I've been making a lot of bread lately, and figured I could make our pizza dough too. It took a couple times before I got one that we liked, but what we ended up with was superb.
- 4 c of high gluten bread flour
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 tbsp of brown sugar (I used dark)
- 2 tsp of sea salt
- 3 c of luke warm water
- 2 tsp of yeast (instant)
Before you get any other ingredients out pour approximately 3 cups of luke warm water into a bowl and add the yeast and whisk lightly. Then start gathering your ingredients and get your mixer ready with a dough hook (mixer highly recommended). Let the water/yeast set for at least 7 minutes, some bubbles should appear on the surface, before continuing.
Now pour the oil into mixer bowl, then add the water/yeast mixture. Add 3 cups of the flour and then the brown sugar and start the mixer.
Let it mix for a minute and then start adding more flour, a half of a cup at a time, to thicken the dough up, taking it from a soupy mess to a sticky mass. Getting the right consistency is tricky and takes a little practice. You should be able to grab a portion and it not splooge out of your hand immediately, but it should be very sticky and leave a lot of dough on your fingers when you let go.
Keep mixing it for 3 to 5 minutes and in the meanwhile coat a new bowl with oil to move the dough to. It should be a big enough bowl to hold twice the mass of the dough you have right now.
Move the dough to the new lubed up bowl and sprinkle the salt over the top, then cover with a towel and let it rest for 1 to 1.5 hours.
Clean and cover your counter with a light dusting of flour, then dump the dough on the counter. Sprinkle the top with some flour, then start kneading the bread, gently, for 3 minutes.
Cut the dough into 2 or 3 pieces, depending on how big your pizza pan is and whether you want thick or thin curst, and then wrap/freeze the extra pieces.
I usually drape a towel over my piece of dough and let it rest for another 30 minutes.
For a rectangular pan use your hands to stretch out the dough before using the rolling pin on it. For a round pizza you can just press down on the round piece and then start rolling.
I like to roll my crust nice and thin, ⅛" to 3/16" thick, and a bit bigger than the pan I'm using. We put a rubber mat thingy in our pan, but if you don't have one of those just spray the pan with a little olive oil, and then sprinkle a light coating of corn meal over the whole pan.
Place the dough on the pan, and fold over the extra bit around the edge to create a crust.
Take a fork and lightly poke the dough about every inch (this keeps big bubbles from blowing up in the middle of your pizza, I don't poke the outer edge/crust tho).
Thats it! Put your sauce and ingredients on, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes at 450 and then check it. We usually take the pizza off the pan and put it directly on the rack after 12 minutes, and cook it for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.