Italian Pizza with Homemade Pizza Dough!

My italian ancestors would be proud, I finally decided to conquer the art of making my own pizza dough!  Now, not having a pizza oven that cooks at 700-900 degrees, I had to compromise using my boring old regular oven at 500 degrees and a pizza stone.  I also could only get my hands on King Arthur bread flour instead of the "00" flour I had gotten my hopes up on.

"00" flour is pretty hard to find but rumor has it, its the best stuff out there to make your pizza dough.  I have been to italy a few times, and I fell in love with with the pizza there.  It's super thin, you can eat an entire pizza yourself, and there is something about the dough thats just so light and fluffy.  After I got back, I went on a mission to find something that just remotely resembled the deliciousness I dined upon when I was there.  But unfortunately I have not found anything that even compares!

We had ourselves a pizza night the other night and tried to recreate our favorite italian pizza.  Now, it was pretty dang good for our first try (and trust me, there will be many more attempts in the not so distant future because now I'm determined to perfect it!) but it definitely wasn't as good as the stuff off the streets in Italy.

The dough was a little denser, but still pretty authentic to the italian culture.  Hopefully as I keep experimenting I will be able to supply with you with the perfect, right-off-the-boat italian pizza recipe!

[What you Need]

1 package Dry Active Yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon salt
2.5 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups bread flour (or "00" flour if you can get your hands on it!)

Olive Oil
Your favorite pizza toppings (I opted for mozzarella, asparagus, garlic, and black olive)

[What to do]

In a electric stand mixer, mix the sugar and warm water for about a minute until the sugar is dissolved.  Then add in your yeast and mix a few times just to incorporate it.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes until the yeast becomes foamy.

When it is foamy, turn your mixer on a low-medium speed and slowly add in 1-1/2 cups of your flour.  When it is incorporated, add in your oil and salt.  Then slowly add in the rest of your flour.  When it forms into a ball, pulling away from the edges of the bowl, take it out and put it on a lightly floured board.  Slightly need it until it is no longer sticky.

Form the dough into a ball and place into a well greased (with olive oil) bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it raise in a warm space, in a window on a hot day, or sitting on top of an oven that is preheating.  This is a good time to preheat your oven, with a pizza stone inside, to 500 degrees.

After about an hour and 15 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size, take the dough out of the bowl and cut into 3 pieces.  Pull out each piece in to a circle about 12" in diameter and about 1/4-1/8" thick.

Top with your favorite sauce, cheese, and toppings.  Lightly oil the crusts with olive oil so that they become crispy.  Transfer to your pre-heated pizza stone and cook for about 15 minutes or until crispy.  Repeat with the other 2 balls of dough and your favorite toppings.


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