Perfect pizza dough
( MAKES 4 )
Over many years of making pizza I have found that a really hot oven and a dense pizza stone-type cooking base are needed to deliver a crispy, puffy crust. Be sure to check the use-by date on the yeast as once it has expired it stops working. You can make the dough a day or two in advance and chill it – the slow rise gives it a puffier texture when cooked. It freezes well so I often make double and freeze the rest in single portions.
- Place water and sugar in a large mixing bowl or an electric mixer with a dough hook and stir to dissolve.
- Sprinkle yeast over the top and allow to stand in a warm place for 10 minutes.
- Mix in flour, oil and salt until evenly combined, working to form a soft dough.
- Knead on a lightly floured surface (use as little flour as possible) or with the dough hook for 5 minutes until smooth and a little sticky. I often throw the dough onto the bench several times to get the gluten working.
- Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean teatowel and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (30-40 minutes).
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, roll into a log shape and cut into 4 even pieces. Roll into balls and leave to rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 240°C fanbake and cut baking paper to fit 4 pizza stones or oven trays. Place pizza stones or oven trays in the oven to preheat.
- Place baking paper on the bench and roll out a ball of dough on top of each to form a rectangle about 35cm x 28cm. Add toppings (see below) then slide, still on the baking paper, onto the preheated pizza stones or oven trays. Bake until base is golden and crispy (10-12 minutes).
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