My Favorite Pizza Dough…adapted from a recipe by Wolfgang Puck
1 package active dry yeast (3/4 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water (105 – 155 degrees F)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Toppings of your choice
In a small bowl dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup warm water.
In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and salt. Add the oil, yeast mixture and the remaining 3/4 cup of water and mix on low speed until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes. The pizza dough can also be made in a food processor. Dissolve the yeast as above. Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of the food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse once or twice, add the remaining ingredients and process until the dough begins to form a ball.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes longer. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot for about 30 minutes.
Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Divide the dough in half for 2 10-inch pizzas. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times. On a smooth, unfloured surface roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest for about 20 minutes. At this point the dough can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for several weeks. I like to make the dough a day ahead so it gets a little additional rising time. Bring the refrigerated dough to room temperature before preparing your pizzas.
To prepare each pizza, dust the ball of dough with flour, shake off the excess, place the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface and start to stretch the dough into a 10-inch circle. Press down on the center, spreading the dough, with the outer border a little thicker than the inner circle.
Spread dough with your favorite pizza sauce and arrange the toppings of your choice evenly over the dough. I’ve tried many pizza sauces and my favorite is the No Cook Pizza Sauce recipe posted by Ann at Thibeault’s Table. The flavors are so fresh and intense and you can adjust the seasonings to suit your own taste. I use about 1/2 cup on a 10-inch pizza. I promise that this will be your sauce of choice from now on. It sure is mine.
I topped this week’s pizza with Canadian bacon (a slowly smoked, very lean pork loin), diced tomatoes and red onion and lots of mozzarella cheese. My local market smokes their own pork and it is out of this world delicious.
Using a lightly floured pizza peel, slide the pizza onto the hot baking stone and bake until the pizza crust is nicely browned, 10 – 12 minutes. Carefully remove the pizza from the oven and slice into wedges.