It is easy to buy pizza bases, but there is nothing quite as satisfying as making a good pizza dough yourself – and it can save you money. This dough recipe is simple to make and uses easy blend yeast to keep time and fuss involved to a minimum.
* 2 cups of strong, plain flour – ideally type 0 or 00
* 1 sachet of easy-blend dried yeast
* 1/2 teaspoon of salt
* 3/4 cup of tepid water
* 2 tablespoons of olive oil
You will also need:
* A large bowl
* A large spoon
* A flat surface or large chopping board
* Flour, for dusting the board
* A clean tea-towel
* A little more olive oil
* A rolling pin
In the large bowl, mix the flour, salt and yeast together. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix, and slowly add the water and oil to it. Using the large spoon, slowly draw the flour mix into the wet ingredients until you have a rough dough.
With your hands, rub the dough in the bowl to make sure you’ve picked up all the flour in the mix, and then transfer to a lightly floured board. Use your hands to knead the dough for about ten minutes, until it feels smooth and supple.
Pour a little olive oil into the bowl you used for mixing the dough, and then roll the dough in it until it is coated. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm, dark place for an hour, until the mixture has doubled in size.
Transfer the dough back to the floured board, knead again for a minute or two, and then use the rolling pin to roll out for your base of choice.
When rolled out, this dough will make two thin and crispy pizza bases, or one thick, fluffy base, and is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Cook the base on a large pizza pan or baking tray at 220 degrees Celsius. It will take around 20 minutes for the base to cook, depending on toppings.
Vegans could try pizza Marinara:
Thin and crispy with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and oregano on top, Vegetarians might opt for a thick base topped with tomatoes, vegetarian mozzarella, char-grilled Mediterranean vegetables, olives, olive oil and basil.
Meat eaters could make a basic Margherita topping of tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and olive oil, and then add ham, mushrooms, and olives.
If you want to boost the flavour of the base, you could try adding dried herbs, garlic or chillies to the other dry ingredients before mixing the dough together.
For a stuffed crust pizza, roll the base out to be larger than your pizza pan or baking tray, line the edges with cheese and fold the crust back over on itself.
Brush a little more olive oil around the edge of the crust just before serving, and top with freshly ground black pepper, chili flakes or hard cheese, as desired.