Ingredients – Makes approx’ 6 x 10” pizzas
Easy blend yeast – 7g
‘00’ grade Italian flour – 650g (1lb, 5oz)
Table salt – 2 teaspoons
Olive Oil – 25ml (1 fl oz)
Milk (warm) – 50ml (2 fl oz)
Water (warm) – 315ml (11 fl oz)
Start by mixing the flour, yeast and salt together in a mixing bowl. Once thoroughly mixed, warm the milk and stir into the mix along with the olive oil. Gradually introduce the warm water mixing until all the water has been added. This should result in a soft dough being created.
Transfer the dough to a floured worktop (wood or granite are ideal) and roughly knead the dough for around 5 minutes. Kneading is very important to the recipe as it develops the gluten within the dough, making it stretchy with an elastic feel. To knead, use the ball of your hand to squash the dough, pushing the dough away from you. Pull it back into a ball, turn and repeat. It helps if this process is performed in a relatively rough manner to help develop the elasticity within the dough. You can check that the dough is ready to rise by cutting a small piece of dough from the ball and stretch it into a thin sheet. Hold it up to the window and if you can see light through it without the dough tearing, it is ready to be set aside to rise. (If the dough tears, continue kneading for a few more minutes). If you have a food mixer with a dough hook, the kneading process can be done mechanically for similar results.
After 5 minutes kneading, transfer the dough into a large clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave it at in a warm place to rise for 1½ hours, at which point the dough should have increased to roughly double its size.
Using floured hands, remove the dough from the bowl and place onto a floured surface. The dough is now ready for knocking back, which is a process which removes all the excess air ‘knocked out’ before proving. To knock back, repeat the kneading process for a few minutes until it looks the same as it did before it was left to rise (stretchy with an elastic feel).
Once you have knocked back the dough, roll it into a ball and set it aside for 30-60 minutes until it has risen once again to roughly double its size.
The pizza dough is now ready to use. You can now divide the dough into equally sized balls, and roll each one out onto a floured surface, up to a diameter of roughly 10” (25cm). You are now ready to apply your chosen pizza toppings ahead of cooking.