Basic dough for pizza
An easy an perfect dough to create a light and soft basic pizza that will satisfy the most refined palates
The basic dough for pizza consists of a leavened mix of flour, water, brewer's yeast, oil, and salt, essential for a homemade preparation, not only for the classic thin Neapolitan or Roman pizza, but also for calzone, mini pizzas, panzerotti, and all kinds of focaccia. Our basic dough for pizza recipe is really easy to prepare, even without the mixer; the result is a soft and sticky dough that, once leavened, is easy to roll out and, once cooked, gets crunchy, tasty, and scented. If you are a patient person and have cooking experience, you can try to reduce the quantity of yeast and increase the leavening time to obtain a dough with the same qualities listed above but, with less yeast. Even if it seems easy, prepare a good pizza basic dough is an art! There are lots of factors that influence its success: from the choice of flour to the water or the kitchen temperature. But, this recipe is tested for bringing to the table 2 Neapolitan pizzas or big focaccia in the tray in only 4 hours. So, are you ready to knead? Wear the apron, today we knead the basic dough for pizza together!
Prepare the dough
To prepare the basic dough for pizza break up the yeast into little pieces in a mixing bowl, pour a small cup of warm water, and melt the yeast, mixing with a wooden spoon; add the sugar and a handful of flour, and stir vigorously, until you obtain a soft, smooth, and homogenous dough; cover the bowl with a cloth and let leaven in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
Create a nest
Collect the flour on a pastry board and enlarge in the center in order to create a nest.
Move the dough. Transfer the leavened dough to the center of the nest and distributes the salt all around, on the flour, so that it is not in direct contact with the yeast.
Start with the fingers. Add the extra virgin olive oil, pour gradually a little cup of warm water, and start to knead with the fingers, moving little by little the flour in the center to for the basic dough.
Move on with the hands. When it will be completely amalgamated, collect the dough and knead with the hands for about 15 minutes; collect using a spatula the remaining parts on the pastry board: if the dough results too thick, soften it with 1-2 tablespoons of warm water if it's too soft sprinkle with a pinch of flour. Eventually, you have to obtain a compact and malleable dough.
Shape a ball with the dough and slightly flour. Place the dough in a slightly floured large bowl and on the surface make a cross incision using a knife or scissors.
Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it leaven in a warm place from 2 to 3 hours.
Once the leavened is completed, the basic dough for pizza will have doubled its volume and it will be ready for use. Your dough is now ready.
Leavening mode and time. The time depends on the surrounding temperature, which is expected to be between 70°F and 80°, and on the yeast quantity. A homemade pizza usually is used a quantity equal to 5% of the flour, but professional pizza chefs guarantee that the dose can be halved, as long as you increase the leavening time: in this way during the waiting, protein and sugar cleave in amino acids and glucose rendering the dough more light and digestible. The maximum digestibility is obtained by preparing it the day before and letting it "mature" in the fridge at 35-37°F, before the leavening in a warm place.
Baking. The ideal is the wood oven that allows to obtain a well cooked and crunchy pizza in few minutes. For quick homemade baking, the tray can be replaced with the refractory stone: you need to pre-heat it in a very hot oven, then you place the pizza on it and bake for 6-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the dough.