Trust me, once you have made your own pizza dough you won’t want to go back to shop bought! It is a bit of effort but it is pretty easy once you know how and the results are so worth it.
I had never made a pizza dough like this before we built our pizza over but I knew I would be making my own as soon as I had it. I have tried and tested many versions and this one is my favourite. I can always count on it to create the most perfect crispy, fluffy, light pizza bases.
For about 6 good sized pizzas you’ll need:
- 800g strong white bread flour and extra for dusting
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 x 7g sachets of dried yeast
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 650ml lukewarm water
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- A few handfuls of semolina flour
Start by adding your yeast and sugar into the warm water and give it a stir. Add in the olive oil.
Measure out your flour adding in the salt and pile it onto a clean work surface. Make a well in the middle and pour in some of the yeast water – probably about 1/4 at a time.
Bring the flour from the sides of the water well and mix in together. I like to use my hands for all of it, but you can use a fork for this bit if you prefer. Add in your next glug of water and mix and continue doing this until you’ve used all your water and it has all come together into a large ball of dough.
Knead the dough by firmly rolling back and forwards, stretching, pulling and pushing the dough for TEN MINUTES! Use a timer and don’t give up. Your arms will ache, it will feel like a lifetime but it really is worth it.
Lightly grease a large bowl with oil and place your lovely dough ball in, covering the top with cling film. Put in a lovely warm space for 1 hour to proof.
I cheat and make my own ‘airing cupboard’ by preheating the oven at its lowest temperature whilst I am making the dough. I then turn the oven off before putting the dough in to proof. It should double in size, growing up over the top of the bowl so make sure it isn’t going to hit the top of the oven if you do this.
Get your amazing dough out, and ‘knock it back’ which basically means squish it all down together. If you are short on time you are ready to go but I like to cover it again and leave it for a while longer.
Once you are ready to use, lightly dust your surface with flour and use a knife to section your dough in to equal parts.
Spread semolina onto the work surface and lay down your first dough ball. The idea here is for the semolina to only be on the bottom of the pizza base. It make it wonderfully crisp but also acts as a brilliant lubricant to get your pizza off the worktop and in to the pizza oven.
I begin by use a rolling pin and a light dusting of flour to get the dough rolled out – then once it doesn’t seem to stretch much more I use my fingertips to gently stretch it a bit further, feeling for any thicker areas and getting it in to the shape I want. Careful not to go too thin and make a hole.
And there you have it. time to load it up. When cooking, make sure your oven is HOT – we get ours to 400 /450 degrees celsius and the pizzas cook in about 4 or 5 minutes. They are wonderfully light, crispy and fluffy. If the oven isn’t hot enough and they take longer to cook the dough will start to get tough.
You can red more about how we built our pizza oven here.