I was expecting a nice cake, some muffins or some such, but was at first terrified at the thought of having to make my own pizza. The biggest challenge was the compulsory tossing of the dough. However, as a new Daring Baker I knew I had to give it a go! And I'm so happy I did. Turns out it's a long process and yet a worthwhile one, no more take away pizza for me!
The recipe takes two days to make, so set aside a weekend and get baking! The dough is freezable, just slip a piece into a ziploc bag with a little oil and flour and put in the freezer (after the overnight step). To defrost, simply remove from freezer the night before you want to make it, and leave in the fridge.
4 1/2 cups strong (00) white flour
1/2 tbsp salt
1 pack instant yeast
1 3/4 cups cold water
1 tbsp sugar
More flour for dusting
1. Weigh out ingredients.
2. Mix flour, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl.
3. Add sugar.
4. Add water.
5. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until it starts coming together as a dough.
6. Knead (by hand or with dough hooks) for 5 to 7 mins.
7. The dough should be sticky, but coming away from the edges of the bowl. If it's too sticky add a tablespoon of flour, if it's too firm add a tablespoon of cold water.
8. Line a pan with greaseproof paper, and a light spray of oil.
9. Flour a work surface, and cut the dough into 6 (or in my case 7!) equal (or in my case not so equal) balls of dough.
10. Place the dough balls on the pan, cover in cling film and place in the fridge overnight.
11. On the day you want to make the pizza, 2 hours before baking, remove the dough from the fridge. It will have risen somewhat.
12. Flour the work surface.
13. Press the dough into a disc about 1cm thick.
14. Cover in cling film and leave to rest for 2 hours.
15. 45 mins before baking, place pizza stone in the oven at 260 degrees Celcius. If you don't have a pizza stone, just preheat the oven. Use the back of a pan, cover in greaseproof paper and sprinkled with flour, to cook the pizza.
16. Toss the pizza dough until it's as thin as you'd like it. Place on a floured pizza peel, or on the pan.
17. Spread some base sauce (see post below for recipe) on the pizza.
18. Place some cheese on the pizza.
19. Add toppings.
20. Transfer pizza from peel to pizza stone, or put pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until base is crisp and cheese has melted.
21. Remove from oven and rest for a minute or two. Cut and serve!
I have to say, this is the best pizza I've ever had. This can also be made as a sweet pizza (which I have yet to try), with fruit, sugar, chocolate etc as toppings.