We have all tried making pizzas in our homes this quarantine at some point. From trying to cook it on a Tawa to baking “hack” Pizza Neopolitanas, we tried it all. For most of us unlucky souls, it did not go well. But that does not mean me we give up on delicious gooey pizza!
So, I bring you a three-part guide to perfecting pizzas, the foolproof way!
Today, we perfect our base!
Usually, when we are making pizza at home, most of us use a ready-made pizza base. And let me tell you, that very base is cancelling out all the hard work put into your rich sauce and carefully assorted toppings.
So, what do we do?
We make our pizza dough! Yes, I know it sounds daunting because of all the measurements, the proofing and what not. But trust me when I say this, it’s the easiest bread I have ever made. All you need is 4 ingredients: flour(100%), active dry yeast (6%), salt(5%) and sugar(12%)!
*percentages are by weight
The bread-making part takes place in 3 steps: Mixing, Kneading and Proofing.
Step 1: Mixing
Just like most baking processes, you mix the dry and wet ingredients separately. The only difference here is that you mix sugar and the yeast in a little bit of warm water and leave it to bubble away. This step is call blooming and it ensures that your yeast is alive.
Step 2: Kneading
This step determines your bread’s fate: will it rise to success, or will it just go flat?
Use about 50% water by weight, including the yeast and sugar solution. If you think you can add more, feel free. All flours have different absorption capacities.
Knead for 20 minutes (yes, 20 minutes), till the dough is stretchy yet soft.
Step 3: Proofing
Proofing is when you provide your dough with a warm and moist atmosphere where the yeast can thrive and produce Carbon Dioxide to raise the dough into double its original size.
With Pizza Dough, you can divide the dough into balls for proofing and roll it out before assembly and baking!
Proofing Chamber DIY: In a lot of places the ideal proofing environment does not exist naturally, especially in winters. So, to create your proofing chamber preheat the oven and on the bottom rack place a shallow tray filled with boiling water. Put your dough inside the oven covered with a damp cloth, shut the oven door and turn your oven off! In 30-40 minutes, your dough will be double its size.