I’ve been teasing you on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with pictures of my experiments with homemade pizza dough for a while now. Active dry yeast, fresh yeast, soft crust, tinkering with fermentation times… let’s just say there’s been a whirlwind of flour and hot pizzas in my kitchen over the last couple of months. Why did it take me so long, you might ask? Well, because there’s only so much pizza that I can stuff my family with before they complain. Yes, there can be such a thing as too much pizza! But seriously, I wanted to share a recipe that won’t take up too much time to make and can guarantee great thin-crust pizzas every single time… and I’ve finally worked on a recipe that you can rely on, _without_spending aeons in the kitchen!
Flour, salt, sugar – the usual suspects make an appearance here and get whisked together. It’ll seem a bit weird because I haven’t activated the yeast, but that’s because…
…I’m using instant yeast! It’s finer in appearance than active dry yeast and doesn’t need to be activated separately in warm water. You can just sprinkle it directly into the dry ingredients we’ve whisked together and gently whisk it into the flour too. And then just pour the warm water over the dry ingredients. The temperature of the water is super-important here… 45 degrees Celsius is perfect, but I always fall back on a little trick that I picked up from Vicky Ratnani – the water should be warm enough for you to stick your finger in it for about 30 seconds. Hot water will kill the yeast and if it’s cold, the yeast won’t activate.
Once you’ve poured the water evenly over the dry ingredients, just bring the mixture together by either using your hand or a wooden spoon. I’m the sort of girl that likes to get her hands dirty while working on this dough, but do whatever works best for you! The dough will be rough and uneven at this stage. This is when I’m going to tell you to make a quick dash to your oven and pre-heat it at 100 degrees Celsius for just 5 minutes… and use those 5 minutes to knead the craggy-looking dough on a well-floured counter.
In 5 minutes- your oven buzzer will go off. TURN OFF the oven and toss the smooth ball of dough into a bowl that’s been greased with olive oil. Get the ball of dough coated all over with the oil that’s in the bowl and cover it tightly with cling film or plastic wrap. Place it in the oven that’s been SWITCHED OFF!
This is what you have in 30 minutes. The dough would have risen and will be soft and pliable for you to work with!
Divide the dough into two rounds. Each round of dough should give you a 12-inch thin crust pizza. I use a rolling pin to shape the dough, but sometimes I just stretch it out to that size. If you’re not going to use the pizza dough right away, then wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer. It lasts there for a good week in my experience, but bring it to room temperature before you use it. I know that a lot of you would want to look at some sort of whole wheat flour in this recipe, and I find that you can substitute about 20% to 30% of the entire amount of flour here with whole wheat flour.
Makes two 12-inch pizzas.