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Basic pizza dough

I love making pizza, and these days I make it about once a week. Pizza is delicious, inexpensive to make and so easy once you get your mad dough skills going. I've tried various pizza dough recipes over the years with mixed results, but I started doing it by feel about six months ago and haven't looked back. In order to share my recipe here, I measured my usual eyeballed amounts and wrote them down. This is seriously great dough and it doesn't require any kneading.

Water and yeast in a big bowl is where it all begins, and a lovely yeast bloom is a fun and satisfying thing to watch (or at least I think so!). I filmed this little video to show you what I look for when activating yeast.

So satisfying to watch every time it happens! I seriously call people into the kitchen to watch it, but no one ever seems adequately amazed. Ha!

This pizza dough is so simple and it turns out perfectly every time.

Here's how I make it:
makes enough for 2 large pizzas

1 1/4 cups warm water (slightly warmer than lukewarm)
1/4 tsp granulated white sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour

I start by combining the water, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl and giving it a little stir with my finger. Then I let it sit until it blooms (about 5 minutes - see video above). Then I add the olive oil, salt and 2 cups of flour, stirring with the handle end of a wooden spoon. The remaining 1/2 cup to 1 cup of flour is worked into the dough with my hands until the dough is almost no longer sticky. I form the dough into a ball and leave it in the bowl, covered with a tea towel, for one hour to rise. When ready to dress my pizzas, I divide the dough into two balls and roll them out using a rolling pin on a well-floured surface. Once my toppings are on, the pizzas bake at 400 degrees (F) for 18 minutes (1 or 2 minutes longer if there are lots of toppings).

If I'm only making one pizza, I simply freeze half the risen dough in a freezer baggy.

My youngest son gets the full-on happy wobbles when he sees pizza in the oven. There's grinning and clapping and dancing. According to him pizza is the best food in the world. He might be right.

What are your pizza dough tips? What are your favourite toppings? Share your technique and recipe ideas!