This is the basic pizza dough that I use when I want a good thin crust. I add a little more water to make the dough extra soft and easy to shape and toss, but try this wetter approach later when you’ve got the basic knack of it sorted. Recipe from my book Short & Sweet.
Put the flour, yeast and salt in a bowl then pour in the water (or beer mix) and oil. Mix everything together evenly the cover the bowl and leave for 10 minutes. Lightly oil the worktop, knead the dough gently on it for about 10 seconds then return the dough to the bowl and leave 10 minutes. Repeat the light kneading twice more at 10 minute intervals then leave the dough until it’s risen by half, about an hour. From this point on it’s ready to use, but if you need to leave it more than a couple of hours its best left in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Slow rise pizza dough
Reduce the yeast to about 1/4 tsp and the water to 350ml then mix it early one morning. Leave the dough for 10-12 hours at room temperature, giving it one quick knead 10 minutes after mixing then another 30 minutes before you use it.
Replace the yeast with 200ml sourdough starter (see page 000, bread chapter), then reduce the water to 300ml and the flour to 500g. Mix it early in the day, giving the dough just one quick knead 10 minutes after mixing. It’s ready to use when your dough has risen by half which, depending on the activity in your starter, should take about 4-5 hours. You also leave the dough in the refrigerator after mixing and then use it 12 -24 hours later once it has come back to a cool room temperature.
Ooccasionally I add a teaspoonful of malt or brown sugar, to make it colour extra quick in the oven. If you have the liquid that the mozzarella sits in leftover this can be used instead of the water in the recipe, and this really boosts the dough flavour. A little hard fat like lard rubbed into the dough, about 25g to the quantity of flour used here, makes the crust extra tender. Also, a tablespoon of polenta and a dash more water added during mixing gives a good golden colour and crunch to the crust.