Ingredients – Makes approx’ 6 x 10” pizzas
Dry yeast – 1½ teaspoons or Fresh yeast – 15g (½oz)
Strong white flour – 400g (14oz)
Table salt – 2 teaspoons
Semolina – 100g (3½ oz)
Olive Oil – 50ml (2 fl oz)
Water – 275ml (9½ fl oz)
To make the dough, start by stirring the flour, semolina and salt together in a mixing bowl. Once thoroughly mixed, stir in the dried yeast (if you are using fresh yeast crumble it into the mix and stir well). Keeping the mix in the bowl, create a well in the centre of the mixture and pour most of the water along with all of the olive oil into the well. Using your hands or a good wooden spoon, bring the dough together, combining the mixture until a dough is formed. Add the remaining water if the dough feels tight or hard.
Transfer the dough to a floured worktop (wood or granite are ideal) and roughly knead the dough for around 10 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).
After 5 minutes kneading, pre-oil a large bowl and transfer the dough into it, covering 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 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 back into a ball and set it aside for 15-30 minutes until it has risen once again to roughly double its size.
The dough is now ready to use. You can now divide the dough into equally sized balls, and roll each one out onto a floured or semolina covered surface, up to a diameter of roughly 10” (25cm). You are now ready to apply your chosen pizza toppings ahead of cooking.