Basic Pizza Dough Recipe
Ingredients (enough for 2 large or 3 medium pizzas, or a pizza and calzone)
-3 1/2 to 4 cups flour (Please Note: I use whole wheat bread flour, but in general, if you use all-purpose flour versus bread flour, just know that the texture and taste will be different.)
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 teaspoon sugar
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 packet rapid rise yeast
-1 1/2 cups warm water
Start with 3 cups of your flour, and add to a bowl with the salt. Set aside.
In another small bowl, pour in the olive oil, sugar, and yeast, and then pour in the water. Stir just a couple of times to mix in the sugar and yeast, but then let it stand for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid becomes frothy and foams from the yeast.
Once the liquid foams a little, pour it into the flour and mix. At this point, I usually just take off my rings and dig in with my hands. Slowly add more flour a little at a time if needed.
(Dough before kneading)
After an hour, the dough should have risen and doubled in size. Turn the dough out on a clean and lightly floured surface. Literally punch down the dough and knead again for a minute. Divide the dough in half (if making 2 pizzas) or in thirds (if making 3 smaller pizzas) and place the dough halves in separate greased bowls. Cover the bowls again with a towel and let rise for about another 45 minutes to an hour.
Once the dough has risen again, you can plastic wrap it and refrigerate it for later use, or roll it out to use right away.
If using right away, make sure to preheat your oven to 475 degrees F, and let the pizza stone sit in the oven while it is preheating. If you do not have a pizza stone, you can also use a regular baking pan. Top the dough with the ingredients of your choosing and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Then, enjoy your homemade pizza dough!