homemade pizza dough
serves: 4 small pizza crusts (each pizza serves 2 people)
prep time: 5 minutes
active time: 30 minutes
inactive time: 12 hours
total time: 12 hours 35 minutes
ingredients: 4.5 cups bread flour + a bit extra for dusting the surface and rolling pins. 1.5 cups warm water (about 105-110 degrees f). 4 tbs olive oil, divided. 2.25 tsp dry active yeast. 2 tsp salt. 1 tsp sugar. stand mixer with dough hook attachment. large bowl. plastic wrap. rolling pin. start by combining 3.75 cups of flour, the yeast, sugar and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. turn your mixer on slow to gently combine the ingredients. with the mixer on, pour in the warm water and let it mix to combine. as it is mixing, pour in 2 tbs of your olive oil. when all of your liquid is combined, and the dough is starting to become more of a wet mixture, turn the speed on your mixer up to medium. mix your dough until it starts to form a rough, but still sticky ball. here is where you will need to use your judgement. many factors like the temperature and humidity in the air can effect how wet or dry your dough is. if it seems too sticky and unworkable, add a bit more flour to the dough, 1 tbs at a time until right. if it seems really dry and not sticky at all, add in some warm water 1 tbs at a time. getting your dough together should take about 4-6 minutes in the mixer. while your dough is mixing, use 1 tbs of olive oil to lightly oil the inside of your bowl. on a clean and dry work surface, sprinkle half of the remaining flour. turn the sticky dough out onto the surface and light work it till it starts to come together in a ball. by the time you are done with it, it should not be be sticky, but should not be covered in flour and difficult to work. when your dough is in a ball, place it in your bowl and cover with plastic wrap. place the dough in a warm, dry spot and allow it to rise for 12 hours. when the dough has risen, sprinkle a dry, clean work surface with the remaining flour. turn out your dough onto the surface. cut the dough into equal quarters and work each into its own dough ball. now you have a choice. you can use the dough right away or you can store balls of dough individually in an airtight container lightly brushed with oil for up to 5 days. to use your dough, start by preheating your oven to 450-500 degrees f. whatever you are baking your pizza on, put it in the oven while it preheats. gently flatten out your ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface. lightly dust your rolling pin with flour and roll the dough until your dough is about an eighth of an inch thick. add any desired toppings and brush the crust with the remaining 1 tbs of olive oil. use a pizza peel or large, lightly floured spatula to move the pizza to its hot baking vehicle. bake the pizza for 7-10 minutes, till the crust is golden brown and the pizza is crispy. allow the pizza to cool till the cheese has stopped bubbling and has solidified a bit. slice and serve.