Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
Makes 6 pizza doughs
1 1/4 cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)
2 packages dry yeast
1 tbs honey
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
2 tsp sea salt
Microwave water in a microwave safe container or glass measuring cup for 45 seconds.
Combine warm water, yeast, honey, and extra virgin olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. When the yeast is dissolved (you can use your hands or spatula to help dissolve the yeast), add 3 cups of flour, then sea salt, and mix on a medium-low speed. While mixing, add up to 1 more cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Transfer the dough to a floured board and knead the dough for about 10 to 15 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with the flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to your hands. The dough should be smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Dump the dough on a floured board and section it in 6 equal parts. Put the dough portions into a baking pan lined with parchment paper and cover with a damp kitchen towel to let it rise 10 more minutes. Use the dough immediately or keep the dough covered in a damp kitchen towel 'til you are ready to use it.
Wow. My kitchen island counter top is super messy! First note, make sure that when you are making the dough that your bowl is not super cold. This will deactivate the yeast and deter the dough from rising properly.
Do not put the salt directly into the wet yeast mixture. This will also deter the dough from rising. Remember... flour, then salt, mix, and more flour.
Kneading the dough for a long while is such an important step. It totally changes the texture of the dough. Make sure to take your time and knead the dough 'til it's pretty and smooth.
Sometimes I put the bowl in the oven (when it's not on) to let it sit undisturbed but since I was using both ovens I left it out on the counter. Just make sure that it's not sitting in a cold place. The dough rises better in a warm place. After rising, the dough should at least double in size.
The dough should rise and turn really soft and pillow-y.
Roll out the individual dough portions on a floured board. I like thin crusted pizzas so I try to get mine as thin as possible.
Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. No oil is needed on the parchment paper before baking.
I will continue the pizza party series tomorrow. To be continued....