Basic pizza dough by hand method:
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more, if necessary
- Tomato sauce
- Fresh grated mozzarella cheese
- Goat cheese
- Chunk Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, chives, parsley)
- Sauteed wild mushrooms
- Duck confit
- Slices pepperoni
- Roasted peppers
- Pitted olives
- Caramelized onions
- Cooked, crumbled sausage
- Sauteed spinach
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and if you have one, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven.
In a large bowl, combine yeast with water, olive oil, salt and stir well to proof. After 5 minutes, add half of the flour and mix well to thoroughly incorporate. Add all remaining flour except 1/2 cup and mix well with your hands. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead dough for at least 5 and up to 7 minutes, adding enough additional flour, as necessary, to form a smooth and elastic dough. Dough should not be sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled 2 or 3 quart bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, usually at least 1 hour.
Divide dough into 2 portions (for 2 (12-inch) pizzas) and form into balls. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes. Then transfer to a lightly floured surface, shape as desired and roll out to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Transfer dough to a pizza peel.
Top with desired toppings.
Place pizzas in the preheated oven and cook, for about 10 to 15 minutes.