Here is the second pizza crust recipe we tried this week. This dough was very easy to work with. Unlike this recipe, I let the Kitchenaid mixer do all of the work on this one while I prepared other things. I would equate this more with a "pan" type crust. The crust was soft and airy. I used all purpose flour this time, but will use the bread flour on the next go around to achieve a crispier crust. This crust held up well and was very tasty! Two thumbs up from my pizza loving hubby!
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups bread flour (can use all purpose, but bread flour gives a crispier crust)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
In the large bowl of a mixer, add the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let sit for 5 minutes until foamy.
Attach a mixing paddle to the mixer. Mix in the olive oil, flour, salt and sugar on low speed for about a minute. Remove the mixing paddle and replace with the dough hook. Knead using the mixer and dough hook, on low to medium speed, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If you don't have a mixer, you can mix and knead by hand.
Place ball of dough in a bowl that has been coated lightly with olive oil. Turn the dough to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap.
Let sit in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If you don't have a warm spot, you can heat the oven to 150 degrees and turn the oven off. Place the bowl in the warm oven to rise. (At this point, you could freeze the dough in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks).
If you are using a pizza stone, place in oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Remove plastic wrap from dough and punch down. Divide dough in half and form two balls of dough. Place each in it's own bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let sit for 10 minutes.
Working with one dough ball at a time, flatten with your hands on a floured surface. Starting at the center and working outwards, use your fingertips to press the dough to 1/2 inch thick. Turn and stretch. Let the dough relax for 5 minutes and then continue stretching to your desired size (about 10-12 inches). You can pinch the edges if you want to form a lip on the crust.
Brush the top with olive oil (to prevent it from getting soggy). Use your finger tips to press down and make dents in the surface to prevent dough from bubbling. Let rest another 5 minutes. Repeat with 2nd ball of dough. Top your pizzas as desired with sauce and other toppings. Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!!