This pizza dough comes together and is ready to bake in just 10 minutes; you can have fresh, hot, homemade pizza on the table in 20!!!
Serves: 2 (12″) pizzas
¾ cup warm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast (if you buy the little envelopes you will have some left over. Envelopes typically contain 2¼ teaspoons. Fold the remaining yeast up tightly and keep refrigerated for the next time)
2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for kneading and dusting your work surfaces
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt (less if you only have table salt handy)
1½ tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. NOT BROIL. If you have a pizza stone, be sure it’s in the oven before you turn it on (This prevents is from cracking). If you are not using a pizza stone you can use the back of a cookie sheet — see instructions below.
Pour the warm water in a large bowl. Add the yeast and let it sit for about a minute until it’s looking a little foamy.
Add the flour, sugar, salt, and olive oil. Stir to combine (I use a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon) and form a shaggy dough.
Flour a clean work surface and dump the dough onto it. Knead the dough for about 4 minutes, incorporating any dry bits that weren’t mixed in the bowl.
Place the dough back in the bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel (I know the bowl is dirty; it’s fine.). Put the bowl on top of the stove (the heat from the oven will make the dough more pliable) and let it sit for 5 minutes.
While you wait for the dough, get your pizza toppings ready — grate your cheese, slice onions and peppers, etc.
If you have a pizza peel, rub it with flour and dust with cornmeal (this prevents sticking). If you do not have a pizza peel you can use a wooden cutting board OR you can assemble and bake on THE BACK of a cookie sheet.
Divide the dough in half (well-floured hands help) and stretch it carefully into a circle. I like a thinner crust so I just leave a slight lip around the edge of my circle and I stretch it pretty thin but this is all about preference (Note: thicker dough will take a little longer to cook).
Place your circle on the peel/cutting board/cookie sheet you set up and add your toppings.
If you are using the cookie sheet, place it right in the oven (middle rack) and bake for 10 minutes.
If you heated a pizza stone in the oven, carefully slide your pizza off the peel or cutting board and onto the stone. Bake for 10 minutes (more if you opted for a thicker crust) or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.
Repeat with the second dough.