4 1/2 c Unbleached all-purpose
White flour 1 ts Salt
1/4 c Olive oil
2 pk Dry yeast
1 1/2 c Warm water
2 ts Light brown sugar
Measure 1/2 cup warm water (110 F) into 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. Will become frothy. (about 2 cups worth!)
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, 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 warm, draft-free place until double 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, then roll each out on floured surface. A round shape may be cut out with table knife using 12" bowl or plate as template.
Sufficient for 2 12" thin-crust pizzas, or 1 12" thick-crust.
HINT: 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 lb. mozzarella cheese, add meat toppings, 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!
THE VERY BEST: Cook on a pizza stone or oven tile at 500 F. The unglazed oven tile makes a huge difference in the crispiness and texture of the crust. It absorbs moisture and keeps oven temperatures even. May even be removed with pizza and set on a rack on table - will keep pizza warm much longer.
Posted by Jeff Duke to the Fidonet Cooking echo 8-94