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Pizza Dough


1 1/4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsps dry yeast (about 1/2 of a packet)
1/3 cup warm water (about 120F or 50C)
1 tsp sugar or honey
Additional warm water
Olive oil

Stir the sugar or honey into the 1/3 cup warm water. Sprinkle on the yeast and stir it in with a fork until dissolved. Set aside for a few moments until it starts to bubble and foam. Put the flour in a bowl and stir in the salt. Scoop a "well" in the middle of the flour, stir in the yeast liquid, and stir to mix; continue adding warm water, a little at a time, until you have just enough to hold the dough together in a rough mass.

Knead it by folding over and pressing down, first in the bowl and then on a floured board or countertop, adding a little more flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth and dry. This small amount will be easy to knead and shouldn't require more than five minutes' work, if that. Flatten it into a thick, pizza-shaped disk and leave it to rest under a clean dish towel while you work on the toppings and pre-heat the oven to 450F.

When your toppings are ready, smear about 1 tablespoon olive oil on a clean surface such as your countertop. Take the round of dough, which should have "relaxed" and now will be a bit easier to work with, and put it down on the oiled surface, pressing it out into a larger, thin round, leaving a thicker rim around the edge. Transfer it onto a cookie sheet rubbed with a little olive oil, gently nudge it into a reasonable approximation of a circle, and load with topping ingredients. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the crust is a dark golden brown. Slide onto a serving plate, cut into slices and serve.

Yield: 1 pizza round

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