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Years ago, in finer times, the California Pizza Kitchen website listed their recipes for pizza dough and tomato sauce. Unfortunately they've long since removed that particular content, but not before yours truly could write down the recipe. FAIR WARNING - This is an overnight pizza dough. It can be used day-of, but the difference in flavor is staggering.
- Dissolve the yeast in the water and let it proof for 5 to 10 minutes. The yeast should have a little island of fizz/bubbles before you start. (if you're using instant yeast dissolve it in the water and skip the proof).
- In a separate bowl mix all of the dry ingredients and create a little well in the middle. Dump your yeast mixture and the olive oil into the well and stir with either your fingers or a wooden spoon.
- Once a lumpy kind of dough forms lightly oil your hands and start to knead the ball. Knead it for at least 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth but slightly tacky.
- Lightly coat the ball in olive oil and place in an airtight container, allow to rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- You can use the dough at this point, but for a finer texture and a nice, mellow sort of tang do the following: Deflate the dough, bunch it back up into a ball, put it back into the container, and stow it in your refrigerator overnight.
- About 2 hours before you're going to make your pizza remove the dough from the refrigerator, deflate again, and split into 2 equal portions. Roll both portions into balls, sealing any cracks as tightly as possible. Place the new dough balls on opposite sides of a shallow dish and cover with plastic wrap. Let them sit at room temperature for the aforementioned 2 hours (they'll be much easier to shape).
- After this just heat your pizza stone (or failing that, the floor of your oven with both racks taken out) to 500 degrees F, roll out your dough balls, top them, and slide them into the oven using a cornmeal-dusted pizza peel (or failing that, anything smooth and thin enough to manuever, like a cutting board).
- Your pizzas will cook very quickly, so it's easier to just eyeball their progress than try to time them.