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Pizza Dough

flour (approx. 3 cups)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 packet fast-rising yeast
1 C. warm water
2 tsp. olive oil

Blend the yeast with two cups of flour and the salt. Add the water
and the oil and mix to form a dough. Add more flour as necessary
until you can knead the dough. Knead for about 6 minutes.

Put the dough in a bowl and allow to rise for about 45 minutes. In
the meantime, preheat the oven to 400F and prepare your toppings.

Split the dough into two pieces and roll into two medium size
pizzas. In the U.S., you can use bread flour to make the pizzas.
If so, the dough should be strong enough to handle spinning in the
air. For that to work, though, do not knead the dough (or punch
down) after it has risen! If you want to spin, it'll probably go
easier if you just resort to using all the dough for one large

If you're rolling the dough, ideally you can roll it out on parchment
paper, which can go directly into the oven with the pizza. Why not
do it on a cookie sheet? Well, the secret of a good pizza crust
(particularly a thin one) is that the pizza should bake directly
on a hot surface. I have lined my oven with quarry tiles, and I
bake my pizzas directly on that. A pizza stone can be had at a
cooking store, or you might try baking directly on the floor of
your oven. If you try to bake on a cookie sheet that you slide into
the oven with the pizza on it, I think you'll find yourself frustrated
in the quest of good crusty pizza.

After rolling out and preparing your pizza on top of parchment
paper, slide the paper (with the pizza on it) onto a large cutting
board held level with the counter. Then open the oven and gently
shake the cutting board so that the pizza and the paper slide right

If you don't have parchment paper, roll out or spin your pizza
dough and then place it on a cutting board liberally dusted with
cornmeal. Put the toppings on the pizza and then do the same sliding
trick before (although it's good to check, just beforehand, that
the pizza doesn't seem stuck anywhere to the board).

Bake the pizza for 12-18 minutes.

If you have a pizza peel instead of a cutting board, use that!


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