Pizza/Flatbread Dough

This makes an amazing crust – but you need to let the dough rise for an hour and a half or so. Make sure you factor that in to your preparation time. This recipe makes one medium Pizza or two individual flatbreads. It’s very easy to double the recipe, however, if you’re cooking for a bigger crowd.

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour (you can also use whole wheat)

1 T. olive oil (plus extra for greasing the bowl)

1 t. active, dry yeast

Pinch of sugar (Optional)

Fine sea salt

Warm water

DIRECTIONS:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour and 1 t. sea salt (using your dough hook) and process on low until incorporated. This takes about a minute.

In a small bowl whisk together the yeast, 2 ounces of warm water, a pinch of sugar and 1 T of olive oil. Let it rest for about 10 minutes, until it begins to foam.

Turn the Mixer on a low speed, pour in the yeast mixture and process until incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium and add another 3 ounces of warm water. Continue to process until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and forms one solid mass.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it becomes smooth and is no longer sticky. This will, take 6 or 7 minutes.

Coat the ball of dough lightly with olive oil, put in a covered bowl and place it in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours and let it rise until it has doubled in size.

This dough can be used for flat breads, thin crust, thick crust or deep dish pizzas.

Heat your oven to 475 degrees F.

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Lightly grease your pan with olive oil. You can either roll, stretch or press the dough into/onto the desired pan. Pierce the crust several times with a fork (docking) to prevent large air bubbles from forming and brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with dried Italian herbs as desired. (If using a pizza stone, heat the stone as always and slide the prepared crust onto the stone.) Bake for 7 minutes, then remove from the oven and place whatever toppings you desire on your pizza or flatbread. Don’t get carried away with the toppings, though. The crust will become boggy and won’t cook completely, especially near the middle.

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