Homemade Pizza Dough

3 tsp active dry yeast

3 tsp sugar

1 cup warm water (blood heat)

3 – 4 cups high grade white flour (bread flour)

1/2 – 1 cup extra warm water

2 tbsp oil

1 tsp salt

Measure the yeast, sugar and first measure of water into a large bowl and stir till mixed. Stand in a warm place for 10 minutes until it becomes bubbly.

Add 3 cups of flour, oil and salt to the yeast mixture and mix well. Add extra warm water until the mixture becomes pliable and not sticky. You may have to add some more flour to get it just right.

Knead the dough by hand for 2 minutes or process in a food processor for 1 minute. Put it back in the bowl, cover with cling film and put it in a warm place to rise for an hour. Or leave it in the food processor to rise. It should double in size but if it just rises a small amount that’s okay.

Tip the dough out on a floured bench and knead it again for 2 minutes, or process for 1 minute. Then with a rolling pin or clean wine bottle roll it out 1 cm thick in the shape you want.

Transfer it to a lightly oiled oven tray or roasting dish. Pizza is very forgiving and you can push and pull it into shape very easily. Let it rise again for 20 minutes before adding toppings.  Bake it at 220 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the base is golden when you lift it at the side.

This is your basic pizza dough which will make a pizza for 4 people. You can also use it to make calzone (pizza folded in half with a dough lid) or stromboli (pizza rolled like a sponge roll). Baked with no topping it makes a delicious flat bread, and you can sprinkle it with sea salt, rosemary or chopped olives before baking.

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