Basic Pizza Dough Yield four 10-inch pizzas (314 square inches of pizza, or a single 20-inch pizza)
1 pkg active dry yeast 1 1/2 cups warm water 3 3/4 cups flour, all-purpose or pizza, flour for dusting work surface 1 tsp sugar 2 tbsp olive oil olive oil for greasing bowl 2 tsp salt
In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast and water. Wait a couple of minutes for the yeast to rise and then add 1/2 cup flour and the sugar. Mix well. Add the olive oil, salt, and remaining flour. Work ingredients together into dough. Transfer to a flour-dusted surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. If dough becomes stocky, gradually add as much as another 1/4 cup of flour. Place in a large greased bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise until double in volume, about 1-2 hours. Divide dough into four pieces (if making four pizzas) and sprinkle each liberally with flour. Roll into balls. Let dough rest and rise for another 1-2 hours before using for pizza.
Tomato and Basil Sauce Yield: 1 1/2 cups
14 oz canned plum tomatoes, pureed 3 cloves garlic, peeled and pureed 1 pinch red pepper flakes 16 fresh basil leaves, chopped, or 1 tbsp dried basil salt, to taste pepper, to taste
Place first four ingredients in sauce pan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, continue simmering another 5 minutes.
Pizza Margherita Yield: 4 servings
Olive oil for greasing pizza pans 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup flour 1 recipe Basic Pizza Dough 1 1/3 cups tomato sauce 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded 1 tsp dried oregano salt to taste pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly oil four 10-inch perforated pizza pans Spread the flour on a flat surface. Press each ball of dough out ot form a 10-inch circle. Transfer the circles to the prepared pans. Spread the sauce evenly over the dough circles, top with cheese and sprinkle with oregano, season with salt and pepper. Drizzle 1/4 cup of olive oil on top. Bake in oven for 8-12 minutes, turning pans occasionally. Cheese should be bubbly and crusts cooked. Wait 2-3 minutes to serve.