Pizza dough recipe courtesy of Marco Ropke.
There are lots of pizza dough recipes in the world .. this is just the one I have. It is meant (I believe) to be only for thin-crust pizzas. I haven't tried to make a thicker one from this dough so ya never know it might work for that too?
400g Strong flour
20/25ml Olive oil
8g instant yeast
Normal craic with this one .. mix the yeast and water separate give them a minute and a bit of a stir to dissolve and then if you're using a machine just throw everything into the bowl and set to mix for about 8 mins on medium speed. If you're mixing by hand then put your flour and salt out on the bench and make a wee well in the middle and get all your wet ingredients in there. Mix it up slowly at first and then lash into it and knead knead knead.
This will result in a firm but elastic dough. You can roll this out straight away and make pizza out of it, no need to wait for rises or anything! The few that I have made out of this have turned out pretty tasty. I put them in the oven before putting the toppings on them to give them a bit of a cook. The picture on the left is the pizza after that initial blast of heat. I am going to try putting my pie weights on the dough the next time to stop it blowing up like that, not that it make a whole lot of difference really.
Anyway I didn't have any toppings lying around really so I went minimalist Italian on it and I just put tomatoes and cheese with a drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper and cayenne for seasoning.
Things to note about making this pizza. The recipe I have given makes TWO large pizzas. As you can see by the picture this pizza covers and entire large (half-sheet) baking tray. However because it is so thin and there was a very light arrangement of toppings on there I did manage to eat the whole thing myself. I'm a hungry bastid though and I was full as an egg after it.
Another tip for this is that when you're rolling it out it won't want to stretch to a really large size and, like an elastic band, will want to return to a small round. The way to get around this is roll it out as far as you can then walk away. Leave it for 4 or 5 mins and then come back to it and you'll find it will roll out to twice the size no problem,
Last thing is that this dough will keep for about 2 days in the fridge (all wrapped up nicely with nothing left open to the air) .. after that you're not seeing the best results methinks.
Amendment Nov 2010: I have since realised that you can leave the dough in the fridge for a lot longer and still get tasty results. As long as it's in a fairly airtight bag you could get away with 4 or 5 days no bother. Also you can freeze it for ages and then just take it out the day before you want to use it.
Amendment April 2011: It has just been pointed out that I had no temp or cooking info in this 'recipe' .. I throw it in at about 450F for 3/4 mins with no toppings on it then take it back out pop a couple of holes in the blister that will inevitably appear and load the toppings on and put it back in for 10 mins on the dot ... job done. Sorry Jodie!
That's it .. enjoy your Italian pizza...