I love cooking.
Why not love cooking pizza?
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons Yeast
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup Olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Salt
dried Italian seasoning
Pour warm water into a bowl. The water should be about 85 to 115° F. Test it with your hand. It should feel very warm, but comfortable. Add the honey and salt. Mix by and hand (or any other method) until well blended. Add the yeast and mix some more. Let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes, it'll get kinda puffy or foamy looking. That's a good thing.
Add 1 cup of flour and the olive oil and mix until well blended, it should look like a batter at this point and you should be able to see it growing. Add the rest of the flour one cup at a time (and any other additions) and mix well. I added Italian Seasoning and Basil to mine. Next time I'll add garlic I think. The dough should turn into a ball. Now, mine did not. I needed to add about a half cup more water. If the dough does not ball up because it's too dry, add water one tablespoon at a time until it does. If your mixture is more like a batter, add flour one tablespoon at a time. Adding water or flour as needed to get the right consistency will assure you always get a perfect dough. Just remember to do it in small amounts.
Once the dough is balled up, place the ball on a floured board and knead for about a minute. This builds the gluten which helps the dough to rise and become fluffy when cooked. Place the dough in a plastic grocery bag or a covered bowl and store in a warm, dry area to rise.
After about 45 minutes the dough should have about doubled in size. Smoosh it down. You should be able to hear the air escape. Let it rise for another hour to an hour and a half. The dough is now ready to be pizza.
Divide dough in half. This recipe makes 2 crusts. I stuck my extra in a plastic freezer bag and froze it for another day. Pizza is a good comfort food, no?
Turn your oven on to 400 to preheat. Move your rack as close to the heat (whether it's on top or underneath) as you can get.
Dust your work area with cornmeal. Toss your pizza dough ball on there and start smooshing. I flattened it out with the palm of my hand and by picking it up and stretching it. Whatever works best for you. Just make sure to get cornmeal on both sides of the dough. Throw it on you cooking tray (or whatever you are using, perforated pizza tray or cookie sheet. Obviously not if you're using a pizza stone.) Take a fork and perforate the pizza, leaving an unperforated crust edge area. Supposedly this helps keep it flat.
Drizzle with olive oil and set it off to the side for 15 minutes or so.
Work on toppings. Whatever you want. I made a red and white with onions and mushrooms. YUM.
Pre bake your crust for 13 to 15 minutes. It should puff up prettily.
Pull it out of the oven and add your toppings.
Back into the oven for 25 to 30 more minutes. It should be bubbly goodness when you take it out. Make sure the edges are golden brown and your cheese is nice and melty.
Let the pizza rest for a few minutes or you will burn your mouth. It will hurt. You will not enjoy the pizza and all your hard work will be for nothing. Wait patiently. Trust me it's worth it.
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