Making Pizza Dough

This recipe for pizza dough makes two large round 14″ pizzas. I’ve been using this recipe for years. However, in the past year, I have nailed the thin crust restaurant-style base in a conventional oven by changing two things. 1 is doing a double prove on the dough and the second is part-cooking the base at 220˚C for 10 minutes using baking beads before any sauce or topping is added. If you don’t have a pizza tile or specific pizza oven. This really makes a difference. I know people find when they make a pizza at home it tends to puff up. So getting the thin crust can be tricky in a home kitchen. If you want a soft crust, then by all means skip using the beans or part-baking. By doing a part bake, you can prep the dough base ahead and have everything ready to pop in the oven when you need it. I also use a dough hook now, however you can knead by hand. A good 10-minute hand knead at the beginning and 5 minutes before the second prove should do the job. The length of time can also vary on proving depending on the heat in your kitchen. Here in the Med it can be very hot in summer but damp in winter so the time for proving varies drastically. Once the dough has doubled in size, it’s good to go. Generally, that’s about 1-2 hours. Personally, I just make the dough forget it and come back to it later, give it a wallop back, quick knead and leave it again till I’m ready to roll it out to part bake. It’s so easy. Thanks to Brett Jordon for the lovely photo!

Ingredients:

  • 450g “OO” or strong plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus extra for oiling bowl)
  • 12g fast action yeast
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • large pinch of salt
  • 250ml tepid water
Pizza dough after proving.

Method:

  • Dissolve the yeast and honey in the tepid water and leave to stand until the yeast begins to bubble and foam. About 10 minutes.
  • In your mixer or large bowl, put the flour oil and salt. Give a little stir. Then once the yeast is ready switch on your dough hook and pout in the liquid. If hand kneading, make a well in the centre and bring the mixture into a ball, kneading until you have a smooth dough ball. The dough will have a silky smooth feel to it.
  • Lightly brush a clean bowl with olive oil, and pour some on your hands. Picking up the dough, lightly cover it in oil before placing it into your bowl. Cover with a damp cloth, cling film, or lid and leave to rest until it doubles in size. About 1-2 hours depending on the heat in your kitchen. If your kitchen is very cold and damp, you can heat your oven to 170C, turn it off and place the covered bowl in that to provide a warm place to rise.
  • After it has risen, punch it back and knead for about 5 minutes either by hand or with your dough hook. then repeat the resting process in the bowl lightly brushed with oil for another hour or until it had once again doubled in size.
  • Preheat your oven to 220˚C (fan) oven. Half the dough, and roll out thin to the shape of your tin or tray. Dust the tray with flour so it doesn’t stick. Pierce your rolled dough with a fork a couple of times before par-baking in the oven for 10 minutes using baking beads on parchment to keep the dough flat. Repeat with the second pizza dough.
  • When you are ready to make your pizza, top with sauce, grated cheese, your favourite topping and finish off in the oven at 215˚C (fan oven) for 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

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