You will be amazed at how good a pizza is when you make your own dough.
Basic Pizza Dough
Ingredients You Will Need:
4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 packages dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
Measure 1/2 cup warm water into a 2-cup container, and stir in the brown sugar. Make sure water is warm, not hot: Too hot will kill the yeast. Dissolve the 2 packages of dried yeast in the water, and set it aside for 5 minutes. It will become frothy.
Sift 4 cups of the flour and the salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a depression in the middle of the flour, and pour in 3/4 of the olive oil and 1 cup of warm water. When the yeast is ready, add it also.
Dust your kneading surface with flour, and then mix the ingredients in the bowl with your hands. Place dough ball on the floured surface, and knead from 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour to the kneading surface if the dough is too sticky or wet. Eventually the dough will become elastic.
Rub the insides of a clean bowl with the remaining olive oil, and place the dough in it, coating the dough with olive oil by turning it in the bowl. Cover with a clean cloth, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in size, 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours. An oven with the light on or a lit burner pilot will provide suitable heat for rising dough.
When dough has risen, divide into two halves, and then roll each out on floured surface. A round shape may be cut out with a table knife using 12" bowl or plate as a template.
This recipe is sufficient for 2 12" thin-crust pizzas, or 1 12" thick-crust.
Before filling and baking, form rim around outer ring of pizza dough to hold ingredients better. Brush the inside area of the dough, not the rim, with olive oil and let the dough sit in a warm place and rise a little before filling. Then spoon in sauce, cover with 1 pound mozzarella cheese, add meat toppings, and then cover with mozzarella/parmesan mixture of cheese. Then brush rim of pizza crust with olive oil. Sprinkle the pizza pan or oven tiles with cornmeal to prevent pizza from sticking to cooking surface.
Cook on a pizza stone or oven tile at 500 Fahrenheit. The unglazed oven tile makes a huge difference in the crispiness and texture of the crust. It absorbs moisture and keeps oven temperatures even. It may even be removed with pizza and set on a rack on table: This will keep pizza warm much longer.