Easy Pizza Dough

This recipe has been featured in a post on The Recipe Girl blog: Classic Pepperoni Pizza

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Easy Pizza Dough

Yield: 1 ball of pizza dough

Prep Time: 25 min + rising time

Cook Time: 8 min

Make some for dinner tonight, or make some to freeze for later use. This is an easy, delicious pizza dough to make.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons honey
1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
3/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 ounces), divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornmeal

Directions:

1. Dissolve honey and yeast in 3/4 cup warm water in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes or until it begins to bubble. Add 2 cups flour and salt to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic- about 6 minutes (or use dough hook on your stand mixer); add enough of the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly sticky).

2. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover with a clean dishtowel and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If the indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)

3. Roll dough into a 12-inch circle (about 1/4-inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on a rimless baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim. Lightly spray surface of dough with cooking spray, and cover with plastic wrap. Place the dough in refrigerator for up to 30 minutes.

4. To prepare pizza immediately, preheat a baking sheet or baking stone in the oven (on lowest rack) to 500 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap from the dough; discard and brush 2 teaspoons olive oil on the dough. Use spatula to slide dough onto preheated baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Then spread sauce and desired toppings onto the pre-baked crust. Move to the middle rack and bake for about 10 more minutes, until crust is golden & cheese melts.

Tips:

*To simulate a warm place for rising, turn on your oven briefly (30 seconds) and turn the oven light on too. Turn off the oven, place the pizza crust inside the oven & close the door. The oven will be warmer than your kitchen.
*To freeze dough: Follow the recipe through the 1st rise, then punch the dough down (to expel gas & redistribute the yeast). Form the dough into a ball, lightly dust it with flour, and seal it in a heavy-duty zip bag. Freeze for up to 2 weeks. To use, thaw dough overnight in refrigerator; remove it from the fridge, and allow it to come to room temperature (about 30 minutes) before rolling it out and proceeding with the recipe as directed.

Source: RecipeGirl.com (Adapted from Cooking Light)

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