Basic Pizza Dough
Total Time: 20
Yield: enough for two to four pizzasThe key to a great crust is a nice, wet, rather sticky dough. That’s why a food processor is much easier and more efficient. You can knead the dough by hand if that’s your preference, but, as Mark says, “You want to make the dough as wet as you can while still being able to handle it.” Kneading by hand often requires extra flour, which results in a heavier product.
Ingredients:3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed
1 package (or 2 teaspoons) rapid-rise yeast
2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1 to 1-1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Instructions:Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in the container of a food processor. Turn the machine on and add 1 cup water and the oil through the feed tube. Process about 30 seconds, adding more water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is dry, add another 1 to 2 tablespoons of water and process 10 seconds longer. (In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour, a tablespoon at a time.)
Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand a few seconds to form a smooth, round dough ball. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rise until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours. (You can let the dough rise more slowly in the refrigerator, 6 to 8 hours.) Deflate and divide into two to four pieces, depending on how many pies you want to make; roll each piece into a round ball. At this point, you can wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and freeze up to a month. (Defrost in a covered bowl in the refrigerator or at room temperature.) Otherwise, place each ball on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with a little flour, and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let them rest until they puff slightly, about 20 minutes. Proceed with either recipe below.