Best Pizza Base (Crust) Recipe

Submitted by: A Facebook user
Like a lot of my recipes, this is one is an old Italian recipe tried and tested over many years.

Dietary guidance: v 

Tags: main · pizza · crust · base ·

Ingredients

2 tsp dry active yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 ½ cup, plus 2 TBL (3,25 dl) water
4 cups (500 gr) unbleached, bread, or all-purpose flour (plain or bread flour), chilled
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup (0,5 dl) olive oil

Method

Put the dry yeast and sugar into a small bowl. Add 3/4 cup of water. Mix it all up until the dry yeast dissolves and leave it for about 5 minutes.

In the meantime, sift flour into a large bowl and add salt. Once the yeast is ready, pour it into the bowl with the flour.

Mix the flour / yeast until it's not coming together anymore - you'll probably find that it's sticking together in clumps but not into one big clump. Add a little more of the warm water and some olive oil and keep mixing until it starts forming into one mass.

Turn the dough out onto your work surface and start kneading it by hand. Make sure you make lots of pulling and tearing motions to really break up the glutens in the dough. If it's still a bit dry and flaky, add a bit more oil or water. If it's sticking to your hands sprinkle on a little flour. You should end up with a smooth springy dough after about 5 minutes of kneading.

Coat the dough ball with a thin layer of olive oil, and place it in the bottom of a large mixing bowl which has also been coated on the inside with olive oil. Stretch a piece of kitchen film over the top of the bowl and set it in a warm place (ambient temperature of 70° F to 80° F, 20-25° C). Allow the dough to rise, undisturbed, for 2 hours. The dough will have grown to at least twice its original size. Take the raised dough mass out of the bowl and cut it in half with a knife. Take the raw dough portions and separately pat them down flat on a cutting board to press out and release the air that has developed inside them.

Working with the dough at room temperature, roll out each dough ball into a 3/8" (1 cm) thick circle, about 14" (35 cm) in diameter. "Pan" the dough into a pizza pan, then let the panned dough "proof" for 5 to 10 minutes in the pan before adding your sauce, cheese and toppings.

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