BREADS / PIZZA CRUSTS
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup warm water (between 95° and 115° F.)
- 2 T yeast (2 tablespoons, I like my dough a little yeasty. You can use less)
- 2 T honey
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
How to By Hand:
Pour warm water into a bowl. The water should be about 85 to 115° F. Test it with your hand. It should feel very warm, but comfortable. Add the honey and salt. Mix on low until well blended. Add the yeast and mix. Let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of flour and the olive oil and mix until well blended. Add the rest of the flour (and any other additions) and mix well. The dough should turn into a ball. If the dough does not ball up because it's too dry, add water one tablespoon at a time until it does. If your mixture is more like a batter, add flour one tablespoon at a time. Adding water or flour as needed to get the right consistency will assure you always get a perfect dough. Just remember to do it in small amounts.
Once the dough is balled up, place the ball on a floured board and knead for about a minute. This builds the gluten which helps the dough to rise and become fluffy when cooked. Place the dough in a plastic grocery bag or a covered bowl and store in a warm, dry area to rise.
After about 45 minutes the dough should have about doubled in size. Show it who's boss and punch it down. That's right, give it a good smack so it deflates. Let it rise for another hour to an hour and a half. The dough is now ready to be rolled out. You can punch the dough down one more time if you want and wait another hour or two before rolling out. The choice is yours.