I realized recently that about a year ago I promised to post a great recipe for pizza dough and never did. Whoops. Most likely, something important like chocolate cookies or cake got in the way. It always does.
This recipe, from Cook’s Illustrated, is absolutely delicious. I love that this recipe makes enough for 2 pizzas (double the fun!) and that it has cornmeal in it to give it some crunch and texture. It’s a piece of cake (um, dough?) to make and I promise that it will not disappoint.
An alternative dough recipe is to follow the recipe for five minute bread on this site, replacing 1/4 cup of the water with 1/4 cup of olive oil. That makes enough for four pizzas, or quadruple the amount of fun!
recipe from www.cooksillustrated.com
1 3/4 cup warm water, divided (1/2 cup 110 degree warm water, the remainder should be at room temperature)
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 envelope)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 1/4 cups bread flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp salt
semolina or cornmeal for dusting pizza peel
Combine the 1/2 cup warm water with the packet of yeast in a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes, or until bubbly. In a large mixing bowl with dough hook attachment, combine yeast mixture, oil, flour, cornmeal, and salt and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Coat a large bowl with olive oil or cooking spray and place the dough into the bowl, turning once to cover in oil. Cover loosely with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
While dough is rising, place a pizza stone on the center rack in the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. The stone must stay at the 500 degree preheated temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Using a large chef’s knife, cut the dough into two equal sized portions. Roll one portion into a circle. The size of your circle will depend on how thick you like your pizza. Figure that your pizza will double in thickness by the time it’s done cooking and roll accordingly.
Coat a pizza peel or rimless baking sheet with semolina or cornmeal and transfer the dough to the peel. Add additional toppings and jiggle the peel to ensure that there are no areas where the dough is stuck to the peel. If there are, slide a large spatula under these portions of the dough, add additional semolina, and test again for other sticky spots. Once you are sure that the dough will slide off the peel easily, use a quick jerking motion to slide the pizza onto the stone. Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until cheese on top is melted and the crust is crispy and golden brown.