Basic Pizza Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 2/3 cups warm water
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat or rye flour
  • 1 Tbs coarse salt or 2 teaspoons fine salt

Preparation Method:

  • Proof the yeast for 5 to 10 minutes in 1 cup of warm water and a pinch of sugar, until the yeast dissolves and the liquid begin to appear creamy.
  •  Add the remaining water and 1 1/2 to 2 cups flour, including the whole-wheat or rye flour.
  • Beat this well (a hundred strokes) until it’s smooth and soupy, and then let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes, until it’s bubbly and swollen.
  • Add the salt and olive oil and proceed to stir in the rest of the flour by the cupful until the dough is stiff but still slightly sticky.
  • Tip: Stir the dough in the same direction so that the gluten strands retain a smooth, consistent pattern.
  • When the dough begins to form a cohesive mass that’s thick enough to hold its shape, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and let it rest.
  • Meanwhile, clean and oil the bowl. Knead the dough, turning it clockwise by quarter turns and sprinkling a little flour on top and on the surface underneath before folding it over.
  • Add just enough flour so the dough doesn’t stick and tear. (A dough scraper is invaluable for lifting the mass of dough cleanly from the counter.)
  • Kneading takes about 5 to 8 minutes. When the dough is smooth, springy, and pliant — earlobe-soft — return it to the oiled bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise until doubled.
  • This takes between 35 and 45 minutes at 70 to 75 degrees.
  • After the first rise, you can form the crust, assemble the pizza, and bake it immediately or punch the dough down and let it rise again before baking. This doesn’t change the resulting crust, but it gives you more 9
  • For cutting the pizza into slices, you can use Double Kitchen Copper Pizza Cutter.

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