This recipe makes a fat, bready crust for two 14-18 inch pizzas. If you only need one, spray the inside of a ziploc bag and freeze the second crust for another time. Don't half this recipe to just make one crust. This pizza crust is happiest when it's made with these proportions...I have no idea why. Every time I half it, the dough comes out funny.
1 package Active Dry Yeast (about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup hot water
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour (plus additional for kneading, up to 1 cup)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup hot water
Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1 cup hot water. Let stand for 10 minutes until foamy. Whisk together salt and flour. **Note-I have started using white whole wheat flour OR a mixture of white all purpose flour and whole wheat flour. It measures the same and slightly ups the fiber content. It doesn't really make this a health food, but it makes me feel a little bit better.**
Add olive oil and additional water to yeast mixture. Add flour mixture to liquid mixture. Combine using a wooden spoon and dump onto a lightly floured surface. Knead by hand for 10 to 12 minutes adding additional flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking to hands. The dough should not be sticky or difficult to handle.
Form dough into a ball and place into a glass or plastic bowl that has been liberally sprayed with cooking spray. **Note-Don't use a metal bowl. I don't know why, but it has an effect on the way the dough rises.** Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. A sunny window works great, or when it's cold, I heat the oven slightly and then put the bowl in the oven leaving the door ajar.
Top with your favorite stuff and cook for 18-20 minutes in a 400 degree oven. We use a lightly floured pizza stone, but a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray will work too!