My ULTIMATE pizza dough…

This will make enough for one large pizza the way I like it, or two very thin versions more akin to what you get in Zizzi or Pizza Express?

You will need:

150ml tepid water                                                       1 tsp sugar

2 level tsp dried yeast                                               extra-virgin olive oil

225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting             1 tsp salt

How to do it:

Pour the water into a bowl, add the sugar and yeast – whisk with a fork and then leave to stand for 15 mins, until froth develops on the surface.

Meanwhile, sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and then make a well in the flour and pour the yeast mixture into it. Lightly oil your hands (OK, you could flour them, but I prefer olive oil) and work the flour and liquid together until they bind.

Next, sprinkle the counter top with flour and then knead your dough on it for a good 5-10 minutes until you get a soft result. Now you need to release any large air bubbles which will make the pizza uneven (unless you want a real ‘rustica’ – in which case miss this bit out). To do this, gently lift the dough and then punch it down again – repeating the process a few times.

When this is done, divide the dough into two equal pieces (if you’re going for the two pizza option). Roll each into a ball in the palm of your hand and then leave on a floured surface with a damp cloth over them for at least 20 minutes. You’ll know the dough is ready when the balls are soft to touch and not to springy.

Now’s the time to stretch that dough – like a pro pizzaiolo. Re-flour the counter top and give the dough ball a good slap to flatten it. Try not to use your finger tips too much, though. If you can’t get it right, time to bring in the rolling pin!

Time for the topping…

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