Makes 4 individual pizzas
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry or instant yeast
1 1/2 cups very warm (110 degrees) water
4 cups All Purpose or Bread Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
“Proof” your yeast by stirring it into the warm water until dissolved and letting it start to foam. If using instant yeast, skip this step.
With a mixer on low speed, mix together 2 cups of the flour, the salt, olive oil, yeast and the water until well-blended. Allow the mixture to rest in the mixing bowl for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
After resting, remove the mixing blade and switch to a dough hook, or change to hand mixing with a large, sturdy spoon. Add in the remaining 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough climbs the hook or reaches a firm, satiny texture.
Knead the dough, either with a mixer on low or by hand, for 10 minutes.
Turn the dough into a large, oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm part of the kitchen for about 1 1/2 hours.
After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface without punching it down. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and shape each portion into a smooth ball. Let it rest for 10 minutes before shaping into pizza crusts.
For pizza in the oven: place 4 unglazed quarry tiles on the bottom rack of the oven. Heat the oven to the highest temperature it will allow. Cook the pizzas one at a time. After shaping the dough ball into a crust(how to actually shape it into crusts that retain some air and light texture is fodder for another entry someday), lay it on a pizza peel that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. The back of a cookie sheet will substitute for a peel. Dress the pizza and then place it directly onto the tiles by sliding it off the peel or cookie sheet. Cook each pizza approximately 8 minutes. Remove from the oven with the pizza peel or a very large spatula.
For The Lancaster News