Making a great pizza starts -and to a large degree-ends with the crust. That of course means a great pizza dough, and like all things Culinary Medicine, that means starting off with great ingredients. I prefer organic Tipo “00” from durum wheat with a protein content of 11-12%. With that being said, you can use a great quality organic AP (all-purpose) flour and you will get a good result. Just focus on the Mediterranean approach; fresh, fresh, fresh, and simple!
- 500 g organic flour; Tipo “00” preferred
- 320 g water (distilled or spring)
- 40 mL olive oil
- 10 g (2 tsp.) salt
- 14 g yeast (2 packets dry active instant yeast)
Add the flour to a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attachment if you are using one. Add the yeast and salt to opposite ends of the bowl. Slowly add the water; you may need a little less or a little more depending on the flour and relative humidity. The dough should just be coming together into a ball. At this point add the olive oil in increments and continue to need until you have a large, smooth, shiny dough ball. You should have a relatively soft dough. Place in a closed container with a little olive oil on top of the dough and allow to rise. After roughly 1-2 hours it should have doubled in size. Divide into 4 equal pieces and place in a closed container, again with a little olive oil on top to prevent the dough from drying out. Allow to proof at least an hour.
If you are not using immediately, you can at this point freeze the dough. If you are using in the next day or two, you can place in the refrigerator. This will not stop the dough from rising (in the fridge), but will substantially slow it down. This also works to enhance the flavor. With bread making, more fermentation time equals more and deeper complexity of flavor. Either way, allow the dough to come up to room temperature before working into rounds or other desired pizza shapes. Each dough ball should make 1 personal, ~10 inch, pizza round.