How to make a pizza base from scratch

Once you've learned how to make this easy pizza dough, you'll never want to buy a shop bought one again!

Pizza-base

by Lorna White |

Who doesn't love a tasty slice of pizza with their favourite toppings on top? Although there are plenty of delicious pizzas to buy from your local takeaway or supermarket, you might be surprised to learn how easy it is to make your own pizza.

Once you've made your dough, the rest is easy, and it's also a fun activity to do with the little ones in your life too!

This pizza dough recipe from Jamie Oliver is simple to do and proves in around an hour.

Pizza dough recipe

pizza-dough-recipe

Makes 8 medium-sized thin bases | Cooks in 20 minutes plus proving time

Ingredients

Method

  1. Sieve the flour/s and salt on to a clean work surface and make a well in the middle.
  1. In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and oil into 650ml of lukewarm water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well.
  1. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.
  1. Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
  1. Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands – this is called knocking back the dough. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in clingfilm, in the fridge (or freezer) until required.
  1. If using straight away, divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizzas – this amount of dough is enough to make about six to eight medium pizzas.
  1. Timing-wise, it’s a good idea to roll the pizzas out about 15 to 20 minutes before you want to cook them. Don’t roll them out and leave them hanging around for a few hours, though – if you are working in advance like this it’s better to leave your dough, covered with clingfilm, in the fridge. However, if you want to get them rolled out so there’s one less thing to do when your guests are round, simply roll the dough out into rough circles, about 0.5cm thick, and place them on slightly larger pieces of olive-oil-rubbed and flour-dusted tin foil. You can then stack the pizzas, cover them with clingfilm, and pop them into the fridge.

How to make a gluten free pizza base

pizza-base

Another one from Jamie Oliver for those of you with a gluten intolerance

Serves 4 | Cooks in 45 minutes plus proving

Ingredients

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. Place a pizza stone or a large baking tray in the oven to heat up.
  1. Heat the milk in a small pan over a low heat until lukewarm, then place 50ml into a jug with the yeast and sugar. Mix well, then set aside for a few minutes until starting to bubble.
  1. Meanwhile, sieve the flour, xanthan gum and salt into a large bowl, then make a well in the middle. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the remaining milk, then pour it into the well, along with the yeast mixture. Gradually bring the mixture together with a fork until it forms a smooth dough.
  1. In a small cup, combine the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar, then quickly knead it into the mixture. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, then leave to prove in a warm place for around 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  1. Once doubled in size, divide the dough into four equal-sized pieces on a flour-dusted surface. Roll out until roughly 30cm in diameter and 2mm thick. Place the pizza bases onto the preheated pizza stone or baking tray (you’ll need to do this in batches). Put your sauce and toppings on and pop in the hot oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden and crisp. Scatter the reserved basil leaves on top, then serve.

How to make a yeast free pizza base

Preparation time: less than 30 mins | Cooking time: 10 to 30 mins | Serves 4

Whether you have a yeast intolerance or you just don't have the time to wait for your pizza dough to prove, yeast free pizza, or sometimes called 'instant pizza base' is a brilliant alternative. This recipe from BBC Good Food is easy to follow and prepare.

Ingredients

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7 and put two baking trays in to heat.
  1. To make the dough, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour in the yoghurt the stir with a fork to combine. When the mixture forms a rough dough, turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead to form a smooth ball. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll out into thin circles.
  1. Carefully remove the hot baking trays from the oven and lay the pizza bases on top. Bake for 3-4 minutes until beginning to rise then remove from the oven.
  1. Turn the pizza bases over and top with the sauce and toppings. Bake for 5 minutes until the bases are crisp and the cheese is bubbling.

Watch how Gino D'ACampo makes his pizza dough

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