My love affair with pizza dough began when I started making my own pizza toppings. I used to spread my pizza topping over a cheap Tesco base and although the results were quite good I always thought to myself that I’m sure I’d have better results with my own pizza dough.
On the day I decided that I wanted to make my pizza dough I realised I needed to bake the pizza on something! A quick text to Ben my cooking friend – pizza stone or pizza tray? Back came the almost instantaneous response – you must buy a pizza stone! So off I went to buy my pizza stone and am I glad I did so! There are all sorts of scary stories out there about pizza stones cracking and not lasting very long but if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions your pizza stone should last.
Some things to remember with a pizza stone:
Do not – and I repeat – do not – wash your pizza stone. After use just scrap off any residue particles and store.
The pizza stone needs to heat up for at least an hour before using it. This means you need to put your pizza stone into a cold oven; set the oven temperate for gas mark 8 or 9 and leave to heat it. Do not – and I repeat – do not put your pizza stone into a preheated oven. It might/will crack.
- 170g of "00" flour
- One packet of yeast
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- 2 and a half tablespoons of olive oil
- 110ml of lukewarm water
- Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl.
- Add the yeast and salt. Tip – do not let the yeast and salt touch so mix in your salt into the flour before adding the yeast.
- Pour the lukewarm water into the bowl and stir.
- Add the olive oil and stir the gooey mixture until it forms a paste.
- Turn out your mixture onto a floured surface.
- You may want to add more flour. You will get used to what is best as you become more expert with kneading the dough.
- Push into the dough with the heel of your hand and push out. Do this for about 5 minutes
- Oil a separate bowl and place the dough inside – it needs to be big enough to rise.
- Cover the top of the mixing bowl with oiled cling film (the oiled side should be facing the dough) I place the cling film loosely over the bowl and oil it all over, then turn it over so that the oiled side is facing into the bowl.
- Leave for 1 hour in a warm room/place.
- At the same time put the pizza stone in the oven at the highest temperature.
- After 1 hour the dough will have risen to over double its size and the oven will be ready for your pizza. Take the dough out of the bowl and place back onto a floured surface.
- Knead again for a couple of minutes. You want it be elastic (it will feel like your ear lobe!)
- Roll out your dough to your preferred size and thickness (I prefer mine fairly thin). It doesn’t matter if it isn’t round – I quite like the rustic odd looking shape!
- Carefully take the pizza stone out of the oven and place the dough on the stone.
- Return stone and dough to the oven. Wait for 3 minutes and take out the stone from the oven.
- Turn the pizza dough over and place pizza sauce and toppings on the pizza and return to oven for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Remove carefully from oven and serve with Doe’s Salad.
See this video for instructions on how to make the pizza dough for the base, and how to prepare the topping: