1 lb. (31/2 cups) unbleached bread flour; more as needed
2 tsp. sugar or honey
11/2 tsp. table salt (or 21/2 tsp. kosher salt)
11/4 tsp. instant yeast
11/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
Semolina flour (optional)
This versatile dough also works for calzones and stromboli. It’s best to mix the dough at least a day ahead. It keeps for 3 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer
- Combine the flour, sugar or honey, salt, yeast, and olive oil in a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add 11fl. oz.(11/4cups plus 2 Tbs.) of cool(60° to 65°F) water. With a large spoon or the paddle attachment of the electric mixer on low speed, mix until the dough comes together in a coarse ball, 2 to 3 minutes by hand or1to 2 minutes in the mixer. Let the dough rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes
- Knead the dough: If using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook. Knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes, either by hand on a lightly floured work surface or with the mixer’s dough hook on medium-low speed. As you knead, add more flour or water as needed to produce a ball of dough that is smooth, supple, and fairly tacky but not sticky. When poked with a clean finger, the dough should peel off like a Post-It® note, leaving only a slight residue. It may stick slightly to the bottom of the mixing bowl but not to the sides.
- Chill the dough: Lightly oil a bowl that’s twice the size of the dough. Roll the dough in the bowl to coat it with the oil, cover the top of the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. It will rise slowly in the refrigerator but will stop growing once completely chilled. If the plastic bulges, release the carbon dioxide buildup by lifting one edge of the plastic wrap (like burping it) and then reseal.
- To make a pizza, follow the directions on the facing page.
- To freeze the dough: After kneading the dough, divide it in to 4 pieces for pizzas or calzones or 2 pieces for Stromboli. Freeze each ball in its own zip-top freezer bag. They’ll ferment some what in the freezer, and this counts as the rise. Before using, thaw completely in their bags over night in the fridge or at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. Then treat the dough exactly as you would regular overnighted dough, continuing with the directions for making pizzas, calzones, or Stromboli