Pizza Dough

It’s really easy to make your own pizza dough, especially if you use an electric

mixer to mix and knead the dough. The secret to a good pizza is to roll the

dough out as thinly as possible and to cook your pizzas in a very hot oven.

If you haven’t got an outdoor pizza oven, get your oven as hot as you can;

I also recommend dry-frying the pizza bases before topping and baking them

to help give you a crisper base, as described below.



Makes 4 bases


Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour

  • 60g sourdough starter

  • 7g fine salt

  • 5g fast-action dried yeast

  • 20g caster sugar

  • 30ml olive oil, plus extra for oiling

  • 270ml water


Method


1. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix together, using one hand or a

wooden spoon, to combine the mixture until you have a soft dough that comes

together as a ball. Tip the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead

well for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Alternatively, use an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook to mix and knead the dough, allowing 2 minutes on a slow speed and 7 minutes on medium.


2. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with a large plastic bag and leave to

rise for at least 2 hours, ideally 3–4 hours if you have time.


3. Tip your risen pizza dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into

four 200g pieces. Flatten down each piece then fold it over and place in a cage

formed by your cupped hand on the work surface. Move your hand in a circular motion to roll each ball lightly but firmly into a smooth, taut ball. Leave the balls to rest on the floured surface covered with a roomy plastic bag, to prevent them from drying and cracking, for about 30 minutes.


4. Roll out and stretch each ball of dough on a lightly floured surface to a thin

circle, 25–30cm in diameter.


5. If you are using an outdoor pizza oven, you can top the bases now with your

chosen ingredients and bake them in the intense heat for 1–1ó minutes.


6. To dry-fry pizza bases If you are using the oven in your home kitchen, I suggest dry-frying the bases before topping and baking them. Heat up a large frying pan over a high heat, then place one of the dough rounds in the pan and cook for 1 minute on each side so it takes on some colour. Transfer to a plate and repeat to dry-fry the other pizza bases. Pile them on top of one another to keep them soft as you cook the rest. The dry-fried bases can be frozen, if required.



Taken from Paul Hollywood’s BAKE, published by Bloomsbury

Photograph © Haarala Hamilton