Basic Pizza Dough
|Active dry yeast||1⁄4 Ounce (1 Envelope)|
|Warm water||1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs) (110 To 115 Degree F)|
|Unbleached flour||3 1⁄4 Cup (52 tbs) (Preferably Bread Flour)|
|Olive oil||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs) (Preferably Extra Virgin)|
1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast and sugar. Add the water and stir to mix. If the yeast is not active and bubbling within 5 minutes, discard it and repeat the procedure with a new envelope of yeast.
2. Measure 3 cups of flour by spooning into a 1-cup measure and leveling off with a knife, and place in a large bowl. Stir in the salt, then form a well in the center of the flour.
3. Pour the yeast mixture into the well and add the oil. Stir in the flour, beginning in the center and working toward the sides of the bowl. When all the flour is incorporated and the dough is still soft but begins to mass together, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface.
4. Using a dough scraper to lift any fragments that cling to the work surface, knead the dough, adding just enough of the remaining 1/4 cup flour until the dough is no longer sticky. (It is better that the dough be too soft than too stiff.) Continue to knead until smooth, shiny and elastic, 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a large, oiled bowl; turn the dough over to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap, set in a warm draft-free place and let rise until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Punch the dough down and reshape into a ball. Cover and refrigerate until doubled in bulk, 20 minutes to 1 hour.
6. Divide the dough into 7 balls of equal weight (4 ounces) and use one for each flat pizza. To freeze, wrap each ball well in plastic; let the dough thaw before proceeding.