If you talk to me for even just five minutes, you'll probably find out that, while I have mad love for ALL food, my heart truly belongs to pizza. I even have a pizza tattoo. No, really.
So, I decided it would make sense if my first real entry for Land of 1000 Lunches was about pizza. Specifically, I'm going to share my killer pizza dough recipe with you. It's a tad time consuming, but totally simple; most of that is just sitting around waiting for the dough to rise. This recipe makes enough dough for two pizzas, as well, so you can freeze it or stick it in the fridge it for later.
So, here y'all go. Enjoy!
1 cup warm water
1.5 tablespoons sugar
2.25 teaspoons dry active yeast (1 packet if you prefer buying those, I prefer the jars, myself)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a couple teaspoons for the rising bowl
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Combine the water, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl and let sit for a few minutes so the yeast can proof (bubble up).
In the meantime, combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Once the yeast has proofed, add it to the flour mixture. Add the olive oil, as well.
Mix together until it starts resembling dough and won't take any more flour. Sprinkle some flour on the countertop (to prevent sticking). Take your dough out of the bowl and move it to the counter to knead it. You have to knead it until it's fully mixed and feels a little bit sticky. If it feels TOO sticky, add a little bit more flour. Form it into a ball when it feels ready.
Put a couple teaspoons of olive oil in the bottom of a large (it needs to be at least large enough for the dough to double in size), clean mixing bowl and place the ball in it, then roll it around in there until the whole surface of the ball is lightly oiled. Cover and let rise for an hour.
This is my favorite part. When you come back, give the dough a good solid punch down, deflating it. Take it from the bowl and knead it for a few minutes, so that it feels like dough again. Once again, form it into a ball and put it back into the bowl to rise.
Wait another hour (or up to two, the longer you wait, the more stretchy and awesome your dough will be). When it's ready, take the dough from the bowl and tear it in half. This recipe makes enough dough for two large pizzas, so you can refrigerate the extra dough for a couple days if you don't want to use it right away.
Sprinkle a bit of cornmeal on the pizza pan to keep the dough from sticking. Stretch the dough out before putting it on the pan. Your first few pizzas probably will probably be kind of misshapen and awkward-looking, but with some practice you'll get better at stretching it, I promise.
Oh, and to make your pizzas even better, use a pizza stone instead of a pan. I swear to you, it makes a HUGE difference. I invested in a $15 stone about three years ago and it's still going strong. Just NEVER wash them with soap, as the stone will soak it up and all your pizzas will eventually start tasting like soap, too.