Monday, September 22, 2014

The best pizza dough ever! (in my opinion anyway)

About 18 months ago I went along with my dad to a pizza making class.

You see my dad has a wood fired pizza oven at his place and he was always experimenting with different dough recipes to get one that was great.

He did a lot of research online to find recipes and came across this little pizza place in Melbourne that gave classes. So during the summer break for both of us, off we went to learn for ourselves.

We spent 4 hours there, where we mixed our own dough, let it rise, prepared the toppings, learnt a few methods for kneading dough (14 years spent working with children under 5 years old meant this I was good at - thanks to play-doh)  pressed out the dough into pans, and made our choice of pizza. 

Into the oven it went to bake, and after that we ate them for lunch. 

A few pizzas were made and then baked while we cleaned up and away we went with Take-away pizza and a DVD reminder of the lesson, including the recipe!

This is now my dads go to recipe when making pizza or bread, and up until recently I hadn't made it again.

Don't get me wrong, I'd eaten it lots! but I just never made it at home.

I do prefer it baked in a wood fired oven rather than a regular gas oven, but it was good, no great, so much better than pre-bought pizza bases and the dough can be frozen and it thaws out and bakes as if it was made fresh.

So I thought I'd share this recipe with you, so you can try it for yourselves.

750 mls warm water
50mls olive oil 
50mls milk
50g fresh yeast
20g salt
1100g flour

Food grade bucket- this will be your pizza dough bucket. 

Add water and yeast into the bucket and mix to dissolve. (We used our hands for all of the mixing)
Add 40mls of oil and all milk and salt and mix until dissolved.
Add the flour and mix by hand for 2-3 minutes.
Add the last 10mls of oil and knead the dough briefly.

The dough will be very sticky, this is just as it's supposed to be. 

Cover the bucket with a clean tea towel and leave for 1 hour.

Using floured scales weigh out
250g for small pizza
300g for medium pizza 
350g for large pizza

Roll each amount on a floured surface into a ball and allow it to rest for 30 mins, cover again with the clean tea towel 

Oil a pizza pan and place a ball of dough top side down onto the pan. 
Push out the dough using your fingers and add which ever are your favourite toppings

Bake for 7 minutes or until golden in a moderate oven or wood fired pizza oven. 

This recipe will make enough for about 6 big pizzas. So for any left over dough, add a small amount of oil into a freezer bag and scrunch it up to spread it around. Add 1 ball of dough, remove as much air as possible and seal the bag. Pop into the freezer until the day you need it and it should be defrosted in the fridge. 
If you want to use the dough the following day place the bucket with the lid on into the fridge after the 1st hour of resting. Roll out and allow to rest as above on the day you use it. 

Now about the bucket. It was what we used at the pizza place and has continued at home. By all means use a large mixing bowl if you prefer. It just frees up a mixing bowl for us and we know no other food flavours will end up in the dough if we only use the bucket for dough. 
After making all the dough balls just leave the bucket and bits of dough to dry. The following morning use a bit of paper towel to wipe out the bucket, a quick wash and it's ready to go again. 
It's much easier and cleaner to wash this way than putting wet dough into the sink and cleaning cloths. 

This dough recipe is also used for breads etc. we had an amazing sundried tomato and basil bread recently but try whatever takes your fancy!

I may be linked up at these parties.

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