Perfect pizza dough – that seems like the dream doesn’t it or at least a bit of a brag, but I have been making homemade pizza weekly for the last 27 years and I stand by my pizza dough being pretty perfect. Homemade pizza was one of the first meals I made for the husbeast, yes I wooed him with my pizza making prowess. Since then I have continued to make pizza on a weekly basis and it is our Saturday night tradition.
So much so my own children prefer homemade pizza over shop-bought and pretty much all takeaway pizza too!
So yes, 3 pizzas a week each time for 27 years and we have had an outdoor pizza oven for the last 5 years. Our current favourite pizza toppings are salami and red onion, pepperoni, and margarita with fresh basil. We are certainly a “less is more” family when it comes to pizza toppings.
I want to share with you my pizza dough recipes and also let you in on some tricks and tips that make it easier and even more delicious.
We were recently sent an Optima Pizza Express Napoli indoor pizza oven to try from Pizza United. I am going to admit I was really sceptical as I cook three pizzas in my domestic oven for around 12 minutes or we use our outdoor wood-fired oven. I wasn’t sure how this would fit into our routine. Well, I have to say it is now used at least once a week to cook our pizzas. We LOVE it!
It takes the pizza to a whole new level and the bases are just cooked amazingly well. The only issue I have is that you have to be careful when lifting the lid after your pizza is cooked as there is a release of steam.
It is a brilliant compact pizza oven that makes delicious and speedy pizza. It is small enough to pop in a cupboard and once hot it takes 4.5 minutes to make a delicious pizza. We like it so much that Maxi has been making extra dough so he can treat himself to a pizza for lunch!
Perfect Pizza Dough Receipes
You can find our tried and tested recipes at the end of this post and yes, I say recipes as I perfected a yeast-free one over lockdown.
Tip Our recipes make three 12 thin-crust pizzas or two deeper crust pizzas.
How to make a Perfect Pizza Base – Hints and Tips
My children prefer thin-crust pizzas and I have learned over the years that having a pizza party is a really great way of encouraging kids to try new foods. When the boys were younger I used to split the dough into six and they give them to the kids to roll and top themselves. Their friends loved coming around for pizzas.
One of the best things I bought when it comes to making pizzas is flexible mesh trays which are designed to let hot air circulate, giving your pizza a perfect all-round crispness. They sit directly on the oven shelf so there’s no need for extra washing up, simply wipe clean, wash in warm soapy water or even place them in the dishwasher. We have had the same three for about 10 years. I even use them in the pizza oven as it makes pizza easier to get in and out plus you don’t need semolina to dust the pizza paddle.
I like to use garlic salt in my pizza dough. It gives it a really nice flavour and we also use local honey. Another tip is to use pizza seasoning before cooking (just a little).
When it comes to cheese, I am a mozzarella girl and happy to use grated or balls, but it is key to drain and squeeze out any moisture from the balls before use. Then chop us the balls and allow to dry on some muslin or kitchen roll.
When it comes to rolling your pizza I prefer a wooden rolling pin without ends as it allows you to roll it bigger without creases in the dough. Also, a flour shaker allows you to stop the dough from sticking. Before I roll the dough I press out the air. You can use your dough immediately, or keep it, wrapped in clingfilm, in the fridge (for 3 days), or freezer (for 3 months) until required.
Tip Don’t make your pizza’s too far in advance or the dough will keep rising (even with toppings on) and this will create air pockets that will rise in the oven and the topping will slip off.
Pizza is the only meal that we eat in the sitting room. I love the tradition we have created and how it brings my family together.
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Homemade Pizza Recipe Dough
- 560 g of strong white flour
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- pinch of salt
- 1 sachet of yeast
- 340 ml of warm water
We simply pop the ingredients in to our bread machine on the pizza dough setting and 45 minutes later we have perfect dough ready to roll.
However, you could also put them all in to a mixer and mix using a dough hook then leave to rise for 40 minutes in a warm place.
Alternately you can hand mix it and knead for around 10 minutes before leaving it covered in a warm place to rise
Over lockdown, yeast was hard to come by so I developed and perfected a yeast-free version.
Easy no-yeast pizza
For the Pizza Dough
- 300 g self-raising flour plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 300 g natural yoghurt We prefer Greek
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Pour in the yoghurt the stir with a fork to combine or use a dough hook in your mixer.
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 2 equal pieces and roll out into thin circles.