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Thin Crust Pizza Dough
Makes 4 pizzas 27 cm (11 inches) in diameter

45 g (1 1/2 oz) compressed yeast (or the equivalent quantity of dried)
300 ml (11 fl oz or 1 1/2 US cups) warm water
pinch of salt
2 tbsp olive oil
600 g (1 1/4 lb or 5 US cups) plain white (all-purpose) flour

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water to which you have added the
salt and olive oil. Pour the flour into a mound on a clean working
surface and make a hole in the centre of it. Add the yeast mixture
drop by drop into the centre of the flour, mixing with your hands
until all the liquid is absorbed, forming large lumps. Knead the
dough with your hands until it has a smooth texture, then roll it
into a ball. A good pizza depends on the quality of the dough used.

Next, sprinkle some flour into a large tin or dish and place the
dough in it, spreading a little oil over the top to prevent a crust
from forming. Cover the bowl with a dry linen cloth and leave to
rise for 1 hour in a warm place -- not less than 20 degrees C (68
F). After this time the dough should have increased in volume by
three times.

Now begins the preparation of the pizza proper. Preheat the oven
to 230 degrees C (450 F or gas mark 8). Rub the four 27-cm (11-inch)
pizza pans with olive oil. Flour the working surface. Divide your
dough into four and roll each into a ball. (It is better not to
use a rolling pin but to ease the dough by gently pressing out the
dough with the plump part of your hand, the heel of your thumb and
with your fingers.) Starting from the middle, smooth the dough out
to a thickness of about 6 mm (1/4 inch). I suggest you make the
edges slightly thicker to prevent the topping from running away,
and this method of rolling leaves the characteristic round edge
which should go crisp in the oven.

Place each pizza on an oiled pizza pan, spread the topping on the
pizza and bake in the hot oven for anything from 8 to 15 minutes,
depending on the ingredients.


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