Master Pizza Dough
MAKES 2 12" PIZZAS
We developed this recipe by watching a real Neapolitan pizzaiuoli (pizza maker) at work in a New York pizzeria.
1 7-gram packet active dry yeast
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 cups cake flour
1 tsp. salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup cornmeal
1. Dissolve yeast in 1⁄4 cup lukewarm water in a large bowl. Set aside until yeast begins to activate (it will foam a little), about 10 minutes. Combine flours and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Add 1 cup of the flour mixture to yeast and stir well with a wooden spoon or your hands. Mix in 1⁄2 cup water, then add another cup flour mixture and continue to stir. Add remaining 1 cup flour mixture, then gradually stir in about 1⁄4 cup water and mix well. The dough should be fairly soft, but not too wet.
3. Turn out dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead with the heels of your palms until it has a smooth, uniform texture, about 10–12 minutes. Divide dough into 2 even balls. Coat the insides of two medium bowls with 1⁄2 tsp. olive oil each. Place dough in bowls, cover bowls with damp cloths or plastic wrap, and set aside to rise until doubled in bulk, about 2 1⁄2–3 hours.
4. Place pizza stone or unglazed tile in oven and preheat at highest setting (not broil). Sprinkle a baker's peel or inverted baking sheet with cornmeal. Punch down dough from one bowl, make a ball, and flatten it on the pan. Taking care not to overwork dough, stretch it into a thin 12" circle with a slightly raised edge. Add Margherita or Marinara toppings and slide onto hot pizza stone.
5. Bake until crust is golden brown and crisp, about 12–15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare second pizza. Remove first pizza from oven and bake the second on the same stone. Drizzle a little olive oil on each and serve.