I am a huge fan of pizza. In fact, if I had to pick a favorite food (but please don’t make me!) it would be pizza. If I had to pick one food to eat everyday for the rest of my life – that would be pizza. However, up until now, I preferred carry out to homemade pizza. My homemade pizza has always been pretty good, but it just couldn’t beat my favorite commercial pizza place. But that all changed so quickly last weekend when I made this pizza crust. It is, quite simply, perfect in my book. This crust is what my pizza has been missing all along. I forsee a lot more pizza being made in my house now that I have found this recipe. That’s amore!
My only mistake with this dough was probably that I didn’t quite roll it out enough to fit the whole pizza stone so it really puffed up a lot around the edges. It tasted wonderful but didn’t look quite proportional. I’ll have to work on that next time. The recipe below has instructions for making this dough in a stand mixer. However, instructions for making it in a food processor or by hand are included in the original recipe which is linked below.
Basic Pizza Dough
½ cup warm water (about 110°)
1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast
1 ¼ cups water, at room temperature
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 ½ tsp. salt
olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the bowl
Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it.
To bake, place a pizza stone in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 500° for at least 30 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form both pieces of dough into smooth, round balls and cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.
Working with one piece of dough and keeping the other covered, shape the dough and transfer to a pizza peel or round of parchment dusted with semolina or cornmeal. Top as desired. Slide the dough onto the pizza stone. Bake until the crust edges brown and cheese is golden brown in spots, about 8 to 12 minutes. Repeat with remaining ball of dough or freeze for later use.
Source: Baking Illustrated