If you wish to make wholemeal pizza base, use half white and half wholemeal. Why? If you use all wholemeal the dough won't rise very much and the dough will be very heavy.
Preparing the dough...
You need to use 300ml of tepid water, which means warmish – about 27c.
Hint, test the temperature the water with a clean finger, it should feel warm not hot. Hot water kills the yeast!
Pour the TEPID water into a bowl
Add 1 tsp sugar and stir
Sprinkle the pack of dried yeast into the bowl
Whisk with a fork until the yeast and sugar dissolve.
Leave the mixture for 10-15 minutes until the surface is frothy
Now sift the flour and salt into a large bowl
Pour in the yeast mixture
Fold the flour into the yeast mixture using a wooden spoon, until a dough ball forms.
You can use your hands if you like, coat them with oil first.
Personally I don’t like the mess!!
Sprinkle a layer of flour onto your work surface.
Tip the dough onto the floured surface
Knead with your hands. Gently pulling the dough away from you and folding into the middle.
Knead for 5 minutes. Be gentle though!
If the dough gets sticky, sprinkle a little flour over it.
When the dough is a soft smooth ball, rinse and dry the bowl it was in. Rub a little olive oil over the inside of the bowl
Place the dough back into the bowl, cover with a damp tea towel.
Leave the dough somewhere warm for 1hr to let it rise. It should double in size.
You can prepare the toppings at this stage if you like.
Hey... you can pop to the shops to get them!!
When the dough has expanded to double its size, rub a little oil on your hands and gently slide your hand down the side of the bowl and lift the dough up then gently punch it down to release the big air bubbles.
Place on a floured surface.
Now divide the dough in two pieces by gently nipping the middle with your thumb and one finger
Cover with a damp cloth again, just for 10 minutes this time. I know what you’re thinking! Yes I do!
Nearly there now… I promise!!
Preheat the oven at approx 175c if you know your oven, it may need to be a little higher or lower.
Lightly grease a 12 inch pizza baking tray with olive oil. This is important as it stops the pizza base from sticking.
I prefer to use a pizza tray which has small holes in the bottom, which help the pizza dough cook from the bottom up. It also cuts the cooking time.
Now, using your hands, gently stretch the dough to fit the inside of the pizza baking tray.