To be honest, I was quite happy with the original pizza dough recipe that I’d been using – it was relatively easy, quick, resulted in a tasty end product which was quite enjoyed by those who’d tried it. However, it just didn’t measure up to the better pizza bases that I’d enjoyed at various pizzerias and restaurants, so the hunt was on to find something that would compare – nay, to blow my little toesies out of the water!
What constitutes my ideal base and crust, you ask? Well, I’m a fan of thinner bases with some degree of crunch and chewiness. It can’t be too oily, and needs to be firm enough that it can be held by the outer edge and it won’t fall into my lap – and it needs to have a little softness otherwise it can be akin to chewing cardboard.
Delicious Breakfast Pizza Recipe
Geezus, is that enough of a list? It feels a bit like I’m a contestant on some blind date show – “Behind the door we have contestant A – a charming fellow who enjoys late night snacks and has a penchant for fresh yeast. Contestant B is a bigger burlier fellow but a real softy at heart with a melty-cheese centre. Contestant C is a simple type with simple pleasures, waif-thin and preferring to concentrate on just one or two flavours at a time”
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Cheesy enough for ya? 😀 My family declared that this homemade recipe for pizza base was the best they had ever tasted, and I must say that I was inclined to agree 😉
I get excited about the food I cook (okay, family-friendly blog, remember? I’m talking about excited like a 6yo on Christmas morning!!), but this time I was so overcome with joy that I was actually prancing around the kitchen with a slice in hand, giggling maniacally and jiggling it in the faces of any soul unfortunate enough to cross my path!
Care for a slice?
Me: *giggling like a maniac* “Hey ma, ma, ma ma ma ma ma ma ma!”
Me: *jiggles pizza slice in her face* “Isn’t it gorgeous? Lookit lookit! How perfect is it? Isn’t it just beautiful?”
Mom: “For the Nth time – YES! Now get that out of my face before I gag you with it!”
Rinse, lather, repeat – for about fifteen minutes 😉 And luckily, I was much too cunning and quick for her to gag me with the pizza!
Though this pizza recipe is a little more time consuming than the original recipe, it still has very little ‘hands-on’ time and is absolutely well worth it – I know that this is the pizza base recipe I will stick by for the rest of my pizza-making life!
Basic Pizza Dough Recipe Ingredients
(Dan Lepard’s recipe from The Cook’s Book)
- 2-3g dried instant yeast (or 3-4g fresh yeast)
- 150g warm water (ideally around 20-25 degrees C)
- 10g caster sugar
- 25g olive oil, plus more for kneading
- 100g strong white flour
- 150g all purpose flour
- 5g salt
How to Make Pizza Dough Recipe
1. If using dried yeast, activate it by dissolving in a bowl with 1 tbsp flour taken from the total amount and 50g water taken from the total amount, but at a temperature of around 35 degrees C. Leave to activate for 10 minutes. If using fresh yeast, you can skip this step and go straight to the next.
2. Whisk the yeast mixture with the remaining water, sugar and oil. In another bowl, mix the salt into the flour, then pour in the liquid and mix together till you have a soft, sticky mess. Cover with a cloth and leave for 10 minutes.
3. Lightly knead the dough:
To knead a yeast-risen bread, the book recommends using an oiled rather than a floured surface, and instead of a constant 10 minutes of kneading it recommends a series of brief kneads with rests in between.
- 3a. Take 1 tsp of oil (olive, corn or sunflower) and rub it onto your work surface in a large circle. Also rub about 2 tsp oil over the surface of the dough. Scrape the dough out onto the oiled surface.
- 3b. Before starting your knead, wash and dry the bowl, then rub the inside and your hands with a little oil. Set the bowl aside.
- 3c. Fold the dough in half towards you. It should be extremely soft and sticky at this stage.
- 3d. If you are right handed, use your left thumb to hold the fold in place whilst using the heel of your right hand to gently but firmly press down and away through the centre of the dough to seal the fold and stretch the dough.
- 3e. Lift and rotate the dough clockwise a quarter turn. Repeat the folding, pressing and rotating about 10-12 times, stopping before the dough starts to stick to the surface. Place the dough in the oiled bowl, seam side down, and cover with a cloth and leave for 10 minutes.
- 3f. Repeat previous step another 2 times, remembering to rub a little more oil over the dough after each 10 minute rest if it has become too sticky.
After the final kneading, leave the dough to proof for about 1 – 1.5 hours.
4. After proofing, cut the dough in half and roll each half into a circle, then cover and leave for 10 minutes. Uncover and roll it even thinner, ideally about 2-3mm thick if you like thinner crusts, and 3-4mm thick if you want a slightly thicker one.
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5. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C, and rub a tiny bit of olive oil over the surface of your baking trays, then sprinkle lightly with cornmeal.
6. Place the dough onto the tray like you would like a tart tin (roll the dough lightly over a rolling pin then unroll on the tray) and then tidy up the shape.
7. Brush surface with olive oil, pesto or paste (depending on what kind of pizza you’re making, put down a layer of cheese then arrange the other ingredients as the cheese will help hold them to the dough. If necessary, sprinkle a little extra cheese over the top, but restrain yourself from adding too much topping to the pizza 🙂
8. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes, or till the top is lightly browned and the edges are crisp. Repeat wth second amount of pizza dough, and enjoy!
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This base can also be parbaked and stored in the freezer to be pulled out when you need a quick meal 🙂 Prepare the pizza base as above, but instead of adding ingredients and baking till browned, bake for only about 5-10 minutes or till the dough has half cooked through. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap then stick into your freezer 🙂