Fermented Pizza Dough

Pizza Dough Photo: tim Elwin

Pizza Dough
Photo: tim Elwin

For the best results let your dough rest on the fridge for a few days before using, that is, if you can wait!

Ingredients

  • ½ cup hot water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons dried yeast (7g)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 40ml cup olive oil
  • 4 cups bakers flour (otherwise plain if fine)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • extra flour and extra olive oil (or an olive oil spray is perfect)

Method

STEP 1 - The Yeast

In a small bowl mix the hot and cold water together, Add the yeast and sugar then stir to dissolve both. Set aside for 10-15 minutes until frothy (longer for older yeast and longer in colder weather).

STEP 2 - The Kneading

Kitchenaid (or similar) Method
Add the flour and salt to the kitchenaid bowl then attach your dough hook to the machine. Pour in the frothy yeast mixture and olive oil then mix together on speed 1 for 2-3 minutes then increase to speed 2 for another 1 minute until all has combined (i.e. no dry flour around). After all combined decrease back to speed 1 for a further 1-2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the kitchenaid and with flour dusted hands remove the dough and shape into one large ball by pulling down around the sides with your thumbs and gathering it up into the bottom with your fingers continuously until you create a smooth surface on top and a nice ball(search rolling balls of dough on youtube if you haven’t done before)

Food Processor Method
Add the flour and salt into a food processor with a steel blade. Hit the pulse a few times to mix the salt and flour together then whilst the machine running, pour in the yeast mixture and the olive oil. Allow the machine to keep running until the dough comes together in a ball (best to hold the machine as it can get a little bumpy!). Once just combined, remove the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it for 10 minutes, adding additional flour if necessary until the dough is just smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into one large ball by pulling down around the sides with your thumbs and gathering it up into the bottom with your fingers continuously until you create a smooth surface on top of a ball.

By Hand Method
Add the flour and salt to a large bowl then pour in the frothy mixture and olive oil then mix together with your fingers until just combine. Once just combined, remove the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it for 10 minutes, adding additional flour if necessary until the dough is just smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into one large ball by pulling down around the sides with your thumbs and gathering it up into the bottom with your fingers continuously until you create a smooth surface on top of a ball.

STEP 3 - The Rising/Proofing

Spray or brush a large bowl lightly with olive oil then place the ball of dough, smooth side up back in. spray the top of the ball with additional olive oil then cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm spot for a minimum of 1 hour but preferably a couple of hours to proof and double in size. Please note, the colder the weather, the longer it will take to rise.

STEP 4 - The Fermentation

So if you can wait (and i highly suggest that you do), place the whole lot into an oiled zip lock bag (one of the extra large ones) or an oiled airtight container and store in the fridge for a 3-5 days to ferment and retard. This will give your dough an extra “sourdough” type chew and flavour. This will also mean that you’ll have saved yourself a couple of hours on the night you want to make homemade pizza’s! The longer the time in the fridge the more the sourdough flavour.

STEP 5 - The Second Rising (sounds like a movie title)

Once a few days have gone by (or not, you may have decided to use the dough straight away and that’s just fine) pull it out of the fridge, shape into tennis ball sized balls, place on a flour dusted tray then dust the top with flour, cover with a tea towel and allow to come to room temperature and rise for a couple of hours (minimum 1 hour but depends on whether it is summer or winter as it will take longer in winter - up to 3 hours).

You are now ready to make some Pizza! Make sure you check out our handy hint for homemade sugo (pizza sauce) for getting super crispy pizza base.

© Tim Elwin 2015