Basic Pizza Dough


Children love playing with dough and my daughter is no exception. They also love pizza. Why not combine both of those and make your own pizza. Its easier than it might sound produces excellent results. We make our dough at home using fast acting yeast and after kneading the dough and while we let it rest for the rising I give a little dough to my daughter to play with. This keeps her occupied while the yeast does its magic. You can make your pizza dough the traditional way by just using white bread flour or mix its with wholemeal flour if you wish. I have played around with the flour mixture many times but have settled for the following amount. The amount below makes three or four medium sized pizzas.

Strong White Flour (Bread Flour) = 350 grams
Wholemeal Flour = 100 grams
Extra Virgin Olive Oil = 1 tablespoon
Salt = A pinch
Fast Action Dried Yeast = one 7 gm packet
Lukewarm water = 350 ml (this might vary depending on the type of flour, sometimes the wholemeal flour might require a slight bit more water. Best thing is to start with about 325 ml of water and then add a bit more if required)

In a large mixing bowl shift in the flour. Add the yeast and salt to it. Make a well in the middle and add the olive oil and the water . Slowly using a spatula or your fingers bring in the flour from the outside into the liquid in the middle. Keep mixing till it kind of comes together. Now pour it over a floured work surface and using a floured hand knead the dough well stretching as you go along. Do this for about 10 mins until you have a very smooth and elastic dough. Form into a ball and keep covered in a floured mixing bowl covered with a damp cloth for about an hour or so until it has doubled in size. Now gently tip out the dough from the bowl onto a floured work surface. Using your fist gently knock out the air from this dough. Now divide this mixture into 3 or 4 portions. Dust with a bit of flour on top. Form the individual portions into a smooth tight ball using circular motion of the palm of your hand. These dough balls can be used straight away or can be stored in the fridge (it will still grow, but slowly) or in the freezer (freeze them as quick as you can and it will stop the growing process).image

ps. I use semolina at this stage. Dust a bit of semolina on the work surface and place this dough ball on. Now dust a bit of semolina and flour mixture on top and roll the dough out. The semolina does a better job of making sure that the dough do not stick to the work surface and the cooking stone or plate and also gives the final pizza a nice crunch.