Making the Pizza Dough

1 Proof the yeast: Place the warm water in the large bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved.

After 5 minutes stir if the yeast hasn’t dissolved completely. The yeast should begin to foam, which indicates that it is still active and alive.

2 Make and knead the pizza dough: Using the mixing paddle attachment, mix in the flour, salt, sugar, and olive oil on low speed for a minute. Then replace the mixing paddle with the dough hook attachment.

Knead the pizza dough on low to medium speed using the dough hook until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

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If you don’t have a mixer, you can mix the ingredients together and knead them by hand.

If the dough seems a little too wet, sprinkle it with a little more flour.

3 Put dough in warm place to rise: Spread a thin layer of olive oil over the inside of a large bowl. Place the pizza dough in the bowl and turn it around so that it gets coated with the oil.

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Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place (75-85°F) until it doubles in size, at least 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

You can let it sit for several hours if you want. The longer rise will improve the flavor of the pizza crust.

If you don’t have a warm spot in the house you can heat the oven to 150 degrees, and then turn off the oven. Let the oven cool till it is just a little warm, then place the bowl of dough in this warmed oven to rise.

At this point, if you want to make ahead, you can freeze the dough in an airtight container for up to two weeks

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