Yesterday I shared one of my new favorite pizza combos, Chicken Bacon Ranch. I also mentioned that I have started making my own pizza dough instead of buying from the grocery store. I love that this recipe allows me to create enough dough for two pizzas in one batch. The dough can also be used right away or frozen for later use. I prefer a crisper pizza dough, which can be accomplished by pre-heating your stoneware. This allows the dough to begin baking and crisping on the bottom as soon as it hits the stone, before being placed in the oven. I have including the instructions for accomplishing this below. For those that prefer a less crispy crust, following the instructions below, but do not pre-heat the stoneware. Either way you are guaranteed fresh pizza dough, perfect for any kind of pizza!
Homemade Pizza DoughPrinter Friendly Version
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cup water, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Measure the warm water into a 2 cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over the top. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread flour and salt, mixing briefly to blend. Measure the room temperature water into the measuring cup with the yeast-water mixture. With the mixer on low speed, pour in the yeast-water mixture as well as the olive oil. Mix until a cohesive dough is formed. Switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Press down the dough to deflate it. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball. (If freezing the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze at this point.) Cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no longer than 30 minutes.
To bake, preheat the oven and pizza stone to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to your shaping surface, lightly sprinkle with flour or cornmeal. Shape the dough with lightly floured hands. Brush the outer edge lightly with olive oil.
Lower oven temperature to 425 degrees. Place dough on baking stone and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and top as desired. Return to oven and continue baking until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbling, an additional 3 to 7 minutes.
Source adapted from: Annie’s Eats, originally from Baking Illustrated