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I used this for a pizza party I had recently, and it was a huge hit! It works best with white pizzas (using olive oil and herbs or pesto as a sauce). The crust is amazingly tasty, and quite flavorful. It also cooks up incredibly crispy on the outside, and tender and chewy on the inside. It's a perfect pizza dough.
- Mix yeast and water (follow directions on yeast packet for proper water temperature), and set aside for 5-7 minutes.
- Combine flour, salt, dried oregano, and powdered garlic in a large mixing bowl. Create a well in the middle of the mixture and add one half of the yeast/water mixture.
- Work the water/yeast mixture in by hand. Dough should be very crumbly, and not really hold together.
- Add olive oil and the rest of the water/yeast mixture, and continue to combine by hand until dough is soft and smooth.
- (Alternate, if using fresh oregano and garlic) Add to the above step, add in garlic and oregano, and combine by hand until dough is soft and smooth.
- Place dough on a flat surface and vigorously knead for about 10 minutes. Alternatively, using an electric mixer with a dough hook, let the mixer work the dough for about 7 minutes under low-medium setting.
- Put dough in a greased bowl (or a lightly oiled bowl), and make sure grease/oil covers the outside of the dough. Let rise for 45-60 minutes in a warm (80-90 degree) place.
- Once dough has risen (increased to about double in size), punch it down (about three firm punches to the dough's surface), knead for another 2-3 minutes, and allow to rise again, per the instructions above). Repeat this step for a total of three rises.
- After the dough has risen for the third time, separate into two pieces (or more, if smaller pizzas are desired).
- Roll pizzas out into 13-14 inch circles and top as desired.
- Bake in a 475 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until crust is crispy and golden brown. A baking stone is strongly recommended. If using a baking stone, lightly sprinkle with corn meal to prevent sticking.
- To parbake (half bake the dough, and save for later), follow the above baking directions, but only bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, or freeze so they'll last longer.
- Alternative baking method - if your oven has the capability to do so, preheat oven and baking stone to 600 degrees. Adjust cooking time to 5-10 minutes, or until crust is crispy and golden brown. This method can also utilize bread flour, as it cooks at a high enough temperature to allow the bread flour to rise properly during cooking, yet not allow the glutens to break down during cooking and cause the dough to collapse, thus making for a soggy pizza. This is my preferred method, as it allows for a reduced cooking time and more of a "brick oven pizza" flavor and crispiness. It's also the preferable method to cook pizzas with more liquid ingredients, such as tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, etc.