Strong flour is very finely ground flour with a high gluten content. It is available from good delicatessens, gourmet food stores and some supermarkets. It is sometimes called ‘00’ flour
- 250ml lukewarm water
- 2tsp dry yeast
- 1¼tsp sugar
- 1½tbsp olive oil, plus extra, for greasing
- 475g strong flour, plus extra, for dusting
- 1¼tsp salt
In a small bowl, mix the lukewarm water, yeast and sugar together until combined, then leave in a warm place for 5 minutes or until frothy. Stir in the olive oil. Sift the strong flour and salt together into a large bowl. Pour the yeast mixture over the dry ingredients and use your hands to bring the mixture together to form a dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and use the heels of your hands to work the dough for 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
Lightly grease the inside of a clean, dry bowl with oil and place the dough inside. Place a tea towel over the dough and leave in a warm place to prove for 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and tip out the dough. Use your fists to knock the dough back with one good punch to let any air out. Before you portion the dough into separate balls, refer to the pizza recipe you want to make for correct measures.
Once you’ve separated your dough into portions, and working with one portion at a time, use the palms of your hands to cup the dough and roll it on the work surface in a circular motion to form a perfect ball. Repeat with the remaining dough portions.
Place the dough balls on a lightly greased baking tray, cover and leave in a warm place to prove for 15 minutes before using.