We make pizza from scratch every Sunday. We make a large quantity so that we can use the rest during the week or bake bread with it if we need to. Feel free to halve the recipe if it's too much. You can also use entirely white flour if you prefer.
Making pizza dough is actually quite easy. It's even easier if you have a food processor with a kneading attachment (most do).
Pizza dough is characterised by strong development of the protein in the dough so that it's springier (strong enough to trap air) and won't tear apart as easily when it's stretched. The strength of the protein in the flour is increased the longer and harder it is kneaded/ worked. This is a feature of gluten containing flours only (wheat, rye, barley).
Because pizza dough relies on strong protein development you can probably guess why high protein flour is used. Here in Melbourne it's really easy to find high protein flours in markets and delis thanks to the large Italian community. Just check the nutrient panel for at least 11 grams of protein per 100g.
Preparation Time: 20-40 minutes
Resting Time: At least 3 hours
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 10 plus
Place your water, sugar and yeast in a jug/ small bowl to activate the yeast. I've noticed that fresh yeast doesn't produce too many bubbles, but, dried yeast tends to bubble a lot. So don't worry if you're fresh yeast doesn't look like it's doing much.
Dry yeast will produce bubbles when left in a warm area for around 10 to 20 minutes
Combine the flours and salt in a large bowl.
If you are using your hands, make a well in the centre and pour your yeast mixture into the middle. Mix with a spoon until it comes together. Then use your hands to fully combine. Turn onto a clean, floured surface and knead for at least 20 minutes. If you aren't sure about kneading or need a refresher, this clip might help click here
If you are using a food processor, insert the kneading attachment. Use scales to divide the flour in half and place into the bowl. For most machines, the entire quantity will be too much. Turn the machine on and slowly pour in half of the liquid, ensuring that you stir it before pouring to evenly distribute the yeast. There is enough liquid when the dough has come together into a ball. Leave to knead for about 2 - 3 mins. Remove the dough and repeat with the remaining flour and liquid.
Now return the dough to the large bowl, slather with olive oil and cover with a clean, damp cloth. Place in a warm spot so that the yeast can ferment and create air in the dough. Yeast works best at 37 degrees celsius. Please note that any temperature above 40 degrees celsius and the yeast may die. With out the yeast, your dough will not rise.
Once it has risen or doubled in size, you can form the base of your pizza. How much you use depends on how many serves you want, how thin you want it etc. 300 grams will cover the base of a large pizza tray and will be quite thin.
An easy way to create the base is to roll the dough into a ball then flatten it into a circle. Flatten and expand it as much as you can with your hands, then place it in the middle of a well oiled pizza tray and press out from the centre with your fingers.
Once you have your toppings, place in a very hot oven (we use 275 deg. celsius) and it is done in 10 minutes.