Sorry I have been quiet the last couple of weeks. I am not sure where the time is going at the moment. Its just been so busy. This week, I have decided to give you my recipe for what I consider to be perfect pizza dough. I know that there are many recipes for making pizza dough but this is the recipe that has always worked for me. It comes from this cookery book from Good Housekeeping and it is where I always get my bread recipes from. My focaccia recipe from the same book will appear on a post sometime in the summer.
225g strong white bread flour, and extra for putting on surface.
1 packet of dried yeast
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and extra to put on pizza dough.
150ml water water (from the tap – not a hot kettle)
Whatever topping you wants – I used tomato and herb pizza topping sauce, chorizo, ham, cheddar cheese, mozzarella, Parma ham, spring onions and some Italian dried herb mix.
Put all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl, except for your toppings (obvious I know) and 3/4 of the water and mix it together with your hands. Some people say use a fork at this stage but I personally prefer to get straight in with the hands. It should start forming some sort of dough. Add the rest of the water if required (you probably will) and continue mixing until you have some sort of ball of dough forming and all the flour has been mixed in. The dough should be slightly sticky.
Put some flour on a work surface and tip the dough ball out. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until you have a smooth ball and not a lot sticking to your hands. You should be able to poke the dough with your finger and it should bounce back. Remove any excess flour in the mixing bowl and pour a small amount of olive oil in the bottom. Roll the dough around in the olive oil to prevent it sticking to the bowl while it proves and cover the bowl with a damp tea towel (my preferred Italian Mama method) or cling film and leave in warm place for an hour.
Prepare your chosen toppings while the dough is proving and then after an hour get the dough. While it is still in the bowl, punch with your hand a couple of times (not too hard!) to get the air out of it. The amount of dough makes 1 large pizza or 2 smaller pizzas. I am making 2 pizzas. My boyfriend and I like slightly thicker pizzas so I use sandwich tins (round small cake tins), with a tiny bit of olive oil on the bottom to prevent sticking but you can just put the dough on tin foil to have it thinner if you prefer. I don’t use a rolling pin to flatten my dough as I tend to find the dough fights back. I like using my hands to push the dough out, but its up to you.
Preheat the oven to 240 °c and put your toppings on the pizza. Put your pizza in the oven for 10-15 minutes (depending on thickness and how much topping you have on it- may be 20 minutes for a large pizza) and once the dough is cooked (press with your finger to confirm – it should still bounce back a tiny bit and be light brown in colour) and the cheese is bubblying and slightly brown at the edges, your pizza is ready. Cut into slices, eat and enjoy!
Congratulations to Jenson Button on letting us hear the British National Athnem again on Sunday after the Spainish GP. Its been a long since we have heard nearly 5 times in sucession. Keep up the good work! Congratulations as well to Mark Webber who got his first podium of the year. Hopefully it will be the top step next.
I am currently reviewing some foodie related Iphone applications at the moment which will be a blog post in the next couple of weeks or so.