- Lactose Free
- Difficulty: Easy
- Prep time: 30 min
- Makes: 3 pieces
- Cost: Very low
- Note Editor's notes: if you prefer, you can add 35 g of extra virgin olive oil to the dough. The recommended leavening hours of the dough, in general, are 6.
Soft with a nicely full crust or cornicione ('frame', as they call it in Naples). Thin and crisp, tall and soft: pizza comes in so many shapes and forms and today we'll show you the most classic and widespread version, perfect for making at home in just a few hours. The pizza dough we're going to show you leavens in around 6 hours, so you can organize yourself to prepare it on the same day and enjoy it in the evening, with whatever toppings you like. A simple base recipe for a homemade pizza that requires only a few ingredients, for you to garnish however you want, perhaps even crafting it into an unusual shape, just like our soft ring pizza. Are you ready to knead that dough? Today we'll discover all the secrets for preparing pizza dough, also perfect for making a delicious rustic pizza!
To prepare the pizza dough, we chose to knead by hand, but if you prefer to use a mixer, follow the same steps, using the hook spatula at a medium-low speed. Start by placing both flours in a bowl 1, add the crumbled yeast 2 and a small part of the water 3. The ideal temperature of the water is 77°F (25°C).
Stir with a wooden spoon 4 and gradually add the water 5. Continue stirring all the while, and after you have poured in around half of the water, you can add the salt too 6.
Gradually add the remaining water to obtain a homogeneous mixture; you will find it is easier to knead by hand 7. Lastly, place the dough on a worktop and knead by hand 8 until smooth and homogeneous 9.
Once you have made a nice, smooth piece of dough, leave it to rest on the worktop for ten minutes or so, covered with the bowl 10. Once rested, give it a little fold: imagine the ball is divided into 4 parts, so hold each one by the tip, pull delicately and fold inwards 11. Fold the dough 12.
Turn it around 13 and shape it into a ball 14. Place the dough ball in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap 15 and leave to leaven. You may find it best to place the bowl in a switched off oven with the lights on, so that the temperature reaches 78-82°F (25-30°C), ideal for leavening, or you could leave the bowl somewhere warm. The length of time is approximate as the temperature and weather influence leavening and each dough is slightly different. On average, it should take 6 hours for the dough to double in volume.
Once the leavening time is up, the dough will be nice and plump 16; place it on the worktop and divide it into three pieces with a spatula, 9 oz (250 g) each. You may need to sprinkle a little flour onto the worktop. Now take each portion and as before, lift the dough up by the edge 18 and fold inwards.
Repeat for the other 3 edges of dough 19. Now stretch out the dough by folding it in on itself, then proceed to round the dough by turning it around by hand on the worktop, folding it away from you and then towards you repeatedly, until you make a smooth and regular ball 21.
Place each piece of dough in a previously greased pizza tray 22, cover with the lid 23 and leave to rest for another 30 minutes 24 before stretching the pizza dough out and topping it to taste!
Once leavened, the dough must be baked. If you prefer to store it, you can reduce the amount of yeast, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it to mature in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. Once this time is up, simply bring the dough to room temperature and proceed with the recipe.
Pizza dough can also be frozen after leavening; it is best to split it into portions and store in freezer bags. Simply defrost as many portions as required at room temperature and proceed with the recipe.
If you prefer, you can also freeze the dough semi-cooked: simply bake for half of the time, leave to cool and lastly, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. Simply bake frozen, at a slightly lower temperature.
Some information before you begin
Our pizza dough uses a mixture of flours. It contains two types of flour: 00 and manitoba. This means that the low protein value of one and the high value of the other create a perfect value for pizza, which is between w260 and w300.
The letter W indicates the percentage of proteins contained in the flour. A low value indicates a weak flour, generally recommended for sweet preparations. A high value is best for leavened doughs because it is richer in gluten. What is gluten? Basically gluten is a protein that develops when water and flour are mixed together, and it has elasticizing properties.
If you prefer to add oil to the dough, simply leave everything unchanged and add 1.25 oz (35 g) of oil as you prepare the pizza base.
You can bake the pizzas one by one.
If you choose to do so, after rolling out the first pizza, bake it in the oven at 480°F (250°C) for 6 minutes, with a drizzle of oil. Once the 6 minutes are up, add the topping and bake for another 6 minutes. We always recommend using refractory stone.
You could always prepare a tray-baked pizza if you prefer. With these amounts you could make a 12x16 inch (30x40 cm) tray-baked pizza. In this case you won't need to make 3 pieces of dough, one will be enough. We recommend baking it at 480°F (250°C) for 25-30 minutes.
Tips for replacing flours
All flours absorb in different ways, so changing the specified mix or using different flours means you'll need to adjust liquid measurements in the recipe, and the end result may be different. So if you want to make some changes to the recipe, the only solution is to give it a try so that you can find the winning mix.