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Fluffy, Airy yet Crunchy Pizza Dough

Pizza dough has always been an interesting subject topic and with this Fluffy, Airy yet crunchy Pizza Dough recipe we wanted to make Pizza for the first time. Pizza dough ranges, from thick, stuffed, thin, bready, airy and each person has their favourite way of eating pizza. I particularly prefer the thin crust Italian pizzas. Though I haven’t had pizzas in Italy, I’ve tried the Italian owned pizza places in Mauritius. And I wanted to see if it was possible to recreate that as close as possible at home.

Fluffy airy, crunchy pizza dough

This is where I found Vito Iacopolli’s channel on YouTube, and he describes pizza making as an art. And it truly is, here’s the link to Vito Iacopolli’s video of the homemade pizza dough you can make at home. However, being in lockdown in Mauritius, some of the ingredients we have easily accessible might not turn out exactly the same way. We’ve tested and tried it and below is the recipe that worked for us but inspired by Mr Iacopolli. His video tutorial recipe has been tweaked to make sure we can do it with what we already had at home and some tips we thought would be useful and some extra precision in terms of timing. 

Fluffy,Airy and Crunchy Pizza Dough

Step 1 – the Poolish dough (prepare 24hrs before)

This Poolish dough is going to be the base of your pizza dough, it is a pre-fermented dough that will help your final pizza dough’s texture and flavour. Quick and easy to do 24 hours before you plan on making you final pizza dough. It’s is a mixture of yeast, water, honey and flour in a large container. 24hrs sounds a bit long but trust me when I say it’s super quick to prepare, it takes 10 mins, close the container and then you leave it out for 1 hour at room temperature then storein the fridge for 24 hours and it will double in size! This is what will help you get that Fluffy, Airy yet crunchy Pizza Dough.

The Pizza Dough Completion Day (this recipe makes 10 dough balls)

So 24hours after preparing your Poolish take it out and it should look like the photo below. A very wet dough with a bunch of bubbles and doubled in size since yesterday. Now it will take you 3 more hours before the pizza dough is completely ready to stretch out and cook. 

This is counting the time needed to rest the dough and to let it rise. 

What you can do is prepare the dough early and keep in the fridge for later on. Or you can freeze it for next time if you want to prepare it ahead of time. You won’t believe how amazing and fresh it still tastes and feels even after being frozen.

Pizza Poolish Dough

Freezing & Defrosting your dough

Once your dough has had its final rise; to freeze it; place the dough ball on a tray with some flour under, cover with cling film and place in the freezer for about 1-2 hours.

Then take out the tray and remove the dough balls individually and place in zip lock bags and ta-da. You have a stock of pizza dough ready for you to eat anytime.

Now defrosting your pizza, remove the pizza dough and keep at room temperature for 30-45 mins, and by itself it should defrost. And it’s ready to be stretched!

Fluffy, Airy yet Crunchy Pizza Dough

Course: From The Kitchen, Dinner, lunchDifficulty: Medium
Servings

10

Dough Balls/Pizza
Total Time

28

Hours

Ingredients

  • The Poolish Dough (preferment) prepare 24hrs before
  • 300ml water (1 ¼ Cups)

  • 300g Multipurpose Flour Blédor (1 ¾ Cups + 2 tablespoons)

  • 10g saf-instant Dry Yeast (2 ½ tsp)

  • 5g honey Les Ruchers Senneville (1 tsp)

  • Finishing the dough
  • All of the Poolish Dough

  • 700ml water (3 cups)

  • 40g sea salt (2 ¼ tablespoon)

  • 1,200g Multipurpose Flour Blédor (4 ¾ Cups)

Directions

  • The Poolish Dough – 24hrs before
  • Place 300ml of water in a container and add 2 teaspoon of instant dry yeast, add 1 tablespoon of honey and stir till completely incorporated then add in 300g flour and stir until completely smooth 
  • Cover the contianer and leave at room temperature for 1 hour then 24hrs in the fridge
  • Making the Pizza dough – 24hrs later
  • In a large bowl add in the 700ml of water and add Poolish dough to water mixing until completely incorporated with a spatula
  • Add in half of the flour and mix until incorporated
  • Add in salt and the 2nd half of the flour and mix almost completely incorporated
  • Then place the dough on the counter or on a board
  • Knead dough until everything is well incorporated it will be quite rough and slightly sticky, cover with the large bowl on top and rest for 15 minutes
  • Once rested, remove the bowl. Oil your hands with some olive oil and tuck the sides of the dough underneath lifting the dough through the center and tucking the bottom under to create a bubble effect. Continuously tucking the dough under and inside so that the top of the dough stays on top. This is adding air into the dough so it’s airy repeat until dough is round and smooth – Check Vito Iacopelli’s demonstration at 8:15-9:00 for visual technique
  • Grease the bowl lightly and put back the dough with top side up in the bowl, cover with a clean towel or lid and let rest for 30 minutes 
  • Place the dough back on the counter top/board with top side up rub some olive oil on top of the dough 
  • Cut dough into 3 parts, take one of the dough pieces at the tip and tuck the dough in and under slowly making part of the dough into a ball. This once again puts air into the dough. Loosely cup your hand around the dough to get the size and tear off the ball of dough and tuck in and under making a smooth ball of dough, continue for the rest – Check Vito Iacopelli’s demonstration at 10:22-11:30
  • Adding flour to a tray place the balls of dough on the tray. Then with some oil in your hands dab the top of the dough balls to avoid sticking to cling film and cover with cling film
  • Let rest for 2hours at room temperature
  • Once 30 mins is left, place your oven tray in the oven and preheat at max temperature, mine was at 300C. In the meantime, prepare your toppings 
  • Once the last 30 minutes of the 2 hours are up, with a small bowl of flour lightly place the dough in the flour on both sides. Add some flour to the counter and make sure to place the dough top side up always
  • With your fingers press the dough from the center pressing the dough lightly to the sides pushing the air from the center into the crust and let the crust stay thick so the center is thinner and sides thicker
  • Flip and do same on the other side, then flip back so top is back on top
  • Then repeating, gently keep pressing the air towards the crust and now pull the sides of the pizza making sure not to crush the crust, this is stretching out the pizza gently
  • Prepare a sheet of baking paper on a chopping board
  • Once done, then you want to have both hands under the dough as a fist and push it up and turn quickly so the dough is stretching from its own weight on your hands and put back down on the sheet of baking paper on the chopping board top side up and your pizza has been stretched and is ready for your tomato
  • Spread tomato sauce on the dough and with your hands dab some olive oil along the crust then bring your chopping board to the oven and slide the baking paper with the pizza dough into the baking tray that is in the oven for a first bake
  • Keep for 4-5 minutes once it’s slightly golden brown and the crust has grown then remove
  • Continue adding the cheese and toppings of choice 
  • Then place back into the oven for another 4-5 minutes or until your crust is baked as you like it
  • And you have made your first homemade pizza dough!!! You did it! Yes!
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