This artisan pizza dough will give you a billowy soft and chewy crust, blistered bubbles and a crispy bottom. It uses a high hydration and long fermentation time for maximum flavor.
Mix flour and all but 1 tablespoon of the water in a large bowl until just combined, then cover and set aside for 20- 30 minutes to rest. Sprinkle yeast over remaining warm water and set aside to hydrate.
Sprinkle salt over the surface of the dough. Stir yeast mixture and pour over dough. Lightly wet your hand, reach under the dough, and pull about a fourth of it over the top. Repeat until the center of the dough is covered. Then, using your thumb and fingers as pincers, squeeze and pinch off big chunks of dough. It’s okay to wet your hand a few times to prevent sticking. Pinch through the dough five to six times, rotating the bowl as needed. Fold the dough over itself a few times. Repeat pinching and folding until the yeast, extra water and salt are fully incorporated and a shaggy dough is formed. Cover the bowl and lest rest about an hour.
Fold the dough one time to develop the gluten. Lightly wet your hand, reach underneath the dough and pull about a quarter of the dough up just until you feel resistance, then fold it over the center. Rotate the bowl and repeat this folding four to five times, or until the dough has tightened into a ball. Take the entire ball of dough and invert it into a clean, lightly greased bowl, so the seam is down and the top is smooth. Cover and let rise until doubled in volume, 5- 6 hours.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and cut in half. Working with one piece of dough at a time, shape into a ball as follows. Stretch out a quarter of the dough just until you feel resistance, then fold it back over the center. Repeat stretching and folding the remaining three edges until the center is covered and a loose ball is formed. Turn the ball over so the seam is down and place it on an un-floured area. Cup your hands around the dough and gently pull it towards you, dragging the bottom along the counter to create a bit of tension. Rotate the ball 90 degrees and drag it a few inches towards you again. Repeat rotating and gently dragging until the top of the dough tightens up and the ball is round.
Transfer to a greased plate and repeat with remaining dough. Lightly oil the tops, cover and let rest at room temperature for about an hour. Preheat oven at this time. If not using right away, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready (for up to 2 days).
to make pizza:
Place pizza steel, stone, or inverted baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 500°F (or as high as it will go). Let oven heat up for at least 45 minutes. Generously flour a pizza peel and set aside. Alternatively, lightly grease a cast iron pan with olive oil and set aside.
Place one dough ball on a floured surface and flatten the middle into a large disk, leaving a thick 1-inch lip. Pick up the disk, and holding the thick edge, use gravity to gently shape the dough into a 12-inch circle. Lay on prepared pizza peel and adjust shape into a circle, being careful not to squish the outer edge. Jiggle the peel to make sure the dough isn’t sticking, and add more flour if it is. Alternatively, shape the dough to the size of your prepared cast iron pan, then place it inside.
Add sauce and toppings to pizza dough, leaving the 1-inch perimeter empty. Slide pizza onto the hot steel and bake for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 2- 4 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is golden and blistered. If using the cast iron pan, bake for 15- 20 minutes and broil for the last few minutes to get spots of char. Repeat with remaining pizza dough and toppings.
Recipe technique adapted from Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast by Ken Forkish
Keywords: artisan pizza dough