Making your own delicious pizza dough is a great way to impress friends and family. The art of making pizza dough is also relatively simple and can be a great entryway into dough making for beginners.
With just a few simple ingredients, kitchen essentials such as a mixing bowl, wooden spoon, or a stand mixer, and a little patience, you could be whipping up light and airy pizza bases in no time at all.
So whether you’re a seasoned pizza dough maker looking to improve your skills or a complete dough novice, below is a guide to making artisan pizza dough that’s sure to impress.
As with any recipe, choosing the best ingredients that your budget allows is an easy way of ensuring that your pizza dough will taste amazing once cooked.
Buying the best ingredients may seem like a bit of an investment the first time around.
However, it’s best to remember that the ingredients you buy are likely to make multiple batches of dough and therefore making your own will in fact work out to be the same price (if not cheaper) than buying ready-made pizza bases.
What’s more, your homemade dough will look and taste much better!
To get started you’ll need:
Flour (500g/4 cups)
The texture of your dough will depend on the type of flour you choose.
All-purpose and bread flours are good for thicker, deep dish pizzas that are crispy on the outside and soft and chewy in the middle.
Tipo ‘00’ flour tends to be a little more expensive, but is perfect for a truly authentic thin pizza dough with a perfectly puffed crust around the edges.
Oil (20g/1 tbsp)
Use a good quality olive oil with a robust flavour for best results.
Salt is used not only for taste, it helps to keep the dough moist. Not using enough salt will produce a dough that is dry, tough and becomes stale quickly.
Yeast (7g dry yeast or 20g fresh yeast)
The amount of yeast needed depends on whether you’re using dry or fresh yeast.
Some argue that fresh yeast gives dough a better taste. However dry yeast is often easier to find in stores and has a longer shelf life making it a more convenient option.
Water (300ml/1⅓ cups)
Nothing fancy here, just plain old water.
Combining the ingredients listed above can be done the old fashioned way using a mixing bowl and wooden spoon.
Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Whichever method you choose the ingredients should be mixed in the following order:
- Heat the water to around 38°C and mix in your yeast until smooth.
- Add your oil to the mixture.
- In a large mixing bowl (or your stand mixer bowl) sift the flour and salt to combine.
- Add your yeast mixture to the flour and salt.
Mix all of the ingredients until the mixture is thoroughly combined. If you’re using a stand mixer then now is the time to turn down the mixing speed and let the mixer begin to knead your dough.
If you’re mixing by hand then move onto the next step.
Kneading the dough is often the most daunting part of the pizza dough making process to beginners.
Working the dough with your hands builds up the proteins within the flour, giving your pizza dough that lovely chewy texture once cooked.
- Lightly flour a clean work surface and remove your dough mixture from the mixing bowl. If the dough is quite sticky add flour on top of the dough too.
- Start kneading! There are a variety of different kneading methods you can apply. Knead for around 3-5 minutes or until you achieve a velvety soft texture with your dough.
Be sure not to overwork your dough. Recognising when your dough is ready can take practise, you want the dough to be stretchy, but don’t want the gluten to become too strong as this will make shaping your pizza dough difficult.
The last step to perfect pizza dough is proofing or ‘proving’ your dough.
- Separate the dough into individual pizza portions.
- Fold each portion into a ball. Do this by pulling the outside of the dough into the centre. Turn and repeat a few times until you can an even ball of dough.
- Place the dough balls into a container and cover with film or a tea-towel. Leave the container in a warm place for around 60-90 minutes or until the dough has doubled or tripled in size.
Once proved, your dough is ready to be adorned with your favourite toppings and cooked to perfection!
The beauty of pizza is that it’s a real crowd-pleaser and flavours can be customised to suit even the fussiest eaters.
So, the next time you’re asked to bring something along to the party why not whip up a batch of fresh pizza dough and impress friends and family with professional looking pizzas that look and taste great!