In Italy, pizza dough can be found at almost every grocery store. If you have a favorite bakery where you go to buy your bread, they might also give you some, if you know them. The recipe that I have is one I have been using since I started making pizzas with my father. One of his dear friends who was a famous pizza maker in Florence passed the recipe on to us, and now I share it with you. It’s simple and works great, but don’t forget to check your local stores because you don’t really need to go the extra length to make your own dough. If you want to make your own dough, you can always freeze it for later.
Prep Time: 30 min / Inactive Prep: 1.1/2 hr / Serves:4
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast, lukewarm water, and 1/2 cup bread flour. Mix well and let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes.
Whisk together the remaining 3 1/2 cups bread flour and salt in another bowl so it will be evenly distributed.
Once the yeast mixture is nice and bubbly and looks like foamy beer, add 3/4 cup cold water and olive oil. Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on and add the flour in increments.
Mix the dough for about 5 minutes, until the dough starts creeping up the dough hook and comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Place the dough in a large bowl lightly greased with olive oil. Turn to coat all sides of the dough with oil. Cover the bowl loosely with a clean tea towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another hour.
Divide the dough into 4 equal disks. Lightly flour a work surface. Using your fingers or heels of your hands (and a rolling pin, if you prefer) stretch the disks out to a 10-inch round.
Repeat with the remaining 3 pizza dough disks.