Jim Lahey's Pizza Dough

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Stir the flour, salt and yeast together in a bowl, then add the water and use a wood spoon or you hands to mix the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise until more than doubled. (In the book he says 18 hours but it depends on the temperature among other things.) I've been mixing it up the evening before I want to make it and letting it sit overnight and into the afternoon.
  2. Flour a large cutting board or other work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Divide the dough into 4 pieces.
  3. Pull each of the four sides into the center and form a round ball. The dough should not be sticky at this point. If it is, dust with a bit more flour. Set the balls seam side down. You can let these rise for a while or refrigerate up to 3 days (making sure you give them a few hours at room temperature before you start making pizza).
  4. Preheat the oven at 500F with a pizza stone in it for at least 30 minutes. Just before you're ready to bake the pizzas, switch to the broiler.
  5. Stretch the dough into roughly roundish pizza shapes, about 10-12 inches, on a floured wooden pizza peel. Don't stress if they're not round.
  6. Top as you like, These bake quickly so you may want to parboil some vegetables.
  7. Slide the pizza into the oven with quick jerks and bake 3 1/2 - 5 minutes.
  8. Use the peel to take the pizza out of the oven when the cheese is bubbly and the crust is slightly charred.