Pizza Dough

w2 pizza dough

Pizza Dough

Working with yeast and making your own pizza dough seems much scarier than it actually is. Just give it a go and you might surprise yourself. I like to use a good quality unbleached, organic spelt flour for my pizza but any bread flour (with high protein) will give good results. Unbleached tends to look better and the organic thing is just a personal preference. At the very worst, all purpose or ‘plain’ flour will be better than no pizza at all.

enough for 4 medium pizzas:
500g (17oz) bread flour
2 teaspoons fine salt
2 teaspoons yeast
320g (11oz) water
semolina for rolling out your pizza

1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Make a hole in the middle and pour your water into the hole.

2. Stir from the middle, gradually working the flour from the sides into the dough. If it gets too difficult to stir, skip the spoon and use your hands.

3. Turn the dough out onto a clean workspace. Set your timer and knead for 10 minutes. It will be sticky at first but as you work the dough it will stop sticking and become smooth and lovely. If you get bored you can stop earlier but be warned your pizza crust won’t be as light and springy. Resist the urge to add more flour or more water but if the dough is either super sticky or super dry these are options.

4. Lightly flour your bowl and pop the dough back in to rest. Cover with cling wrap or a tea towel.

5. Let the dough rise in a warm place for as long as you can. 2 hours is ideal but if you’ve only got 10 minutes that will have to do. If you need to leave it for more than 4 hours, pop it in the fridge to slow down the yeast so your dough won’t turn to mush.

Leftover Potential?

You can freeze leftover dough. I tend to freeze in one pizza size balls but you could pop the whole lot in. Sometimes I roll out the dough into pizza shapes and freeze so all I need to do is defrost, top and go.

Variations for Serving Sizes

You can easily halve, double or triple this recipe. I usually only use 1/2 the quantity when I’m making pizza for just the two of us.

Variations

different flours – most flour will be fine for pizza making especially ‘bread’ flour. Play around with bleached vs unbleached, organic vs conventional, spelt vs wheat. Will keep you going for years!

flavoured dough – to be honest I prefer to keep my dough more neutral and let the flavours come from the topping, but there’s no reason you couldn’t experiment with chilli or other flavourings in your dough.

gluten-free – I’m afraid I’m yet to come across a good gluten-free pizza dough recipe. I’d recommend trying one of the other menus instead.

Problem Solving Guide

dough too sticky – this is meant to be a sticky dough – try and embrace the stickiness, it will naturally get less sticky as you knead the dough. If it gets too much use a little flour.

dough too dry – if you’re having problems getting the dough to come together, again try and persevere because it can take a while to work the water into the flour but if you’re really struggling, sprinkle a little water over and keep kneading.

can’t find dried yeast? – fresh yeast will do – use twice as much as dried. In Australia dried yeast is available in the supermarket in the flour section. Online bread making supply sites can also help. It lasts for years.

short on time? – double the yeast so it starts working ASAP. Using lukewarm water rather than room temp will also help speed things up. Just don’t make it too hot (see note below) And leave the dough to rise for as long as you can – even 10 minutes will make a difference.

dough not rising – if the yeast is old it may not come back to life (or may take a while). Check the use by date. A way to check your yeast is to sprinkle some on top of a bowl of lukewarm water and leave for 10 minutes. If the yeast is alive it will start to foam and bubble and look lively. If it’s dead you won’t see much action. Yeast is also sensitive to temperature so if it’s too cold it will take much longer to rise. Make sure you use water at room temperature not straight from the fridge and find a warm place to stand your dough. Excess heat is also a problem but it needs to be over 45C (113F) or higher to cause problems. Make sure you don’t use boiling water and it should be fine. I’ve had dough that hasn’t risen and have still make OK pizza from it so don’t stress if you have this problem.

no rolling pin? – either roll the dough using your hands as in the ‘rustic’ method or use a clean bottle – I find wine bottles work really well.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

All ingredients can be kept in the pantry!

Serving Suggestions

Use dough to make pizza as per your favourite recipe.
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie Chau January 3, 2018

Bread rolls made out of pizza dough are light and fluffy

Reply

jules January 8, 2018

Good to know thanks Debbie!

Reply

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