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Pizza. The perfect food…according to my kids. Whenever I suggest pizza for dinner there are never any arguments (except for who is going to do the dishes, but hey, you can’t win them all!). We have always preferred homemade pizza but until recently would buy pre-made bases to cover with our own toppings. And then I discovered the joys of making my own dough. I love flouring my hands and kneading the dough. I find it tactile and relaxing. It is definitely more time consuming, but the result is worth it!

You could also make this in a stand mixer, however you need to make sure it is a robust one such as a Kenwood or KitchenAid as many of the smaller cheaper mixers just do not have the wattage to handle such a heavy mix.

Ingredients

½ cup warm water
1 sachet (8g) Edmonds instant dry yeast
1 ¾ cups water, at room temperature
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
5 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
2 tsp. salt
olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the bowl

Measure the warm water a large (3-4 cup) measuring jug. Sprinkle in the yeast. After about 5 minutes the yeast would have dissolved and swollen. At this point add the room temperature water then oil and stir to combine.

Place the flour and salt in a large bowl. Combine the dry ingredients and then slowly add the liquid and mix until it forms a cohesive mass. At this point turn the dough out onto a floured bench and knead with floured hands for approximately 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. You may need to add flour a few times as the dough can get sticky.

Form the dough into a ball, put it in a bowl that has been oiled with the extra olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. This may take anywhere from ½ an hour to 2 hours.

Punch the dough to deflate it then divide into individual pizza portions. I find this amount of dough makes 4-5 round pizzas approximately 32 cm diameter.

With a rolling pin, roll each ball of dough to the pizza pan size, place on the pan and leave to rise a second time while preparing the toppings.

Add your choice of toppings and bake in a hot oven for 10-12 minutes.

If you only want to make a couple of pizzas you can put the remaining dough covered in the fridge to use within a couple of days however I usually bake all the pizzas as the leftovers are great in lunchboxes the next day. You could also use leftover dough to make pizza bites or pinwheel pizzas.

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