If you aren’t one for breaking out the thermometer to check the water temperature for the dough, just put the very tip of your finger in the warm water, if it begins to burn after a few seconds, it’s too hot, but if it’s not warm to the touch, it’s not quite warm enough. You want to make sure you start off with the correct water temperature, or else the yeast will not bloom, and you will have to start over. —amber wilson | for the love of the south
of warm water (100 to 110º F)
4 1/2 teaspoons
(2 packets) of rapid rise yeast
of granulated sugar
of extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing bowl
of kosher salt
of all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Preheat the oven to 200º F. Once the oven has preheated, immediately turn the oven off.
Combine water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment. Gently stir to dissolve the yeast. Let the yeast bloom for 5 to 10 minutes (once the top of the mixture begins to get foamy from one side of the bowl to the other, I know it’s done). On the lowest speed, turn on the mixer and add olive oil and salt. Slowly add in the flour (I usually add half the flour, let it incorporate slightly, then pour in the other half.)
Increase to medium speed and mix the dough until it begins to form a ball and wrap itself around the hook, this step should take about 2 minutes. Allow the mixer to knead the dough for another 5 to 8 minutes. Make sure the dough is smooth and elastic.
Form the dough into a ball and place into a large bowl coated with olive oil. Flip the dough in the oil a few times to make sure the dough is evenly coated. Cover the dough with a tea towel to discourage a skin forming on the dough. Let the dough rise for 1 hour in the warm oven.
Once the dough has risen and doubled in size, punch down and cut into 8 equal-sized pieces (or cut the dough in half for 2 large pizzas, which serves 6 to 8 people total.) Use the dough immediately or freeze up to 3 months.
To Freeze: Whenever the dough has finished rising, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces (each piece is 1 serving), wrap each piece in cling wrap and stack the covered pieces of dough into a labeled gallon-sized freezer bag. The dough will stay good for 3 months. When ready to use just take out however many individual balls of dough that you may need and let them come to room temperature for 2 to 3 hours on the counter.