BASIC PIZZA DOUGH

 

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water (105 to 115 F)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
olive oil for the bowl

 

Sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let stand 1 minute, or until the yeast is creamy. Stir until the yeast dissolves.

In a large bowl, combine the 2 cups flour and the salt. Add the yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Lightly coat a large bowl with oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to oil the top. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft-free place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

Flatten the dough with your fist. Cut the dough into 2 pieces and shape the pieces into balls. Flatten the dough slightly. Dust the tops with flour. Place the balls of dough on a floured surface and cover each with plastic wrap, allowing room for the dough to expand. Let rise 60 minutes, or until doubled.

 

Makes dough for one 12-inch pizza or two 9-inch pizzas.