Last year I bought a cookbook that delivered what it promised. It revolutionised the way I made bread and pizzas. I was so impressed with the book I ended up purchasing all three in the series. The cookbooks I am referring to are the “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” series!  Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois co wrote and developed the hundreds of recipes they share through their “Artisan in Five “series of cookbooks. My favourite and most used book from the collection is “Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day”.  This book has shown me how to easily deliver homemade pizza, from my very own oven, fast and fresh!

What makes their method so magical is its uncomplicatedness. You simply mix your ingredients in a large lidded container, leave it on the bench to prove for two hours, and then place it in the fridge.  From then on you have your stored dough on hand to use over the next 14 days. As an extra bonus,  the dough improves in flavour as it stores . With a preheated oven and some basic ingredients you can have a fresh delicious pizza on the table in less than half the time it takes to get one delivered!

The recipe for the master pizza dough is freely available on the web. Search for Pizza Margherita at   

This is how I make my version.

I use a lidded bucket style container to mix and store the dough. Into the container add seven and a half cups of plain flour.  Add in 3 a teaspoons of salt (I prefer to less salt than stated in the book ), 6 teaspoons of sugar,3 teaspoons of yeast, 3 ¼ cups of warm water and a ¼ cup of olive oil. Mix with a woodern spoon to combine and form a dough. If you have trouble mixing in the last bits of flour, mix it in with wet hands.


pizza ingredients


Mixing the dough only takes minutes. Once mixed leave it to prove covered but not airtight for two hours. After two hours place the dough in the fridge, it’s that simple! You now have pizza dough on hand and ready to roll whenever you feel like it. Although the book states  the pizza dough lasts two weeks. Mine is usually gone within a week.


pizza dough  pizza dough risen


When you want to make pizza the first step is to preheat your oven or hooded BBQ. I you have a pizza stone allow it to preheat in the oven.  I don’t own one so I bake mine on an upturned cookie tray or baking dish. I preheat my oven and baking trays to 250 degees celsius so its piping hot, then I turn it down to 200-220 when the pizza is placed on the tray. This works well for me. 


pizza rtr


This dough may be more sticky than what you are used to. Use well floured hands pull off a piece the pizza dough about the size of an orange. You may need to snip it with some scissors. Using your floured hands quickly roll it into a ball by tucking the outside underneath then place it onto a piece of baking paper to rest while you prepare your toppings. Letting it rest for that short period will result in the dough being easier to roll out.


pizza roll


When the dough is rolled out its ready to top and bake.  I can have a pizza ready for the oven in ten minutes flat. The pizza will take 10-15 minutes to bake.


pizza bake


To bake the pizza I leave it on the baking paper. I slide it into the oven on the paper using a large flat tray or chopping board to manoeuvre. I use the same method to remove it from the oven. I will admit at times when I cook it in my domestic oven I slide it straight onto theoven  rack (still on the baking paper). This resuts in a nice soft thin turkish bread like crust.  Sliding it onto a very hot  tray to bake will give you a browner crust. My favourite way to cook this pizza is in my rustic hooded bbq, it developes a crispy layer to its crust with a layer with the softer crust above. Just like wood fired!


pizza crust


The recipe yields arounf 5-6 large pizzas. The quantity can be halved.




pizza m


Since finding this recipe I have not bothered with anything else. I hope you try it soon.