1kg strong bakers flour (i.e. plain flour with the highest protein level available)
20g dry yeast or 40g fresh yeast
660ml cold water
Always set out the ingredients and equipment required before getting underway. Never add warm water to the flour as it will activate the yeast too quickly and affect the end result. If it’s a hot day using cold water from the refrigerator is a good idea for this very reason. The dough can be mixed in large bowl or directly on the bench top.
Start by mixing all the dry ingredients together and creating a well in the centre. Carefully pour 600ml of water into the well and gradually incorporate the wet and dry ingredients by gently moving the water into the flour mixture. It will take three or four minutes for the dough to come together. The remaining 50ml or 60ml of water is only added if necessary and this depends on the nature of the flour.
Kneading dough is a great skill and can only be learned with practice. The kneading process involves a consistent movement of the palms and heels of the hands, pressing down and away from the body and turning the ball of dough clockwise after every pass. If 1kg of dough is too difficult to manage, it should be cut in half and worked in two batches. The aim is to achieve a smooth ball of dough after 10 minutes of kneading.
At this stage it should be possible to stretch the dough quite thinly, so it is translucent when held up to the light. A well-kneaded ball of pizza dough should have a smooth skin and feel like soft plastic.