My quest for the perfect pizza base has ended. I have browsed and browsed and browsed through several recipes and pages of information on what it takes to get that perfect pizza crust – thin, light, soft on the inside and crisp outside. I don’t even remember half the sites I’ve browsed through. And I believe I have finally hit on the method and recipe that delights my pizza cravings to no end.
For a thin, crisp, light crust, this is what I gathered and I can confirm based on my experience:
- The Dough needs to be loose and not firm.
- Dough does not need kneading. Pizza bases are not breads. Whisking in one direction while forming dough is enough.
- Add more sugar or honey for better flavour.
- Cold fermentation or an overnight stay in the fridge for the dough helps (and it helps a great deal)
- Pizzas need not be tossed. A dough that can be stretched with the palm or rolling pin on a flat surface where more flour can be incorporated works wonders.
So this fine day when I was craving for pizzas I decided to put all of this research to some use. I made a wet dough, added a whole tablespoon of honey and let the dough sleep in the fridge. It worked – and it helped a great deal to get the crust I’ve always wanted in my home oven.
Makes: Two 12 inch Pizzas
For the Base/ Crust/Pizza Dough
- Water – 1 cup
- All Purpose Flour – 2 1/2 cups (plus extra for dusting)
- Corn Flour – 3 tbsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Honey – 1 tbsp
- Active Dry Yeast – 2 tsp
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Olive Oil – 3 tbsp
- Dried Herbs of Choice – 2 tbsp (optional)
- Sauce of choice – 2 tbsp (or Olive Oil)
- Toppings of choice – 1 1/2 – 2 cups sliced and sauted (tossed in 4-5 tbsp of sauce of choice if you like)
- Cheese of choice – 1/2 cup (grated) (or 6 tbsp for each pizza)
- Warm 1 cup water. Water that you can dip your finger in is warm enough. Dissolve the sugar, add honey and yeast. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Dissolve the yeast.
- Mix All Purpose Flour, Corn flour, Salt and Basil. Dissolve one cup of the flour mix to dissolved yeast. Add the second cup and combine by whisking in one circular direction with your hand. Add the remaining flour and whisk into a dough. Add the olive oil 1 tbsp at a time while combining into dough. The dough will be loose but well combined and smooth. The dough is not kneaded.
- Divide the dough into two. Cover and let it rise in a warm place until doubled. This should take about 1-2 hours.
- Flour the pizza pan. Preheat oven to 250 degrees C.
- Take one portion of the dough onto the pizza pan and using your palm pat into think circular disk till it covers the pan. You can use a rolling pin. Dust with flour while stretching. If the dough bounces back, let it rest for a while and stretch. Cut out any extra edges. The edges of the base should be slightly thicker. Using a fork prick all over the base.
- Spread 1 tbsp of the Sauce. Spread Toppings. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until the crust turns golden or cheese starts to brown. Or bake the base for 5 minutes. Take out spread the sauce and toppings and bake for an additional 5 to 15 minutes. Your method will depend on choice of sauce/ toppings (the amount of water or liquid content) and how hot your oven can get.
- Take out from oven and let pizza cool down before transferring to serving plate. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Slice into pieces and serve.
- You can safely replace half of the All Purpose Flour with Whole Wheat Flour and get the same results. Whole Wheat absorbs a lot more water. Add enough water to make a loose dough.
- Dough kept overnight in the fridge and rested about an 1 hour outside before baking produces better results. Reduce yeast to 1tsp in this case.
Pizza Dough Recipes from other blogs: