250 g/9 oz plain flour, preferably Italian type 00, plus extra for dusting
3/4 teaspoon salt
11 g/ 1/4 oz fresh yeast or 10 g/ 1/4 oz fast-action dried yeast
120 ml/4 fl oz lukewarm water olive oil, for brushing (optional)


1.Sift the flour and salt, and dried yeast if using, into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Mash fresh yeast in the water with a fork until very smooth. Pour the liquid into the well. Using a wooden spoon stir the flour into the water to make a soft, not too sticky, dough.
2. If the dough is too sticky add a little more flour. Turn out on to a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. If using a dough hook, knead for 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a bowl lightly oiled with olive oil and cover with lightly oiled cling film.
3.Leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour until almost doubled in size. If making in advance, turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly to knock down, return the dough to the bowl and chill in the refrigerator.
4.The dough can be made up to 24 hours in advance. To make the pizza base, flatten the dough with the palm of your hand and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a round about 6mm/1/4-inch thick.
5.Brush a baking sheet with oil or line it with baking parchment. Put the dough round on it and press out to make a 40-cm/16-inch circle. Make sure the rim is thicker than the centre. Sprinkle with the Topping ingredients, leaving a 2-cm/ 3/4-inch margin around the edge.
6.Optional : adding 1 tablespoon olive oil to the dough along with the water in order to make a silky dough that is easier to knead.

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