My Best Easy Pizza Dough

I’ve tried and tried and tried lots of recipes over the year to find the perfect pizza dough. Sadly, it’s either too tough to work with, not rising, or the crust simply tasted like a piece of cardboard.

My motivation to get me keep trying was my son’s obsession for pizza. I wanted him to be that same crazy when he’s eating my home-made pizza. And finally I’ve come to this one which he cheerfully calls Mommy Pizza. The key is to give time to proof the dough. Cliché! I know. But my house is kind of cold, the typically required 2-hour rising time was never enough. I prepare my dough in the morning, and let it rise throughout the day! Yes, at least 8 hours.

Here is how you can freeze the dough for future use – after it’s risen, shape it into a disk, plastic wrap it tightly and put it into a freezer bag to freeze it. The night before you want to have pizza for dinner, transfer the wrapped frozen dough to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Next morning before you head to work, unwrap the dough, put it in an oiled bowl, cover and let it rise on kitchen counter. The dough will be all ready to be baked when you get home.

Ingredients (one 12″ x 18″ pizza):
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons honey
1 cup water, warm to touch
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

In a bowl of a standing mixer, combine yeast and salt.
Add honey and water. Mix with a paddle attachment for 2 minutes until slightly frothy.
Change to a dough hook. Add olive oil and 1 cup flour. Mix until the flour is fully incorporated. Add in another cup of flour, then the remaining 1/4 cup. Let the machine knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes.
Place dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place (preferably close to a warm oven) for an hour. Or leave it in room temperature for at least 8 hours.
When the dough has risen, punch it down and transfer to a floured board. This is the time to freeze it for future use. Otherwise, roll the dough into 1/2-inch thick circle or rectangle.
Sprinkle cornmeal on baking sheets. Place dough on top of cornmeal.
Lightly brush dough surface with olive oil. Then top with a thin layer of tomato sauce, followed with topping ingredients. Sprinkle cheese over. Transfer to preheated 420F oven and bake for 20 minutes until crust is golden.

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