A recipe for nice puffy pizza crust, along with helpful hints. :)
The Crust (serves 4):
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup water between 80-105 degrees
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
Mix sugar and water, stir in yeast and let proof for 5 minutes. It should look like a headdy beer.
Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Add oil and yeast mixture. Combine by hand until everything holds together. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until no longer sticky; about 10 minutes.
Place your dough ball into an oiled bowl. Cover with a moist cloth and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, punch it down and let it rest for a minute or two.
You can form the dough into one large circle, two medium circles, one large rectangle (pictured), whatever you like. I use a cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal. If you have a pizza stone, even better! I suggest pre-baking the crust at 425 for about 5 minutes before adding the toppings.
Top your crust with whatever sauce, cheese, and toppings you like. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes.
*Tip: If you're using toppings that might have moisture, i.e. canned mushrooms, jarred olives etc., wrap them in a paper towel and squeeze the water out before placing them on your pizza. This prevents a watery mess.
*For deep dish, grease a cake pan with olive oil and press the crust into the bottom. Up the time to 25-30 minutes.