Why do we like pizza?
Because it is made with good things that we like to eat.
Why do we like to make it at home? Because it is sooooo easy and we can control the ingredients. The most difficult may be if you choose to make your own dough. You should, because once you do, you will never go back to store bought.
A few basic tips: Roll out the dough on parchment paper or a large cutting board sprinkled with cornmeal. The meal will act like little rollers when you slide your pizza to a stone or pan. Stones work the best and yield a nice crust. Some folks cook on a cleaned patio stone and some like using an inverted large cast iron skillet. Metal pans work well also but the crust will be a little different.
For a tender and old world taste, use this basic dough to make pizza, focaccia or the decoratively slashed flat bread from France, fougasse.
Artisan Olive Oil Dough
Makes 4 -1 pound loaves
2 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Mix yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil with water in 5-quart bowl, or lidded (not airtight) food container. Mix in flour without kneading, using spoon, 14-cup capacity food processor, or heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with dough hook. If you’re not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours. Dough can be used immediately after initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in lidded (not airtight) container and use over next 12 days.