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I've always struggled with breads, crust, and pastries, so when my wife and I noticed this one on a cooking show, we had to give it a try. My pizza crusts (as well as the ready-made boxed brands) always turned out heavy and lacked the features we enjoyed with pizza from the restaurant. This one is very simple, easy to make, hard to mess up, and was as good as any we've had from a restaurant or carry-out. It was very similar to what I've tried in the past, and one of the things I found that was absolutely irreplaceable in this recipe (NO SUBSTITUIONS!) was bread flour, as opposed to general purpose or any other type. I would suppose that the proportions may also have a great deal to do with it, so I stick with the exact measures from the show.
- Dry mix the flour, yeast, and salt. Add about half of the olive oil, and mix again.
- Coat a large bowl with the remaining olive oil.
- Slowly add the hot water to the flour mixture, kneading by hand or using a bread machine, or better yet with kneading attachments on a large fixed-mount mixer.
- When thoroughly blended, place the dough in the oil-coated bowl, roll it to coat the entire ball, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it to double in size. This can be anywhere from one to two hours.
- Remove the dough, flatten it slightly and double it over several times, and put it back in the oil-coated bowl. Allow it to sit for another 15 to 30 minutes.
- During the last sitting, preheat the oven to its highest setting (mine was 525). You can also cook it on a pre-heated grill. I recommend using a pizza stone, and pre-heating it in the oven/grill.
- Using your fingertips, begin spreading the dough on a section of the parchment paper appropriately sized for your pizza. Avoid rolling it in order to preserve the natural bubbling inside the dough. Spread it thinly in the middle and allow the large crust section on the perifery to contain your sauces and toppings. Add sauce, toppings, and cheese.
- Transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone (keeping it on top of the parchment paper) and cook to desired result.