For years now, I've been trying to find a good pizza dough recipe; one that yields a nice, thin, crispy base (which is, in my opinion, the way it should be). Anyway, I've tried and tried without much success. Though the results of all of my attempts were edible, they just didn't taste like 'pizza parlour pizza'.
Today, I think I've found a winner. I call it my 'Popeye Pizza.'
Note: This pizza dough requires 24 hours resting time in the fridge. I cannot stress how important this is; I believe ignoring this direction was my initial downfall. Having tried and suffered the disappointing results of 'quick' doughs, I can truly say that patience is key.
It will make two medium pizzas (13").
Cooking Time: 10-15 mins.
Ok, let's start with the dough.
You will need:
3 cups Plain Flour
1 heaped tsp Active Dry Yeast
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Approx. 3/4 cup Tepid Water
FOR LATER: Semolina Flour (for dusting)
Mix the yeast, water, oil, sugar and salt together. I mixed them on a low speed in my (lovely Kenwood) Patissier mixer until the yeast was dissolved. This took about 3 mins.
Next, gradually add the flour (while mixer is still on low speed). Let the mixer work it's magic in converting all of those ingredients into a lovely dough ball. The mix should form an elastic ball, leaving the sides of the mixing bowl clean. If you feel your mix is either too dry or too wet, add a little more flour or water.
There is no need to knead (do you get it? No NEED to KNEAD! Man, my jokes are on FIRE today!). Ahem...ok, just shape the dough into a ball, put it in a mixing bowl and lightly cover this with cling film. Pop the bowl in the fridge and try to forget about it until tomorrow. Thus commencing the most difficult step in the preparation of this pizza...the waiting game. Tick tock, tick tock!
FAST FORWARD (*zzzzip* - eh, not the sound of a trousers zip but a zip suggestive of time having passed. Perhaps *zzzoom* is more apt? I don't know).
Your dough is now ready for the next stage (I was ecstatic when the 24 hour waiting stint had passed). I would advise turning on some cheery music right about now. It's a lovely process and music could only add to that pleasantness! I chose Alela Diane.
Divide your dough into two. Save one half for your next pizza.
With a trusty rolling pin, roll out your dough (very thinly) on a lightly dusted surface. I found this much easier than the recipes I tried in the past; this dough allows for a nice even roll and doesn't break easily when thin. It should be quite elastic and withstand gentle stretching. Roll (and stretch accordingly) into the best damn round pizza you can manage. Sprinkle some semolina flour over your base. Place your dough on parchment lined tray or pizza stone. I baked it on a 13" pizza tray lined with baking parchment (I've been looking everywhere for a pizza stone. No luck yet). I left a crust of about an inch around the edges (pinch the dough upwards to create a 'lipped' crust). For my next step, I grabbed a fork for some pizza stabbing action. Pierce your lovely smooth dough (it seems a shame) several times to prevent it from ballooning in the oven. Leave your tray aside. Now's the time to prepare your homemade sauce.
Pre-heat your oven to 250°C.
For the sauce, I used:
1 can Chopped Tomatoes
Approx. 2 tsp Tomato Purée (for thickness)
1 Red Onion, chopped.
1 tsp Garlic Granules (alternatively, 3-4 crushed garlic cloves)
1 tsp Mixed Herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
A Splash of red wine
Heat 2 tsps of olive oil in pan. When hot, add the onion. Fry until soft and slightly transluscent. Next, add the chopped tomatoes. To this, add tomato purée. Follow by adding the garlic, herbs, salt and sugar. Lastly, add the wine. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently until the sauce thickens. This should take about 20 mins. Allow to cool.
While waiting for your sauce to cool, pop your pizza dough in the oven for about four minutes. This will allow for a crispy base. Pop any giant bubbles!
Now, spread your tomato sauce over the pizza base (do be generous).
Finish with toppings and cheese of your choice. For my 'Popeye Pizza,' I used some chorizo slices, strips of parma ham, sliced buffalo mozarella and grated mozarella. I baked my pizza in the oven for about 12 mins (rotating it half-way through cooking time), allowed it to cool and then added a generous handful of baby spinach on top. Hence, my Popeye reference!
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Never again will I search for another thin-crust recipe. I have chosen this as my winner. My life is now complete.