Starting out with a good dough is key.
2- 1/2 cups of AP flour
2 pkgs yeast (I buy yeast in bulk, so 4 tsp slightly mounded yeast)
a few dashes salt
1/2 Tbsp sugar
seasonings (optional) I use Italian in the crust when we are doing Sicilian pizza.
Set these ingredients to mixing in a stand mixer.
You will blend 2 cups warm water (nice hot tap water works fine, cannot be hotter than 120* or you will kill the yeast) and 4 Tbsp olive oil (veggie works, but I like the taste of the olive oil better).
Slowly pour the water mixture into the dry mix. Once it stops sloshing around, turn the mixer to medium for a couple minutes. You can stop when the dough is no longer lumpy looking.
Switch to the dough hook and add 1 cup of flour at a time. When the dough clings to the hook and separates from the sides, you have some good dough.
A trick when dealing with yeast dough, let it stay slightly tacky! This helps with the rising ability.
I place this dough in a cool place (fridge, deck) covered to rise. When working in the pizza making industry, this is how we stored and let the dough rise. Once it is double in size, you can roll it out to whatever shape you want for pizza after you top it with some basic red sauce (homemade, of course).
- use Italian sausage, saute mushrooms and onion, then top the cheese with Italian seasoning to make a Sicilian pizza
- sour kraut and kielbasa for a tangy choice
- ketchup, mustard, browned hamburger, dill slices, and cheddar for cheeseburger pizza
Recently I used pretzel rolls from Costco for the crust and that was amazing for pizza crust ;-)