As much as we now have a fantastic Wood-fired Pizza place not far from us, I still really love making home-made pizzas from time to time. Making your own pizza dough is a simple and often therapeutic thing to do and so much nicer than any of the ready-made bases found in the supermarket.
I use a fabulous recipe from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall (from his book ‘The River Cottage Family Cookbook’) that is equally as delicious turned into a loaf of bread as it is into pizza bases.
- 500g Strong White Flour (I use Italian 00 Flour)
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Easy Blend/Fast Action Yeast (I actually use 1 Tablespoon)
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Teaspoons Sugar or Honey (I actually use 2 Tablespoons Honey)
- About 300ml Warm Water
Place the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and yeast and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
Add about ¾ of the warm water, along with the oil and honey and use the wooden spoon or your hands to combine. Add more water if required. It should be right on the edge of being sticky… as moist as possible, though without any dough sticking to your hands.
Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes. You should find that around the 8 minute mark, the dough will change in texture and become beautifully silky and smooth. At this point you’ll know that you’re almost there!
Clean the mixing bowl and grease the base and sides with a little olive oil, before the placing the dough within and covering with cling film. Allow to sit somewhere fairly warm, until the dough has risen to at least twice it’s original size (about 2 hours usually).
Punch the dough down to flatten it and separate into 4 equal pieces (or more if you’d prefer lots of mini pizzas). Shape each piece of dough into a rough circle and either use hands or a rolling pin to stretch into large thin bases.
- Add your preferred toppings and bake at very high heat in the oven. I cook mine at about 230°C, though many people/books/websites recommend even higher.
- Bases can be frozen if not all required at once – place a layer of cling film or baking paper between each base and wrap in either a large zip-lock bag or aluminium foil. Keep for up to a month.