makes 2 medium pizzas
Try to get your hands on some good quality unbleached, stone ground bread flour if you can. It makes a world of difference. Although if you have to resort to all purpose flour, it won’t be the end of the world.
The real secret to making great pizza at home is getting your oven cranked up and putting your pizza stone on the floor of the oven so it gets as hot as possible.
250g (8.8oz) bread flour
160g (5.6) water
1 teaspoon dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1. Place a pizza stone on the base (floor) of your oven and preheat it on its highest setting.
2. Combine flour, water, yeast and salt in a bowl until the mixture comes together.
3. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for at least 5 minutes, preferably 10. Try to add as little flour as possible.
4. Lightly oil a bowl and pop the dough back in. Cover and stand for at least 1/2 hour but preferably an hour.
5. Divide dough into 2 and roll out on a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin until the pizza is about 25cm (12in diameter).
6. Scatter a pizza peel or baking tray with semolina, if using and top with your chosen ingredients.
You can make the dough up to 24 hours ahead and let it rise, covered in the fridge. Allow it to come up to room temperature an hour before you want to bake.
I prefer to keep my dough plain and let the toppings add the variety.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
unused dough – can be frozen in balls in plastic bags or pre-rolled into pizzas. Just make sure you use paper or foil between the layers to avoid them sticking together.
yeast – will keep in the fridge for months. can be frozen but really there’s no need to take up valuable freezer space.
flour and salt – will keep for months in the pantry.
Problem Solving Guide
dough too sticky – this is meant to be a sticky dough – try and embrace the stickiness. If it gets too much use a little flour.
too charred – next time cook for less time.
crust too soggy – A symptom of underbaking. Next time bake for longer and preheat
crust too crunchy – Sounds like you’ve over baked your pizza. Next time get it out a little earlier.
don’t have a pizza stone? – bake on a preheated baking tray in the middle of your oven on it’s highest setting. It may take a little longer to cook.
Best eaten straight from the oven.
Cold pizza from the fridge – breakfast of champions!
Leftover uncooked dough can be popped in the fridge for a few days before rolling and using.
Or freeze dough and allow to thaw at room temperature when you’re ready to use. If you’re super organised you might like to freeze rolled out dough and cook straight from frozen – will take a little longer in the oven.
back to: The Mastering the Art of Cooking on a Budget Overview Page