Pizza Dough Ingredients
- One cup of hot tap water (tepid). Hot enough to activate the dry yeast, but not too hot to kill the active yeast.
- One Package of Fleishman’s Dry Active Yeast
- One Teaspoon of Sugar
- One-half Teaspoon of Salt
- Two Cups of Flour / Unbleached. (and possibly up to an extra 1/8 or 1/4 cup of flour if necessary).
- Two Teaspoons of Olive Oil
Fill a medium-sized Pyrex glass mixing bowl with about a quart of hot tap water in order to warm the bowl for a minute of two. Spill the hot water from the mixing bowl down your sink drain (discard the quart of hot tap water).
Add one teaspoon of sugar to the warmed Pyrex glass mixing bowl, then add the one (1) cup of hot (tepid) tap water, and immediately pour one package of Fleishman’s dry active yeast into the cup of tepid tap water, and use your finger to stir the water and dissolve all of the yeast. Cover the bowl loosely with some plastic wrap and wrap a dish towel over the mixing bowl, and let the yeast bubble into a foam for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Now, add two (2) cups of flour (unbleached flour) into the yeast/water in the glass mixing bowl along with one-half teaspoon of salt (for taste), and then use a metal spoon to briskly stir (whisk) the flour and yeast/water mixture until the mixture becomes a ball of dough. If the dough is too sticky to knead it by hand, then add a little bit more flour (about 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup extra flour) and finish kneading the dough by hand until it is moist and still elastic.
Shape the dough by hand into a round dough ball and seal the outside layer of the dough ball with about one teaspoon of olive oil, and place the dough ball back into the glass mixing bowl. Cover the mixing bowl loosely with plastic wrap, and wrap a dish towel around the mixing bowl to keep everything warm.
Allow the dough to rise for about 10 to 15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
When the dough has risen (about double its original size), then grease a metal pizza pan with some olive oil and hand-spread the pizza dough evenly throughout the pizza pan into a pizza pie shape. (Optional) Cover the pizza dough in the pizza pan loosely with plastic wrap and a dish towel and allow the dough to rise another five (5) minutes covered.
Pre-bake the pizza dough into a pizza shell. Remove the plastic wrap and dish towel from the pizza pan if you allowed the dough to rise a second time in the pizza pan. When the oven reaches 400 degrees F., place the pizza pan with the spread pizza dough into the oven on an oven rack that is about 6 to 8 inches from the bottom of the oven, and set your cooking timer for 3 minutes–in order to pre-bake the pizza dough into a pizza shell for about 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes of pre-baking, remove the pizza pan and prebaked pizza shell from the oven.
Spread a thin layer of your favorite pizza sauce (or a thin layer of tomato sauce) onto the top of the pre-cooked pizza shell, and top the sauce with cheeses (such as, mozzarella and cheddar or Colby), and your other favorite toppings, and finish baking the panned pizza in the oven for 10 to 11 minutes at 400 F on the rack that is about 6 to 8 inches from the bottom of the oven.
Remove the pizza pan from the oven when the cheese is melted and is beginning to slightly brown in a couple places, and when the underside of the dough of the pizza shell is becoming a little firm or slightly browned, and when the crust on the edges of the dough is baked sufficiently crisp for your taste. Be careful not to burn the cheese.
After baking the pizza shell, with added sauce, cheese and toppings, for about 10 to 11 minutes, then remove the pan and finished pizza from the oven. Carefully remove the cooked pizza pie from the pizza pan using a couple of large spatulas to loosen and separate the bottom of the pizza shell from the pan, and lift the intact pizza pie from the pan, and place the pizza pie on a sheet of waxed paper that is spread on a large cutting board. Slice the pizza and serve it hot after the cheese has had an opportunity to slightly cooled for only a couple of minutes. Enjoy!