Such an easy method that yields incredible results! A pizza crust with a soft and chewy interior and a nice crisp, golden brown exterior.Makes about two (1 lb) pizza doughs, or enough for two 11 - 14 inch pizzas (depending on how thick you like the crust).
3 1/2cups (17 oz)unbleached all-purpose flouror bread flour, then more as needed (scoop and level to measure)
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer whisk together active dry yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup water. Let rest 5 - 10 minutes until it starts to bubble up. If using instant yeast see notes as method is different.
Add in remaining 1 cup warm water, 3 Tbsp olive oil, salt, and 3 cups flour. Set mixer with paddle attachment and blend mixture until combined.
Switch to a hook attachment, then knead in remaining 1/2 cup flour. Continue to let knead, while adding more flour 1 or 2 Tbsp at a time as needed until dough isn't overly tacky.
Knead on low speed about 4 minutes until dough is soft and supple and pulls away from the sides of the bowl (not the bottom of the bowl though). Dough should be slightly sticky.
Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl (preferably coated with olive oil or olive oil cooking spray), turn dough to other side to coat opposite side in oil.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest until double in volume in a warm place about 1 1/2 hours, or even better 24 hours in the fridge if time allows. If using the fridge method, the following day you'll need to let the dough come to room temperature for about 1 hour before shaping.
Near end of rising place pizza stone in oven and let preheat to 475 degrees for 30 - 45 minutes.
After rising, press dough down, divide into two portions (freeze** second portion for later at this point if desired).
Place each portion if using both right away into two oiled bowls, cover and let rest 15 minutes.
Stretch and shape dough into a circle about 11 - 14 inches depending on how thick or thin you like the crust.
Transfer to a sheet of parchment paper just large enough to fit.***
Brush top of crust with olive oil (about 1 Tbsp each). At this point for a fluffier crust if preferred, let rest 10 minutes. Spread top with sauce (I use about 2/3 cup), sprinkle with cheese (I use about 2 cups mozzarella) and finish with desired toppings.
Transfer with parchment paper to preheated pizza stone and bake until crust is golden brown and cooked through, about 11 - 14 minutes.
Slice and serve pizza warm. Repeat process with second dough if using.
*If using instant yeast:
It does not need to be proofed first.
Use water heated to 120 to 130 degrees.
To mix just whisk together 3 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Blend in water and oil. Then switch to hook attachment and proceed to mix as directed in step 3.
**Dough can be frozen, to do so:
Wrap in parchment paper.
Transfer to a freezer resealable bag.
Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator.
Let rest at room temp about 1 hour before shaping.
***Parchment paper should be trimmed to fit the crust or removed partway through baking so it doesn't scorch. Also at this point to reduce bubbles if desired, you can press fingertips randomly over shaped dough or pierce randomly over top with a fork.Nutrition estimate is for dough only. No toppings.