Registered: May 2007
Location: North of "The Claw" & Patrick, East of Chad, Thankfully 700 miles from Bill
I only use King Arthur unbleached (and unbromated) all-purpose flour. This dough is more delicate than some, so don't overknead it. You will need a pizza peel and pizza stone.
The dough works best if left to rise for 8-24 hours, but can be made with only 2 hours of rise.
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
21/2 cups plus a scant 3 tablespoons unbleached, unbromated flour, plus more for kneading 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more to grease bowls
1/2 cup cold water
-- Toppings of your choice
To make the dough: Dissolve the sugar in the lukewarm water in a cup.
Sprinkle yeast over the lukewarm water and stir thoroughly. Let sit. Within 10 minutes, a foamy layer should form.
Meanwhile, get out two mixing bowls. Pour the flour into one bowl, mix in the salt, then divide the mixture more or less evenly between the two bowls. Gradually pour the water-yeast mixture into one of the bowls as you stir the flour with a wooden spoon. Pour in 1 teaspoon olive oil and continue to stir. Once a dough begins to form, gradually add flour from the other bowl along with the cold water as you continue to stir. The dough should be sticky and slightly rough.
Transfer the dough to a heavily floured surface and knead for about 2 minutes with the palm of your hand, turning and folding it repeatedly, adding more flour to the surface if necessary.
As soon as the dough is pliant and smooth, form it into 3 round, slightly flat balls.
Lightly coat three small metal bowls with olive oil. Place the dough into the bowls, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Set in stable, room-temperature spot. Let rise for at least two hours, optimally overnight.
To roll out and bake the pizza: Place an unoiled pizza or baking stone in the oven. Set your oven to maximum baking temperature (ideally 550° or above) and heat the stone for a minimum of 45 minutes.
When you're ready to cook the pizza, spread a generous amount of flour on a flat working surface. Place one round piece of dough in the center of the surface, sprinkle more flour on top, and begin pressing your fingers around the sides of the dough until you form a dome in the middle with thinner sides, like a flying saucer.
Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough until flat and round. If you plan to toss the pizza, roll until about 8-inches wide. Otherwise keep rolling until you have a disk about 11-12 inches.
Grab and softly pinch around the entire edge of the pizza, pulling dough to perfect the circle and form a lip for the pizza.
If you're feeling brave, toss the dough a couple times. Done properly, this can help evenly stretch the dough. Hold the dough from underneath and ball your fists, letting the dough lay across your knuckles. With a single wrist snap, spin the dough as you push it forcefully into the air. It should land back on your fists. Be careful not to pull the dough too thin.
Place the dough on a well-floured peel, with the front edge of the dough at the front edge of the peel.
Now add your toppings. Exercise restraint - overloading the dough will overwhelm the crust and make the pie difficult to handle. Open the oven and with a quick thrust forward then back, shift the pizza from the peel to the stone. Whatever you do, do not let the toppings spill onto the stone.
Close the oven door and bake 2 minutes, then check. Using the peel. Rotate the pizza about 90 degrees and bake another 2 minutes. Repeat until toppings are cooked as desired and the crust achieves a slight char.
Remove from oven with peel and serve.
The picture is a pie topped with dollops of goat cheese and slices of apple gouda chicken sausage.
fresh basil leaves added after baking is also a nice touch.