Crusty Pizza Dough
One of the easiest but most popular things I make reguarly is pizza. It’s extremelly easy to make and your kids will love it as well as the most discerning dinner guests. The base can make or break the pizza and I have tried many different recipes and have come up with my own that I believe is the best.
300g strong bread flour
1tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil plus extra for drizzling
7 fl oz or ¾ cup warm water
If you have a mixer with a dough hook then that’s ideal but if not you can easily make the dough by hand, it’s just a little messy.
Put the flour into the bowl along with the salt. Measure out the warm water making sure it’s not too hot but just warm to the touch. If it’s too hot then it will kill the yeast. Add the yeast to the water and stir a little. Put the water and yeast to one side for about 2-3 minutes then add to the flour. Turn on the mixer or use your hand to mix everything together. Once the dough starts to form a ball and has cleaned the sides then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for a further 5 minutes. If you have a mixer with the dough hook then you can let the machine do the kneading but in my experience the dough turns out much better if you knead by hand. The dough should be nice and smooth after 5 mins.
Put the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl. Roll the dough around to lightly coat in the oil then cover the bowl with cling wrap. Put to one side for around an hour or until more than doubled in size. It’s not essential to prove the dough if you want a thin crust.
Make the base: Put the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt. Make a well, pour in 200ml warm water and the olive oil and bring together with a wooden spoon until you have a soft, fairly wet dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and set aside. You can leave the dough to rise if you like, but it’s not essential for a thin crust.
Turn out the dough onto a flat surface and either roll out into a circle with a rolling pin or your hands. Once you’ve acheived the right size then transfer onto your pizza stone that has been lightly dusted with corn meal. Top with your favourite toppings – see my recipe for pizza.
A little note about the type of flour you use. It is ok to use all purpose flour, especially if you’re doing a thin crust. If you want a thicker, doughier crust then you’ll need the bread flour.
You can add a little sweatener to the dough as well. I like to use a tablespoon of honey sometimes. Add the honey to your warm water and yeast, the yeast will love it! You can add more honey if you like, especially if you’re making a dessert pizza.