This Crispy Pizza Crust dough uses the sponge method - some of the flour is added to the water and yeast, and the resulting sponge is allowed to rest before the remaining flour is mixed in.
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1-1/4 cup lukewarm water
4-1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
Sprinkle the yeast into 1/2 cup of the water. Leave to dissolve for 5 to 10 minutes. Add about 2 tablespoons of the flour and mix to a smooth paste, then stir in the remaining water. Cover and leave the yeast mixture for about 30 minutes or until it is bubbling and foamy.
Combine the flour (reserve 2 tablespoons for kneading) and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the yeast liquid. Using a wooden spoon, work the ingredients together by pulling the flour into the liquid until it comes together.
Use your hands to transfer the mixture to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 10 minutes or until it is sooth and elastic. Form the dough into a round loaf. Leave to rise under a clean tea twoel for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and knead for a couple of minutes. Divide into four balls. Press each dough ball out flat and, using a floured rolling pine, shape into a 10 to 12-inch diameter circle. Using your knuckles, press just inside the edges to raise them slightly. Leave to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Add your toppings. Cook in the middle of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes (unless otherwise instructed, depending on the toppings) or until crispy and golden and the base is cooked.
Recipe makes Makes 4, 10-12 inch pizzas .
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