I love pizza! I love great pizza dough! I have found the perfect recipe on www.quietfish.com, she got the recipe from The Joy of Cooking. This dough is super easy to make, and the outcome is a perfect pizza crust! I also use it for making buns, yummy!
My husband and I had an artichoke and basil pizza, no tomato sauce. I pressed the dough into the pizza pan, brushed olive oil all over, some mozzarella cheese with some feta chunked in there, artichokes and basil, added a bit of chunky tomatoes, a bit more cheese... it was delicious! The girls had triple cheese with a mild tomato sauce... so so good! The crust itself rises to perfection, I always brush olive oil on my crust too, it just makes it that much better! Try it! It's so easy, and so rewarding!
Perfect Pizza Dough
You will need:
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
3 1/2 - 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs salt (Optional. I add a pinch of sea salt.)
1 tbs sugar (Optional. I usually make it without. Use sugar if you like a puffier crust.)
Combine the yeast and the warm water in a large bowl. Let stand for 5 - 10 minutes until yeast is dissolved and is starting to foam up.
Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Mix until it’s all holding together. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Don’t skimp on the kneading! The dough should be smooth and elastic, tacky, not sticky, when you’re done.
Transfer it over to a bowl that you’ve lightly coated with additional olive oil. Turn the dough over to coat completely. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean and floured dishtowel and let rise in a warm place. I like to put mine in the oven, which has been preheated for about a minute (then turned off). Keep it in there for about 90 minutes until it’s about doubled in volume.
Punch the dough down and divide it in half. At this point you can use all the dough to make one large thick-crust pizza, two smaller pizzas, or just use the one half to make one large thin crust pizza. (And freeze the other half for next time! This is my preference.)
Regardless of the path you have chosen, roll your dough into a ball and let it rest, loosely covered, for about 10-15 minutes. While it’s resting, preheat the oven to 450F. Grease and dust your baking stone or baking sheet with cornmeal (don’t skip this step!), flatten the dough and roll it out flat. Brave? Let your kids have a go. They might surprise you by not dropping it on the floor.
The dough will be fairly elastic, so you’ll have to stretch it out. Place the dough on your baking sheet. To prevent the toppings from making the crust soggy, brush the top of the dough with a bit of additional olive oil. Use your fingers to push dents into the surface of the dough. This will prevent air holes bubbling up as it bakes. Let it rest for 10 minutes while you prep your toppings.
When you’re ready, pop it in the oven. Depending on the thickness of your crust, it’ll take about 12 minutes (give or take) to bake. Broiling it for a couple minutes at the end will make your cheese nice and brown.