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This recipe's been several months in the making - each time I would make pizza I adjusted the ingredients a bit until I was happy with the crust. It got better each time, and the number of friends who came over to eat it grew as well! I double this recipe to make 6 pizzas each time I make it now, so I have enough to feed everyone. My friends tell me that my pizza is better than any restaurant, but then people do tend to flatter in return for free food... ;-)
- Start making your dough around 4 to 6 hours before you want to eat. Most of that time will be unattended.
- Heat water in microwave or saucepan. It should be around 110 degrees. You can test the water by dipping the underside of your wrist in it. It should feel about the right temperature for baby bath water. Water hot enough to burn a baby is also hot enough to kill yeast!
- Stir water, sugar, and yeast together until yeast dissolves. Add the olive oil and the salt. Stir in the flour. It will seem like you have way too much flour. When you can't stir any more flour in, turn the entire contents of your bowl out onto a clean surface and knead in the rest of the flour.
- Grease a large bowl (about double the size of your dough). Put the dough in the bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 1/2 to two hours depending on temperature.) Should be more than 80 degrees (will still rise if cooler but will take much much longer) but never over 120 degrees (which is hot enough to kill yeast.) Punch down and let rise again, probably another 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- About 1 hour before you want to eat, split dough into 3 pieces and roll into balls. If you have a pizza stone, now is the time to put it in the oven to heat it up. If you don't, just preheat the oven to 425 and get your pan out. Wrap the balls in saran wrap to keep the dough from drying out (you may be tempted to skip this step, but it is much easier to roll out soft dough!).
- Now's the time to cut up some toppings. Set your mooching friends and family, if you have them, to work!
- On a clean, dry, floured surface, roll out the first ball into a round roughly the size of your pizza pan or stone. Transfer the dough round to the stone or pan, and brush the crust with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt or garlic powder.
- Put on your toppings. I do pizza sauce, then a bit of mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, black olives, green peppers, pepperoni, ham, or whatever is currently in the fridge. Then I top with a lot of cheese.
- Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Enjoy! :-D.