Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes
Yield: 1 13" x 18" pizza
- 1½ c. warm water
- 1½ tbsp. dry yeast
- 4 c. bread flour or all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 3-4 tbsp. tomato sauce
- 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4-6 fresh basil leaves
1. In a medium bowl, stir together the water and yeast. Let rest until the yeast bubbles, about 5 minutes.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix 3 cups of flour and salt. Add yeast mixture and 1 tablespoon oil and stir together to form a sticky dough.
3. Knead dough, adding remaining flour a little at a time until dough becomes a smooth, elastic ball, about 6-9 minutes. Or, use an electric mixer with the paddle attachment to first combine ingredients and then switch to the dough hook. Add flour a little at a time until dough comes away from the sides of the bowl, about 3-5 minutes.
4. Coat a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of oil. Turn dough into bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until it doubles in size, about 30 minutes.
5. Rub remaining oil all over a 13" x 18" rimmed baking sheet until it is thoroughly coated. Turn dough onto baking sheet and stretch it with your fingers a little toward edges of the baking sheet. Don't overstretch it and be careful not to tear--don't worry about it reaching all the way to the edge yet.
6. Cover baking sheet with plastic wrap and let sit until dough expands to nearly reach the edges, about 2 hours.
7. Preheat oven to 500°F, or as high as your oven will go.
8. Uncover baking sheet and with oiled hands, gently stretch dough to the edges and corners of the baking sheet.
9. Top dough with sauce (make sure to leave about an inch around the edges for the crust), cheese, and fresh basil leaves.
10. Bake until the cheese and crust begins to brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing into square pieces.