Getting your pizza dough right is the first step to perfecting your pizza making. Yes, you can buy ready made pizza dough but it’s never as good as home made and it’s certainly not as satisfying.
This is what you need:
1 kg strong white bread flour or ‘oo’ flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
14g dried yeast
1 teaspoon golden caster sugar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
650 ml lukewarm water
This is what you do:
In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the lukewarm water and leave for a few minutes until it turns cloudy and starts to froth.
Place the flour into a bowl and make a deep well in the centre. Place the salt to one side of the flour then pour a third of the yeast water mixture into the well. Using your fingers as a mixer, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, pulling larger amounts of flour in and adding more liquid as you go. Keep on going until it is all mixed thoroughly. You know you have the right consistency when you end up with a ball and the sides of the bowl are clear.
Remove from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a good 10 minutes until you have a smooth silky texture.
Place the ball of dough in a large lightly oiled sealable container (take a look at Alfa’s proofing box) and leave for a minimum 1 hour – up to 3 hours or until it has at least doubled in size.
Remove the dough to a lightly dusted surface and knead it for at least a couple of minutes to push the air out – this is called knocking back the dough. You are now ready to go..
Just a few tips I’ve learned along the way..
- Don’t over flour your surface because your dough gets too dry.
- Your finished dough can be kept overnight in the fridge but keep it in a sealable container.
- When rolling out your pizza dough, make sure it is at room temperature. Never roll cold dough.
- If your mixture is too wet add more flour BUT do it very gradually. It is very easy to over flour your dough and it is difficult to get the consistency back.
- Room temperature is fine for proofing dough – let the yeast just do its work.
- Personally, I prefer to do this by hand but you can use a mixer with the right dough attachment. For some reason I find it comes out better by hand and it is very therapeutic!
After a few goes you learn when the dough feels right, practice makes perfect.