We make homemade pizza almost every week--and so we have gone through our share of recipes in search of the PERFECT recipe. I think we are to the point of discovering what OUR favorite is--and this would be it! I especially like this because weighing the amount of flour called for, is ALWAYS the perfect amount. I never have too much or too little when I weigh it instead of using a measuring cup. (if you don't have a kitchen scale, get one! They are SO worth it!!) This is SUCH an easy throw together dough! And it tastes and BAKES fabulous!
I originally got this recipe from Annies Eats. But I felt like the directions were way more complex than they needed to be. So we simplified, and changed it up a little, it and it has worked wonderful EVERY time!
I have left out the oil and it's been just fine. So if you're counting calories or don't have EVOO on hand, you'll be fine. :) And I have found this dough actually rises faster than expected--so keep an eye on it.
And ENJOY! :)
1 3/4 cup warm water 2¼ tsp. instant dry yeast 4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting 1½ tsp. salt
2-3 TBSP Italian seasonings
2 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil (optional)
In a bowl, weigh your flour. After weighing the appropriate amount, add your yeast, salt, and seasonings to the flour and mix well. In a mixer add your warm water and slowly add your flour mixture. Knead on low speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
Press down the dough to deflate it. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball. (If freezing the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze at this point.) Cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no longer than 30 minutes.
To bake, preheat the oven and pizza stone to 500˚ F for at least 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to your shaping surface, lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Shape the dough with lightly floured hands. Brush the outer edge lightly with olive oil. Top as desired. Bake until the crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbling, 8-12 minutes.