• Elena

PIZZA TIME!

Updated: Sep 3, 2021


Who doesn't love pizza?! From the simplest margherita to the most advanced topping, there is really not much that beats a good pizza, and the secret is all in the dough.


Growing up I have seen my granma, my mum and pretty much all women in the family (not that many men cooking in my family) kneading the dough and baking pizza. It's one of those things you grow up with and see so many times that it gets kind of stuck in your DNA. You don't really think about it too much, but once it becomes your turn to bake it just comes natural.


I have been asked several times to share my pizza dough and always thought it was so difficult to do when I really bake by feeling rather than following a recipe. I have tried though to put down in writing what I do and measure what I use in case anyone else would like to give it a try.

My recipe is what I bake for out family of four (two adults, two kids) and it's enough for three to four rectangular pizzas that are about 35x25 cm. In our case, that's enough for a dinner and some left over for snacks the next day. No matter which recipe you choose to use, there are some tricks that can help getting the best result:


  • When preparing the dough, always choose a flour that is high in gluten, such as strong bread flour. Here in Sweden I usually use half Manitoba Cream flour and half Vetemjöl Special.

  • Make sure that the salt doesn't get in direct contact with the yeast. Salt slows down the growth rate of the yeast, so add it later in the recipe to allow the dough to rise more.

  • Don't add all the flour at the same time, but rather a bit at the time. Flour absorbs different amounts of liquids depending on its protein and / or moisture content, as well at the temperature and humidity of the air, so recipes amounts are never perfect for everyone. Adding the flour in parts helps keeping the dough elastic and avoiding "overfeeding it" with flour.

  • Don't rush the kneading process. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes by machine or 15 minutes by hand to guarantee that the gluten has time to form.

  • Pizza dough needs time to raise. A couple of hours (or double size) is really the minimum standard, but the longer the better. I usually prepare my dough around lunch time for a pizza dinner.

  • If you are planning to start baking pizza or bread more often I highly recommend investing in a pizza stone. Mine is in marble, but there are other versions out there that surely work great too. For the best result, place the stone in the lowest level of your oven about an hour before you are baking your first pizza and turn the oven on to the highest temperature. A really warm pizza stone is what will guarantee a crispy and airy pizza crust.

  • Bake your pizza a few minutes with only the tomato sauce and a little olive oil on, then take it out of the oven, place the rest of the topping on and put it back in the oven. The first few minutes will help avoiding a soggy pizza, which is otherwise easy to get when too much wet topping is added right away.

 

𝒯𝒽𝑒 𝓅𝑒𝓇𝒻𝑒𝒸𝓉 𝓅𝒾𝓏𝓏𝒶 𝒹𝑜𝓊𝑔𝒽


750 gr strong bread flour

25 gr fresh yeast (1/2 a cube if you are in Sweden)

1/2 tbsp olive oil (plus some for the bowl)

1/2 tbsp salt

ca 7 dl lukewarm water (37 degrees celsius)


Dissolve the yeast in a couple of deciliter of water.


Add the oil (I use extra virgin olive oil) and a third of the flour and start kneading the dough in a mixer equipped with the dough hook attachment.


Blend the salt with the rest of the flour and start adding it to the dough a bit at the time, alternating it with the remaining water until you have an elastic dough that pulls away from the sides of your bowl. Knead the pizza dough on low to medium speed using the dough hook about 7-10 minutes. If you don't have a mixer, you can mix the ingredients together and knead them by hand.


Spread a thin layer of olive oil over the inside of a large bowl. Place the pizza dough in the bowl and turn it around so that it gets coated with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the pizza dough rise in a regular room temperature place (your kitchen counter will do fine). The minimum raising time is a couple of hours but the longer the better.



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