mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, sliced olives, feta cheese and crispy bacon. Don’t forget the fresh avocado if they’re in season!
You can freeze any leftover dough in portions – ready for those impromptu pizza nights in.
Let me know what you favourite toppings are in the comments below…
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