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Make the Best Pizza Dough (Part 1)

Making your own pizza dough, for the first time, is probably one of the most satisfying things you can ever experience in your kitchen. There is something magical about the whole process, from the moment you first see the dough rising, up to the moment you actually see your beautiful creation coming out of the oven. I personally enjoy everything about this process and this is why I don’t buy it anymore. Moreover, once you start experimenting with different flours and ingredients, especially if you use natural yeast (but we will see this in part 2), home-made pizza can become a truly special dish to make.

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 A few words on the preparation.

To prepare (approximately) 500 g of dough for pizza or bread you must use 500 g of flour, 15 g of yeast, 10 g salt and some water.

For this recipe I used different kinds of organic flour which have very different qualities from one another and help to create a certain harmony of flavours and textures. The amount of water in the dough and the leavening time may vary, depending on the ingredients used. This type of dough can be used, not only to make pizza but it’s also great to make focaccia and other breads.

Notes. You can decide to add extra virgin olive oil and barley malt (or honey) to the recipe or not, depending on your personal taste. The extra virgin olive oil gives a crunchier crust and the malt (or honey) will help the leavening process, but both these ingredients will add some extra calories to your recipe, so if you are on a diet,  don’t use them.

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I am giving you two options here, choose the dough with the ingredients that you prefer.

Basic pizza dough (with normal yeast)

 Ingredients 

For two large pizzas

to prepare (approximately) 500 g of bread dough or pizza base

 for a wholemeal dough 

250 g plain flour (unbleached all-purpose flour)

100 g whole spelt flour (or farro flour)

100 g Manitoba flour

50 g durum wheat semolina flour

15 g yeast

200-250 ml warm water (but add more if necessary)

10 g salt

extra virgin olive oil to taste

a big pinch of barley malt or honey (optional)

 for a plain flour dough 

If you prefer a dough made mostly with plain flour, then use:

250 g plain flour

250 g manitoba flour (or durum wheat semolina flour)

15 g yeast

200-250 ml warm water (add more if you need to)

10 g salt

extra virgin olive oil to taste

a big pinch of barley malt or honey (optional)

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 Method (for both doughs). 

1. Break up the yeast into small pieces and mix it with a bit ‘of warm water and a few tablespoons of flour. Create a small dough and let it double in volume.

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2. Sift the remaining flour with a fine sieve and make a well on a wooden board, then pour 200-250 ml warm water (gradually) and salt in the centre (also add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of malt, if you wish). Mix the ingredients.

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3. Add the yeast dough (from step 1) to the mixture and knead vigorously.

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4. Let it rise in a sheltered place until the dough has doubled volume (it might take between one or two hours).

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5. Take two large oven trays, cover them with baking paper and brush the paper with plenty of extra virgin olive oil. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin and then add the other ingredients (mozzarella, tomatoes, olives etc.).

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6. Let it rise again for 30 minutes, then bake in preheated oven at 190 ° C (374° F) for 20-30 minutes.

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This pizza is called “Marinara” and is made with anchovies, tomatoes and crushed garlic. A very cheap and simple dish, but full of flavour!

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See also Make the best pizza dough part 2 (with sourdough)

Impasto per la pizza (con lievito di birra).

Per preparare 500 g di pasta per la pizza o da pane generalmente si utilizzano 500 g di farina, 15 g di lievito di birra, 10 g di sale e acqua.

In questo caso utilizzerò farine biologiche di vario tipo, che presentano qualità molto diverse tra loro e che aiutano a creare una certa armonia di fragranza e croccantezza. La quantità d’ acqua necessaria da utilizzare potrebbe variare leggermente, a seconda delle farine e degli altri ingredienti utilizzati, così come il tempo di lievitazione. Questo tipo di impasto può esse utilizzato anche per preparare focacce e pane.

Nota. Ho aggiunto l’ olio extravergine d’oliva e il malto d’orzo nella lista degli ingredienti, perché servono a creare una crosta più croccante e a far lievitare meglio l’impasto (nel caso del malto).

Vi darò due ricette, così potete scegliere l’impasto con gli ingredienti che preferite.

Impasto base per la pizza (con lievito di birra)

Ingredienti 

Per due pizze grandi

per preparare 500 g di pasta da pane o per pizza

Impasto con farina integrale

250 g farina 00

100 g farina di farro integrale

100 g Manitoba

50 g semola di grano duro rimacinata

15 g di lievito di birra

200-250 ml di acqua tiepida

10 g di sale

olio extra vergine d’oliva q. b.

una punta di cucchiaio di malto d’orzo (facoltativo)

Impasto con farina 00

Se preferite un’impasto semplice con farina bianca allora utilizzate i seguenti ingredienti:

250 g di farina 00

250 g di farina Manitoba

15 g di lievito di birra

200-250 ml di acqua tiepida

10 g di sale

olio extra vergine d’oliva q. b.

una punta di cucchiaio di malto d’orzo (facoltativo)

 Metodo (per entrambi gli impasti). 

1. Spezzate il lievito in piccoli pezzi e mischiatelo con un po’ d’ acqua tiepida e qualche cucchiaio di farina, fino a creare un panetto. Lasciate raddoppiare il panetto di volume.

2. Setacciate il resto della farina e disponetela a fontana su una spianatoia con 200-250 ml d’ acqua tiepida e il sale (aggiungete anche l’olio e il malto, se volgete utilizzarli). Mescolate leggermente.

3. Aggiungete il panetto di lievito e impastate tutto energicamente.

4. Lasciate lievitare in un luogo riparato, finché il volume dell’impasto sarà raddoppiato (una o due ore).

5. Utilizzate due teglie grandi, ricopritele con della carta da forno e spennellate con abbondante olio extra vergine d’oliva. Stendete l’impasto con un matterello, aggiungete gli   altri ingredienti (mozzarella, pomodori, origano ecc.) e infornate a forno preriscaldato a 190° C per 20-30 minuti.

16 thoughts on “Make the Best Pizza Dough (Part 1)

    1. Thank you, Olivia! It’s a little bit time consuming, but in the end it is very rewarding, I think. I made pizza on wednesday and then used the same dough, the left over piece (kept in the fridge), to make bread the day after. I had it yesterday, It was really nice!🙂
      Give it a try and let me know…

  1. Ma che soddisfazione sarà fare la pizza in casa? una delle cose che amo fare, specialmente la domenica sera… nonostante la farina che poi trovo per i due giorni consecutivi, é uno quei questi pasti che mi mette proprio di buonumore! la mia ricetta é leggermente diversa, proverò a farla seguendo la tua, magari quella al farro e ti farò sapere!

    1. Anche a me piace farla di domenica, con calma, però avendo il lievito madre da mantenere la faccio più spesso. Prova ad usare la farina di farro e vedrai che ti piacerà! A me piace anche un po’ più integrale, a volte uso 1/3 di farina di farro…Devo avere montagne di farine dietro i mobili della cucina🙂

    1. Yes, home-made pizza is definitely the best!!🙂 Rhonda, thank you so much for your really kind and supporting words! Sometime I feel like I am going too much into details and people can get bored or confused. And I am not an expert and certainly not a writer. I just like to share the things I enjoy making and communicate something about the traditions that we love so much, over here. Hopefully people will understand this. Anyway, I am already “talking” too much🙂 Thank you!

  2. Note.

    Somebody asked for the measurements in cups and spoons, here are the recipes with the new measurements.

    dough 1
    2 cups plain flour
    3/4 cup of whole spelt flour (faro flour)
    3/4 cup of manitoba flour
    1/2 cup of durum wheat semolina flour
    A little bit less than half a cube of fresh yeast, or 1 tablespoon of dried yeast
    1 cup of water (add it gradually and see, 1 cup full might not be necessary)
    1/2 a tablespoon of salt
    4-5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
    a pinch of barley malt (optional)

    dough 2
    2 cups of plain flour
    2 cups of manitoba flour
    A little bit less than half a cube of fresh yeast, or 1 tablespoon of dried yeast
    1 cup of water (add it gradually and see, 1 cup full might not be necessary)
    1/2 a tablespoon of salt
    4-5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
    a pinch of barley malt (optional)

    1. Nino, I am so glad you find this post useful! The first dough is my favourite, I always use it, because It’s crunchy and very tasty. I am very happy to share my recipes, you know.🙂 Have a great Sunday!

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