Updated on 7/31/2013 with recommendation for sauce and topping (at bottom of the page; updated 6/24/2017 for revision of recipe flour and revision of margarita portions)
Active investing makes me hungry for pizza. I like to slice it into 8 pieces to signify breaking a gold coin into ‘pieces of 8’. Here’s a recipe for pizza crust that can set off your home’s fire alarm, it’s that good!
2.5 C flour, Italian 00
2.5 C flour, High gluten (Bread flour also works well)
1 packet Instant yeast
2 ½ tsp salt
2 C water
Thoroughly mix all dry ingredients. Add and mix water to form a dough ball that’s not too dry, not too wet, and not too gluey. Adjust the consistency with tablespoon portions of water or regular flour. Immediately store the fresh dough in the freezer or allow it to rise. Make 3 thin-crust 15-inch pizzas, 4 thin-crust 12-inch pizzas, etc.
Cut the fresh dough into 2, 3, or 4 sections and form dough balls that are lightly covered with olive or vegetable oil. Wrap each ball in saran wrap and place it in a zip lock bag. Begin storage in the freezer before the yeast become active. Storage time is many months, maybe years if you can wait that long.
Line the bowl with olive or vegetable oil. Place the fresh or frozen dough ball into the bowl and cover the bowl with saran wrap. Allow the dough to rise for at least 2 days, preferably 3 days, so that fermentation proceeds to the sour stage. When the dough ball doubles in size and forms tiny bubbles on the surface, I sprinkle 1 or more tablespoons of flour (regular flour may be used) onto the ball and knead the dough into a soft plastic ball. This occurs about twice, maybe more, in the 3-day period. A plastic consistency with sour odor is perfect.
Bake the pizza at 550 oF in a clean oven; otherwise, the smoke will set off your fire alarm. I begin by flattening the dough to desired size with my hands. The best ways to bake the dough are on a pizza screen (preferred) or pre-heated baking stone. The trick to using the pizza screen is to pre-bake the crust for 1-2 minutes, just enough to ensure that the crust slides off without sticking to the screen. Poke a hole in any large bubble if you wish to, but the bubble tends to collapse when topping is applied. Bake the entire pizza about 7-8 minutes to obtain a crispy crust that’s brown on the bottom.
Margarita pizza: 13 oz dough, 5 oz sauce, 8 oz cheese, shredded basil leaves to taste, and whole basil leafs for color.
Pre-bake the dough as described above. Mids brand pizza sauce is superb. 4 oz soft mozzarella cheese chunks (cut with scissors) + 4 oz shredded Monterey jack cheese. Sprinkle basil leaves on for best taste.
Veggie pizza: about 20 oz sautéed veggies (wet weight)