Perfect Pizza Dough Recipe

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So back in November last year, I attended the Food SA awards and promised to put some focus on South Australian producers.

I’ve not done the world’s best job of that, have I? Still, the other week at the Cellar Door Festival Pangkarra, based in Clare, had a stand so punters were able to try their pasta and purchase a wide range of their foods.

Pangkarra started life as a legume and cereal producer but these days, this fifth generation family owned business produces fine foods, such as flours and pastas, too. And while I have no doubt that this kind of value adding takes a lot of effort that many primary producers can’t afford, it is a brilliant way of ensuring that more money flows back to the people who produce the food, rather than middle men.

I’ve seen Pangkarra pasta in my parents’ local Foodland (unfortunately not in my own) but never had the presence of mind to purchase it. And the Cellar Door Festival wasn’t really the place to buy pasta – it being fragile and all. But I was easily tempted by a 1kg bag of the stone ground, wholegrain durum flour. It was offered at the special price of $3 (I think it’s normally around $7, so this is quite a discount) and I could have bought 6kg at an even greater knock down price. I also knew I had no hope of carting 6kg of flour around for an afternoon!

Now, Pangkarra does actually have a pizza dough recipe on the website, but I’ve been using an Antonio Carluccio “recipe” (you can find it in Complete Italian Food) for years and there are some things I find need no fiddling at all.

For one pizza, mix 1 generous tsp of dried yeast, with a generous ½ tsp of sugar and 125 mL of warm water (think tepid). Leave to allow the yeast to activate (the mixture will start to froth a little) and add in 200 g of flour. I was warned that the Pangkarra flour would be more thirsty than run of the mill (ahem!) flour – and it certainly was, so have some additional water to hand to bring the dough together.

This is usually quite a stiff dough and was especially so in this case because I didn’t want to end up with dough that was too wet. I always let my KitchenAid do the first lot of kneading for me, then I just form the dough into a ball, cover it with a slick of oil and leave it to rise.

Making the pizza is easy! Preheat your oven to as hot as it will go (250°C fan in our case), lightly oil a pizza pan, and roll out the dough. Put the dough in the pizza pan, add a generous slick of tomato paste, some dried oregano and chilli flakes and then lots of slices of mozzarella cheese. Finish off with toppings of your choice (in our case, onion, ham, spicy salami, some green capsicum, artichokes, and black olives) and bake until done. In our oven, this is just 10 minutes.

Slice and eat immediately!

The Pangkarra flour made a good dough and good base. I usually add salt to my pizza dough but in this instance I forgot (thanks to my pint sized kitchen ‘helper’) and while I did notice (don’t you always, if you know!) Andy said he didn’t think it needed it – a sign that the flour itself has plenty of taste.

It’s obviously very strong flour so I really am going to have to have a go making my own pasta with it …

NOTE:  This post has not been sponsored in any way.  I paid for the flour and, had it been awful, I would have told you so!

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