pizza guy – pizza dough

I have referenced this You Am I song before under the guise of pasta guy. But decided to reference again in its true form.

Why make your own dough I hear you ask? When making your own dough you can make the type of pizza you like to eat (thick or thin), you don’t feel as bloated, the pizza tastes fresher and you get the satisfaction of making the pizza from scratch, which I think makes you enjoy it more. It is also a fun thing to do with a group of friends or family.

Cass and I have been waiting for a long time to make some ‘zas again. We cook the base on the webber and so it doesn’t make much fun for winter time. We have made this dough in the oven, and it tastes yum, but the webber just adds that extra coal-y taste and crunch. Cass and I both like a thin base and go easy on the cheese- means you can eat more pizza doesn’t it?

Anyway, with the weather at a sunny 18 degrees this Saturday we locked it in. Friday night I prepared the dough. This isn’t necessary, but if you have the time, it’s nice to do once in awhile; I am not gluten intolerant by any means, but I do notice a difference when we prepare the dough the night before and the yeast has time to do it’s magic, compared to an 1-2 hours beforehand. When I eat pizza with dough made 24 hours beforehand I definitely feel lighter the next day.

‘Zas also make a good entertaining food. Cass and I will make the dough, pizza sauce and buy a selected amount of toppings and when our friends come over we all take turns in rolling the dough out, creating toppings and cooking on the webber. I usually make about 2-3 batches of this dough if we have 12+ coming over. If there is leftover, just form into a loaf shape, rest for 20 minutes in it’s shape, and cook on the webber/oven for 15-20 mins – should make a hollow sound when you tap the base with a fist – and you’ve got yourself a loaf of bread. This is usually eaten by myself and some of our guests who are partial to a lot of bread and butter at about 2am. Good times….

dough

Prepare the night before if you get a chance.

If you are making the recipe to sit for 24 hours, a dry spot is fine for resting the dough.

 

This will make 8-10 small pizzas.

265g plain flour

265g wholemeal flour

½ tbs salt

about 2 tsp fresh yeast (I had old yeast, so used about 4 tsp)

1 ¼ cups of luke warm water

semolina or polenta for rolling out (optional)

by hand:

In a large bowl, or on a clean surface, add the flours and yeast. Mix with your hands to combine.
Add the salt. Mix with your hands to combine.
The reason you add the salt once the yeast has been mixed through the flour is because the salt will affect the rising reaction of the yeast – thanks Cass.
Make a well in the centre.
Slowly, and bit by bit, add the water. I would add half, bring together with my hands, add the next quarter, bring together with my hands, and then add the final quarter and bring together with my hands. Knead.

kneading the dough:

in the bowl:

One hand in the bowl using the heel of your palm. Press down, scoop up, put down, press down, scoop up, press down.
Repeat this process for a few minutes, or until the dough comes together and springs back when pressed with a finger – smooth and elastic. You may need to add more water, or if too sticky, add a tiny bit of flour and mix. It’s okay if it’s a bit sticky. I ended up adding 2 extra tbs of water. Scroll to resting the dough.

on the bench:

Flour your bench and place the ball of dough down.
To knead you press on the edge of the dough closest to you with the heel of your palm, then you scoop up the dough with your fingers from the edge furthest away from you, bring the dough up slightly into the air and slap the dough down (so it moves away from your hand and lands on the kitchen bench) with your hand (your hand would be in the position of Spiderman. releasing his finger web to do so). With the dough back on the bench, repeat the process for a few minutes, or until the dough comes together and springs back when pressed with a finger– smooth and elastic. You may need to add more water, or if too sticky, add a tiny bit of flour and mix. It’s okay if it’s a bit sticky. I ended up adding 2 extra tbs of water. Scroll to resting the dough.

resting the dough

Place the dough in a bowl (if it’s not in one already) and chuck a clean towel over the top. Leave in a warm spot. By a sunny windowsill is good. If it’s winter or cold night, leave in a sink filled with warm water (make sure you check the water every 5 mins or so to make sure it’s still warm) or by the fire or heater. Leave for about 1-2 hours  or until about doubled in size. If leaving for 24 hours, put a clean tea towel over the top and leave in a dry place.

in a Kitchenaid or something similar (using a dough hook):

Add the flours, followed by the yeast. Mix to combine.
Add the salt. Mix to combine.
The reason you add the salt once the yeast has been mixed through the flour is because the salt will affect the rising reaction of the yeast – thanks Cass.
With the mixer on, slowly, and bit by bit, add the water. Keep mixing to go through the kneading process.
Stop mixing once the dough springs back when touched – it should be smooth and elastic. You may need to add more water, or if too sticky, add a tiny bit of flour and mix. It’s okay if it’s a bit sticky. I ended up adding 2 extra tbs of water. It’s not necessary, but to get a feel for the dough, you can also give a quick knead with your hands in the mixer bowl using the heel of your palm. Press down, scoop, press down, scoop.

resting the dough

Place the dough in a bowl (if it’s not in one already) and chuck a clean towel over the top. Leave in a warm spot. By a sunny windowsill is good. If it’s Winter or cold night, leave in a sink filled with warm water (make sure you check the water every 5 mins or so to make sure it’s still warm) or by the fire or heater. Leave for about 1-2 hours  or until about doubled in size. If leaving for 24 hours, put a clean tea towel over the top and leave in a dry place.

final steps (regardless if dough was made by hand or in a mixer):

Flour your bench. Divide the dough into 8-10 equal portions and roll into balls. Press one down into a round shape and flour both sides. Using a floured rolling pin or large glass, roll out the dough from the middle out to make a circle shape. Keep flipping the dough over as your roll, so you end up rolling it from both surfaces. Stop when it is about 2-3 mm thick. This will form your first base.

Dust a small handful of semolina or polenta on a large board. Sit your rolled out base on top and move it around to coat the underside with the semolina or polenta. This prevents it from sticking when you add the sauce to the top.

You are then ready to add the pizza sauce and desired toppings.

Dust a small handful semolina or polenta onto your stone or oven tray and transfer the base over.

Each time you cook a new pizza, scrape off the old semolina or polenta and dust more on your tray or stone.

Advertisements

4 Comments Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s