One of a million pizza dough recipes

…but this one’s mine.

In my house – and I apologize to all purists – pizza is what allows us to use up bits and bobs in the fridge, like leftover veg and funky cheese no-one would want to put on a piece of bread anymore. I can’t really do the many-stepped, let-rest-three-times-in-a-warm-place pizza dough because it’s too time consuming, so mine takes about an hour in all, but with only 5 minutes of work.

  

What you need:

About 500g of flour (white and/or brown, ordinary domestic or special pizza flour – anything will do)

About 1 generous teaspoon of salt (I guess about 10g)

15-20g of fresh yeast (I ask for 100g of fresh yeast at the bakery and they sell it to me for 1 Euro. It freezes perfectly well, so that does me for several pizza nights. Otherwise, it’s about half a cube of the supermarket variety. I never use dried yeast because I am not very good at making it do what it is supposed to.)

1 cup / 300ml of warm water

A spash of olive oil

Optional: a small handful of sesame seeds, or some dried herbs, or chopped black olives, or pumpkin seeds…

What to do:

  • preheat the oven to 50ºC (fan)
  • I use a large metal salad bowl from IKEA to mix my dough because I stick the whole thing in the oven to proof.
  • Put the flour and (optional, but very lovely) sesame seeds in the salad bowl and make a well.
  • Sprinkle the salt around the outer edge.
  • Crumble the yeast into the well and wet with a little warm water.
  • Let sit for 5 minutes until the yeast has more or less dissolved.
  • Pour about half the warm water into the well and add a splash of olive oil.
  • Use a wooden spoon to mix everything, adding the rest of the water as needed.
  • Turn out onto the counter and knead with a little flour until it’s a soft, non-sticky ball of dough (you might need to add a few more drops of water or use a little more flour – you should feel when it’s right.)
  • Place the ball of dough into your salad bowl and put it in the oven (I just put it in without a baking tray or grill).
  • Option 1: leave the oven on. Option 2: turn if off and just use the remaining heat. Whatever.
  • Set the oven timer to 1 hour and go do something else (in my case, it’s usually kids’ homework and laundry).

  

  • Take the risen dough out of the oven. Cut in half with a butter knife (the air will poof out in protest) and roll out thinly on some flour for thin-crust pizza (makes 2 standard oven trays). Alternatively, plop the entire dough onto a baking sheet covered with parchment and push the dough out with your fingers and a little flour. That gives you 1 thick-crust pizza. Lovely, too, but different.

  

  • Top with whatever is dying in your fridge. (My kids like tomato sauce, sweetcorn, chorizo and cheese. I love leftover green peppers and onions, goat’s cheese and bacon bits.)
  • Bake in a hot oven for 12-15 minutes.

I’ve never tried freezing it, but apparently you can. I have, however, kept half the dough to bake the following day, and that works fine, but you need to re-knead it a little when it comes out of the fridge and I leave it sitting on the counter to relax for 20 mintues once it’s rolled out.

One batch comfortably feeds a family of 5 (including one teenage boy).

Hm. It’s so nice and easy that instead of saying it’s one of a million pizza dough recipes, maybe I should say one in a million. I’ll let you decide.

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