The secret is to handle the dough gently, leave it for 18 hours, then form the pizzas, gently. With this dough I was able to form the circles on my fists, something that has always eluded me.
This dough is soft, so we used lots of flour underneath to help it slide into the oven on the paddle. If you do not have a paddle, a metal cookie sheet without sides works well. If you have neither a stone nor a paddle I found that baking the pizza at a high temperature worked better than broiling.
Toppings are only limited by your imagination.
- 500 grams or about 3 ¾ cups all purpose flour plus more for shaping the dough
- 1 gram (¼ teaspoon) active dry yeast
- 16 grams (2 teaspoons) fine sea salt (I used kosher salt)
- 350 grams (1 ½ cups) water
Blend the flour, yeast and salt thoroughly. Add water and combine with a wooden spoon or your hands.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 18 hours or until it has more than doubled.
Generously flour dough, your hands and work surface, and scrape out the mixture. Divide into 4 equal parts. Take each part, and pull the right side toward the centre, then the left and finally the top and bottom. Place seam side down and shape each portion into a neat circular round.
Press dough and gently stretch until 6 to 8 inches to shape crust. Support the disc with your knuckles, lifting it above the work surface. Rotate the dough on your knuckles, which will pull the dough wider. Alternatively continue to use your fingers and palms to smooth it out into a larger circle. You want 10 to 12 inches. Extra dough can be rewrapped tightly and refrigerated for up to three days. Let it come to room temperature unwrapped.
Flour your paddle or your baking sheet and lift disc on to centre. The dough is ready to be topped.