What I’ve learned about making your own pizza dough

1) Don’t. Buy ready-made bases, packet-mixes, experiment with alternative bread-bases such as focaccia, pitta and slices of baguette – whatever you will. But for the love of all that is good stay clear of making pizza bases from scratch.

2) If, in spite of the above, you still feel a burning desire to attempt your own pizza bases, then we recommend either a) owning an enormous kitchen with gigantic stainless steel worktops and or b) having staff to deal with the clearing up.

3) Unless you are Jamie Oliver, we believe it may be a good idea to use a bowl, rather than – as suggested by the aforementioned chef – sieving the flour directly onto your worktop and pouring the yeast/oil/water mix into a well. Flour wells, being particularly granular by their very nature, tend to collapse, thereby enabling sticky, stinky, yeasty gloop to run off said worktop down the cabinets and onto the floor.

4) DO NOT allow your children to participate. No matter how good a parent you are or want to be, this is not one of those fun, wholesome activities that will bring you and your child closer together while helping them experience independence and learn something educational. Well, it might be for them. For you it will be hell on earth.

5) When the recipe says you can wrap the dough in cling-film and leave it in the fridge if you do not wish to use it straight away, they are omitting to tell you that you’d better use a WHOLE ROLL of cling-film to try and keep the dough from expanding further in your fridge and enveloping everything around it. Small amounts of cling-film are powerless against the force of the blob.

6) Do not entertain foolish notions about the size and shape of your pizzas. They will not be round, or even square. There has not been a word invented for the kind of shapes your rolling is likely to produce.

7) If you have survived all of the above, you will find that home-made pizza bases do taste rather nice, which does to some degree mitigate the pain experienced in arriving at the result. But I’m really not sure if the pain to pay-off ratio is worth it.

8) Estate agents who recommend baking fresh bread before a viewing are mistaken/off their rockers. The delicious smell emanating from your oven will not offset the floury white residue left covering your worktops and cabinets. This sheen will disappear in time with successive washes but make sure you leave adequate time to accomplish this before you open your home to the viewing public.

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