Pizza Dough #Basics

Nothing beats a homemade pizza!

When you need a basic quick pizza dough recipe, you go back to the basics of bread making – flour, yeast, water with little salt, sugar & oil to seal the deal. That’s it!

The dough is versatile too! Roll it out to make delicious pizzas, or garlic breadsticks, or roll some fillings inside and make pizza bites. You can also go crazy and make cinnamon rolls!

Having a stand mixer with a dough hook makes life easier for sure, but some elbow grease and you can crack this one with your hands too, just might take a little longer.

Ingredients –

440-500g (3½ – 4 cups) of All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoon oil (I use sunflower oil)
2 teaspoons active dried yeast (or instant yeast) (equivalent to 1 packet)
320ml lukewarm water (about 1 1/3 cups)

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Procedure –

1. Add the yeast in the warm water and let it rest for 10 minutes. The yeast will start getting frothy and bubbles will come up. (If this doesn’t happen, your yeast is either expired or the water too hot).
2. Meanwhile measure out 3½ cups (440g) flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer with dough hook attachment. Add oil and mix slightly. Keep the half cup of flour handy for later – we’ll use it little at a time if the dough gets too wet.
3. As soon as the yeast is ready, add it to the stand mixer and start at low speed till the dough comes together.
4. Increase the speed to medium-high and let it mix for about 8-10 minutes. After 5 minutes check the dough – if it feels too wet, add couple tablespoons of flour. (I added almost ¼ cup flour more).

DSC_3454-1.jpg 5. You’ll know the dough is done when it starts leaving the sides of the bowl in one large lump on the hook and is smooth & elastic. If you poke a finger in the dough, it’ll spring right back up.
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6. Turn it out onto a clean surface dusted with little flour and knead it slightly into a ball shape. Put the dough into a well-oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Let it rest for 45-60 minutes in a warm dry place till it doubles in size. (I keep mine in a switched-off microwave oven). Refer to my notes at the end for checking if the dough is proofed.

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7. Punch the dough in the bowl and take it out on a clean surface. The dough is ready. Cut into 4 pieces and roll each piece out into a pizza. Or make pizza bites (picture below). You can use a bit and freeze the rest for few weeks.

Pizza bites-2.jpg

How to check if the dough is proofed –
Gently push your finger into the dough –
a. if it springs back immediately, it’s not proofed yet
b. if it springs back slowly, it’s done – the gluten strands are strong enough to hold the gas but still allow some expansion.
c. if it doesn’t spring back at all and the indent stays, it’s over-proofed.

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