I typically just throw flour, yeast, salt and water into the mixing bowl and mix my pizza dough until it feels right but then people started asking me how I made it. For our last pizza night I had sourdough starter out and ready to go so I measured and wrote down all the directions.
In the bowl of your stand mixer weigh out the ingredients; bread flour, semolina, sourdough starter, yeast, salt and water. I put them in the bowl in the order I have them listed. Place the salt on one side and the yeast on the other because if you put them on top of each other the salt will inhibit the yeast. Add the lower amount of water. Once you start mixing you may have to add more water depending on the water content of your sourdough starter. Mine is fairly stiff.
Put the bowl on the mixer, attach the dough hook and turn it on to power 2. Mix for about 5 minutes. Dough should be forming a ball around the dough hook but not be too stiff.
Stop the mixer and put the dough onto the work surface. Use your hands to knead for a few minutes. Dough should have a smooth elastic feel, not too sticky. Oil the bowl and return the dough to prove until double.
Place the pan you’re going to cook your pizza on in the oven. I have cast iron pizza pans so they can really take the heat. If you have a pizza stone check to see if it needs a lower temperature. Preheat your oven to 500°F/260°C/Gas Mark 10.
Now you’re ready to knock it down and shape it into pizza. We do individual pizzas in my house and mine is smaller so I divide the dough into 8 ounce or 5 ounce balls and roll them out. Shape them into a circle and let rest a few minutes. I do a thinner crust so if you like your thicker roll it to the desired thickness. Use a fork to prick holes in the crust before baking.
Using a pizza paddle with some semolina sprinkles on it slide the shaped crust into the oven. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes and remove to a cooling rack. Precooking the crust before putting the toppings on will make sure you have a crisp crust with no soggy middle.
Now it’s ready to put the topping on and finish baking. If you have more crust than you need for dinner you can freeze the crust at this point and have them ready to go the next time you want a quick pizza.