Source: The New Best Recipe
I love me some pizza, so why have I never attempted pizza dough? You got me. I turned to my trusty New Best Recipe and I wasn't disappointed! This recipe is supposed to make 3 pizza doughs, but I think I didn't let it rise long enough. I'll definitely make this again!
If only making one pizza, make the full recipe and divide into three once the dough is done rising. Place the extra dough in separate airtight containers and freeze them for up to several weeks. Defrost and stretch the dough when desired.
I used to be intimidated by yeast recipes before I bought a candy thermometer. Now, for a recipe like this, I'll keep filling up a measuring cup and checking the temperature of the water until it's at 110 degrees. It takes all the guesswork out of it!
The best way to cook the dough once you add all your toppings is on a pre-heated pizza stone. Heat the oven to 500 degrees and place the stone into the oven for at least 30 minutes. Bake in the oven for 8 - 12 minutes, until the crust edge browns and the cheese is golden brown in spots.
If you want to make the pizza dough in the morning and let rise on the counter all day, decrease the yeast to 1/2 teaspoon and let the covered dough rise at room temperature (about 68 degrees) until doubled in size, about 8 hours. You can prolong the rising time even further by refrigerating the covered dough for up to 16 hours, and then letting it rise on the counter until doubled in size, about 6 to 8 hours.
1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 envelope (about 2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups (22 ounces) bread flour, plus more for dusting (all-purpose flour can be used, but it won't be as crisp)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray for oiling the bowl
1. 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.
2. Process the flour and salt in a standing mixer (or 11 cup food processor) to combine. Continue to mix ingredients while pouring the liquid ingredients (holding back a couple of tablespoons) in with the dry ingredients. If the dough does not readily form a ball, add the remaining liquid and continue to pulse or mix until a ball forms. Process until the dough is smooth and elastic.
3. Turn out the flour and knead by hand to form a smooth round ball - or replace your paddle with a dough hook and knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bough, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate - it is now ready to use!