I’ve always hesitated to make homemade pizza dough because I thought it would be time consuming, but I found out recently that if you use a bread machine, it really isn’t. In fact, it takes very little hands on time at all.
By using the dough setting on a bread maker, you can have delicious pizza on the table with very little effort. It takes time for the machine to make the dough (my machine takes about two and a half hours), but you can be doing other things while that is happening. I only spent about half an hour in the kitchen in total making this meal - the rest of the time the bread machine, fridge and oven were looking after the dinner for me.
This recipe makes enough dough for two large pizzas or three to four smaller ones, so you can either make large pizzas for the family, or let everyone make their own which can be a lot of fun, especially with kids. You can bake these on baking sheets, or those special round pizza pans with the holes in, or on pizza stones.
For the dough:-
1¼ cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used mild olive oil - not Extra Virgin)
3 cups strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2½ teaspoons instant or fast-acting dried yeast
For the topping:-
tomato sauce or passata (thick, sieved tomatoes)
dried herbs of your choice - I used about a quarter teaspoon of oregano
your choice of topppings - I used sliced onions, peppers and zucchini. I would have added sliced tomatoes and olives if I had them!
cheese - either grated mozzarella or another easy-melting cheese or sliced rounds of mozzarella, which is what I used
Pour the water into the bread maker bucket. Add the oil.
Sprinkle half the flour on top. Add the salt and sugar. Now sprinkle the rest of the flour over top. Mound the yeast in the centre.
Put the bucket in the bread maker and set to ‘dough’.
When the dough is ready, carefully remove it to a clean surface or bread board. Remove the paddle and knead for two or three minutes. (Instead of using flour for kneading, I use Paul Hollywood’s tip and coat my hands with a bit of oil to prevent sticking. It stops the dough from getting tough, which can happen if you use too much flour.)
Divide the dough in either two or three to four pieces and roll to fit your pizza pans or baking sheets. Brush each pizza with the tomato sauce or passata to within about an inch of the edge.
Pop in the fridge for half an hour to let the dough settle.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to about 375 to 400℉ (or about 180 to 190℃) depending on how fierce your oven is.
After half an hour, remove the pizzas from the fridge and add whatever toppings and cheese you fancy.
Bake for about twenty minutes (keep an eye on them after 15 minutes) or until the edges of the pizza have risen and the toppings are bubbly and just beginning to take on a golden tinge.