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Bread Dough Base

ingredients

makes one 25 cm (10 inch) pizza
15 g (1/2 oz) fresh yeast or 1 tsp dried or easy-blend yeast
90 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) 6 tbsp tepid water
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
175 g (6 oz) plain flour
1 tsp salt

method

1. Combine the fresh yeast with the water and sugar in a bowl. If using dried yeast, sprinkle it over the surface of the water and whisk in until dissolved.

2. Leave the mixture to rest in a warm place for 10 - 15 minutes until frothy on the surface. Stir in the olive oil.

3. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. If using easy-blend yeast, stir it in at this point. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast liquid, or water and oil (without the sugar for easy-blend yeast).

4. Using either floured hands or a wooden spoon, mix together to form a dough. Turn out on to a floured work surface and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.

5. Place in a large greased plastic bag and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size. Airing cupboards are often the best places for this, as the temperature remains constant.

6. Turn out on to a lightly floured work surface and 'knock back' by punching the dough. This releases any air bubbles which would make the pizza uneven. Knead 4 or 5 times. The dough is now ready to use

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