Updated: Aug 21, 2021
The question here is, Crust or no Crust?
I have a confession to make. I am an ultimate carb-addict and if its a time that calls for pizza, it needs to have crust otherwise you are really just eating the fillings and that can go in to a bowl, not a pizza dough.
Perhaps this is a debate that have a 50% chance on both verdict but nevertheless, this post is for the crust lovers and alternatives are also available for thin crust heroes out there as well, simply just roll the pizza dough a lot thinner! :)
Pineapple or no pineapple?
Gordon Ramsay and the Italian will probably shake their head and walk away from me, but man..... do I love pineapple on my pizza as this fruit does goes really well with the meat and cheesy toppings.
Either way, in all honesty, I don't think there should be a strict rules to what you put on top of your pizza because I believe in being flexible with ideas and inventions and therefore no rules when it comes to food! This Hawaiian Pizza is the best invention to date and thanks to whoever it is that came up with it.
When people gives you Lemon, sell them and buy a Pineapple.
The makings of the Pizza Dough
Pizza dough can never be any more simpler. This recipe is so easy to make and the outcome is a soft and fluffy dough.
Simply place all the ingredients into the mixer bowl and knead until you developed enough gluten. Leave the dough to bulk ferment at room temperature, shape, top it up and viola, pizza on the same day! :)
Pizza doughs that are not used on the same day can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days. The best way to store them is to divide them to individual balls of dough, brush them generously with olive oil to prevent them from forming a skin then place them in their individual plastics or air tight containers. When you are ready to use them again, simply remove them from the fridge and bring them to room temperature then shape and prepare them as normal.
It is not recommended that you store the pizza dough for any longer than 3 days. Whilst the dough is in the fridge, yeast activity is still happening but at a slower rate. Leaving the dough too long in the fridge can compromise the rise and flavour of the dough. Also, if you make your dough with cold ingredients and keep the dough cold during the whole process of making them, the dough can keep in the fridge for longer since the yeast has not been waken yet and will give a longer time until the dough are over fermented. The maximum days for storage in the fridge will still only be around 5 days though. I personally have not kept pizza dough for longer than 3 day because they generally get consumed pretty quickly. If you want to keep them for longer, freezer is also an option and can keep the pizza dough for up to 2 weeks.
Another alternative to have a longer standing shelf life in the fridge for you pizza dough is to use less yeast.
Because this pizza dough is so easy to make, I would recommend to make them again fresh when you run out rather in than a bigger batch in order to retain its best quality.
Greyish spots on your pizza dough
Any type of raw dough, if not used on the same day, oxidises where the dough will appear to have tiny black or grey speckles in them. Oxidization of dough is mainly due to the mixing of the dough as well as from bran particles that are in your bread flour. Flour that has a higher ash content from the bran generally will oxidise much more and quicker. Having bran particles in your bread flour is actually not a bad thing at all since it contains a lot of fibre and you can actually still safely use doughs that have oxidised. This oxidization just means that they don't look appealing but once baked, you hardly will be able to notice it.
One way to prevent the dough from oxidizing is to add some type of acidity to the dough and vinegar is the best option that is easily available. Alternatives to vinegar are such as ascorbic acid/vitamin c (you can use crushed powder vitamin C tablets, they are the same thing:). Adding vinegar also preserves the gluten bonds in the dough! I hope that entice you to add some vinegar to your dough from now on. If you are worried about taste, don't worry, a little addition will not be easily detectable in your palate.
Types of Flour to use for Pizza Dough
There are many options as to what flours you can use for making pizza doughs. My personal favourite is the Italian Tipo 00 flour or the American category of All Purpose Flour. Although similar to All Purpose Flour, Tipo 00 has a finer ground particles which is what gives most pizza dough the crunch in their crust. Tipo 00 flour's gluten content usually stand between 11-12% which is between plain and baker's flour. You can also find higher gluten content tipo 00 flour standing at 13% which is ideal for long fermentation dough.
My favourite Tipo OO flour is from Caputo.
Let's Get Started
Yield: 4 x 20 cm pizza
550 g Tipo 00 Flour
7 g Instant Yeast
20 g Castor Sugar
40 g Olive Oil
9 g Fine Salt
320 g Room temperature water - 24°C
Qs Semolina Flour (For dusting)
The filling is enough for 4x 200 mm pizzas
20 slices Sweet Pineapple (cut to approximately 30 mm in thickness)
8 slices Mozzarella Cheese tear in to small pieces
2 cups Sliced Ham
4 tbsp. Tomato Paste
Qs. Salt to taste
Qs. Pepper to taste
For the Pizza Dough
1. Place all the ingredients except for the water for the pizza dough into a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook attachment. Start the mixer on low to mix through the ingredients then gradually stream in the water. Adjust the amount of water added whenever necessary. Start mixing on low speed for 3 minutes until all the ingredients come together and form to a rough dough. You want the dough to come together and is soft but not runny and sloppy.
Note: When adding water, allow time for the dough to absorb the liquid and check the consistency of the dough before adding more.
2. Continue to mix over medium speed for approximately 10 to 12 minutes or until the dough starts to pull away from the side of the mixer bowl. Test the dough for readiness by doing the window test (pinch a small ball of dough and gently stretch between your two hands while rotating the dough. If you are able to stretch it thin enough to see through like a "window", you have developed enough gluten. If the dough starts to break apart the moment you stretch it, you will need to mix for longer. Continue to mix and check every 2 minutes until the pass the window test).
3. Divide the dough to 4 equal portions to approximately 250 g each. Roll each portion to a smooth ball then cover with tea towel to rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
Meanwhile, pre heat the oven to 200°C then prepare your toppings.
Note: If you are not using all the of the pizza dough, you can lightly oiled individual container and place the ball of pizza dough into it. Brush the top generously with more olive oil then cover and store in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
4. Once the dough have rested on the bench after being rolled, working with each ball at a time, press the dough flat then holding the dough with your two hands, dangle the dough from the centre while rotating the dough to stretch it out to a flat disc to the size of your pizza baking plate.
5. Sprinkle the pizza tray with semolina or flour then place the stretched dough on to it. With your palms, stretch the dough again from the centre to fit the size of the tray. (This pizza dough will fit a 200mm diameter baking dish. For thinner pizza, stretch the dough onto a larger tray.
Note: If you want a thick crust, leaving approximately 10 mm distance from the corner, press down with your finger tips around the pizza dough while rotating the tray until you get a rim of thicker dough around the edge.
6. Spread the tomato paste on top of the pizza then place the toppings on top.
Place the pizza in the highest rack in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the crust starts to turn dark golden in colour. Remove from the oven and serve.
Base is not crusty?
If you do not have a baking stone like myself, you can transfer the baked pizza over a hot pan on the stove and heat it until the base starts to turn crusty. This will only take an additional 5 minutes.
Refer to near end of the video for visual instructions.