Thursday, 2 February 2012

How To - Pizza Dough

There are heaps of pre-made pizza bases available at your local supermarket, in varying degrees of taste and quality, but I've always felt it is satisfying to make your own from scratch.  To be honest, I do buy pre-made pizza bases every now and then when I want a quick meal but it's just not the same.  This pizza dough can be frozen for up to three months so I've decided to make a double batch (enough for 6 bases) so I always have some at hand.  Oh, and one other thing, making your own pizza dough is A LOT cheaper. 

What you'll need: 
  • 4 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 7g yeast
  • pinch sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 50mL olive oil, plus extra to brush
  • 1 small bowl
  • 2 large bowls
  •  a fork
  • pastry brush
  • a round-bladed knife
  • Clean, dry work surface
  • Cling wrap

Step 1 - Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, make a well in the centre and set aside.
Step 2 - Combine yeast, sugar and warm water in the small bowl, lightly whisk with a fork and set aside for 5 minutes until foaming.  Add yeast mixture to the flour along with the oil and use the round-bladed knife to combine, using cutting motions.  
Step 3 - When mostly combined, use your hands to form into a ball and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Knead for 10 minutes. 
Step 4 - Brush the other large bowl with olive oil and place the kneaded dough into the bowl. Brush top and sides of the dough with olive oil, cover bowl with cling wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for at least 30 minutes, until dough has doubled in size.
Step 5 - Preheat oven to 230°C.
Step 6 - Cut dough into three equal portions.  Roll out to desired size and thickness on a lightly floured surface.  Transfer base to a lightly greased pizza tray/stone and top with desired toppings.
Step 7 - Bake for 12-15 minutes, until base is crispy.  


This recipe makes 3 bases.

If freezing bases, wrap individual portions well in cling wrap at Step 6 and freeze.  Dough can be frozen for up to 3 months.  To thaw, remove from freezer 24 hours prior to use and defrost in fridge.  Two hours before use, remove from fridge and set aside to allow to come to room temperature.  Continue from Step 6.

For something a bit special, infused oils, herbs or even finely shredded cheese can be added to the dough.  Infused oils should be added in place of olive oil whereas cheese and herbs should be kneaded into the dough.

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