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Top 5 Fixes For Your Pizza Dough

NEVER UNDESTIMATE the importance of your dough base – it’s the foundation of your pizza and if you get it wrong, everything else can fail. Including, of course, toppings that slide right off if your base is sloppy, drooping or unable to hold its form – not to mention dough that’s over-chewy, hard to digest, too salty, flavourless or too hard.

So here are our five top tips to fix the common problems with pizza dough:

1. ADD COLD WATER WHILE MIXING

The typical pizza dough mix includes flour, yeast, salt, sugar and water. It’s important to add the water while mixing the dough, and make sure it’s cold. Pizza dough made with hot water and/or too much water while lead to air bubbles in the middle of the dough base – caused by friction being created during the mixing. So use cold water instead and a good quality baker’s flour.

2. MAKE SURE YOUR DOUGH IS WELL-KNEADED

The longer you knead your dough, the more elasticity it will have, which will prevent tears when you stretch it out. Three to five minutes of kneading should do the trick. A well-developed dough should stretch very thin: test yours by breaking off a small piece, then pull it apart with your fingertips until it becomes translucent. If it tears before that happens, it needs more kneading.

3. REST FOR UP TO 72 HOURS

The longer you can ‘rest’ the dough after it’s been kneaded, the less yeast you have to use. This way you’ll end up with a pizza base which is light and crunchy and easier for the customer to digest.

4. LEAVE IN THE FRIDGE/COOL ROOM PRIOR TO USE

The longer you leave dough out at room temperature, the more chance it has to develop flavours you don’t want. Instead, rest your dough in the fridge/cool room. This ‘cold fermentation’ process ensures that when you bring it out and let it warm up, it will be super-light and super-tasty.

5. DON’T BE AFRAID OF ‘OVER DUSTING’

When rolling out your dough balls, be sure to use plenty of dusting flour. There’s no need to worry about ‘over dusting’ your dough – you can always brush off any excess dough before putting your base on the pizza peel. And don’t forget to dust your peel as well – this will help prevent your base from tearing.