Pizza Dough From America’s Test Kitchen.
This dough can be used for any size pizza with thick or thin crust; simply adjust the cooking time to fit the pizza. Make sure you heat the oven to 500 degrees for thirty minutes before you start cooking. Your tiles or stone need at least that long to heat up; if they’re not properly heated, your pizza crust will be thin, blond, and limp. Once the dough for the crust has been topped, use a quick jerking action to slide it off the peel and onto the hot tiles or stone; make sure that the pizza lands far enough back so that its front edge does not hang off. For a cornmeal-flavored dough, substitute three-quarters cup of cornmeal for three-quarters cup of the bread flour.
½ cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 ¼ cup tap water at room temp
2 ¼ teaspoons dry active yeast (1 envelope)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing dough
4 cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting the work surface and hands
1 ½ tsp salt
vegetable oil, for oiling bowl (or cooking spray)
Pour the ½ cup of warm water into a 2-cup measuring cup. Sprinkle in yeast; let stand until yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 1 ¼ cups tap water and olive oil.
Choose to use either the Food Processor or a Kitchen Aid
Pulse flour and salt in work bowl of large food processor fitted with steel blade to combine. Continue pulsing while pouring the liquid ingredients (holding back a tablespoon or so) through the feed tube. If dough does not readily form into ball, stop machine, add remaining liquid, and continue to pulse until ball forms. Process until dough is smooth and elastic, about 30 seconds longer.
The dough will be a bit tacky, so use a rubber spatula to turn it onto lightly floured work surface; knead by hand with a few strokes to form smooth, round ball. Put dough into medium-large, oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap (spray that with cooking oil too). Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ – 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate.
Place flour and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with the paddle. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at a low speed. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at a 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, spray cooking oil on the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap (spray that too). Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ – 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and use chef’s knife or dough scraper to halve, quarter, or cut dough into eighths, depending on number and size of pizzas desired. Form each piece into ball and cover with damp cloth. Working with one piece of dough at a time, shape into rounds as thick/thin as desired. Use your hands to stretch the dough into shape, rather than a rolling pin.
Transfer to pizza peel that has been lightly coated with semolina (or cornmeal or flour), brush dough very lightly with olive oil before topping and cooking.