adapted from Saveur Magazine
I recommend starting the dough 24-48 hours in advance for best texture and flavor.
Makes 4 large or 8 small pizzas.
7 cups “00” flour, preferably Caputo brand
2 tsp. active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (~85’F)
1 tbl. sugar
3 tbl. olive oil
1 1/2 cups ice water
4 tsp. kosher salt
Combine yeast, sugar and water in a small bowl. Let rest about 10 minutes or until foamy. If it does not foam, throw out the mixture and start again.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and yeast mixture.
Add the olive oil and cold water and mix until well combined.
Knead with the dough hook for approximately 7 minutes, or until elastic. If you are using a stand mixer, use your dough hook for this. If doing it by hand, be prepared for a little workout!
Make a well in the dough and add the salt. Mix it in by kneading for approximately 2 more minutes.
Shape the dough into 4-8 balls and place on a lightly floured sheet pan.
Shaping and preparing the pizza:
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 500’F and place pizza stone in the oven to heat as well.
On an overturned sheet pan (or pizza peel, if you have one!) generously dust with flour and cornmeal.
Working with one dough ball at a time, dust it generously with flour and flatten to a disk.
To shape, hold the dough disk like a steering wheel, turning and stretching the dough as you work your way around and around the “wheel” until it is uniformly thin.
Dust one side of the dough with flour and cornmeal and place that side down on the sheet pan/ pizza peel.
Slide your sheet pan around to ensure the pizza crust moves easily.
Brush with crust with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Top with crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh whole basil leaves (or other toppings, as desired).
Slide the pizza onto the stone. Starting at the back of the stone, let the pizza touch the stone and slide the sheet pan/ peel out from under the crust, letting it land on the stone.
Let bake until blistered and bubbly, about 5 minutes, turning halfway, as needed.
Remove the pizza and place on a serving dish.
Slice and serve!
Tricks and Tips:
Keep the stone in the oven the entire time – pretend like you can’t remove it.
The dough is pretty resilient – stretch it to help make it thinner in spots that need help. If you find you’ve created holes, simply repair them by pinching the dough together.
Make sure you have plenty of space to work in your oven, above your stone. I remove all of my racks and work in the lower third. This helps prevent burned hands.
While working on building your pizza and before you slide it into the oven, check to ensure it slides freely on the sheet pan or peel. If it doesn’t scrape it up with your spatula and get some flour/ cornmeal under it.
A giant fish spatula or other large metal spatula works really well for turning and removing pizzas.