Chewy Pizza Crust

Because it rises slowly overnight in the refrigerator, this crust develops a fabulous wheaty taste and texture.

Serves: 12Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 11 hours 20 minutesDifficulty: Medium


Serves: 12

Ingredients

  • 1 envelope (0.25 oz.) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 4 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Directions

  • In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water, stir, and set aside. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and olive oil. Gradually combine the wet and dry ingredients.
  • When dough has formed, lightly oil your hands and knead the dough for 5 minutes. It should be slightly tacky. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover the bowl and set aside at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Then punch it down and return it to the same bowl. Cover again airtight with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • About 2 hours before you are ready to eat, remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it into two equal portions. Roll each portion into a round ball. Let rise at room temperature until they start to puff a bit, about 40 minutes.
  • Place a heavy baking sheet or pizza stone in an oven and preheat to 500°F. On floured work surface, place one ball of dough. Using your hands or a rolling pin, press down on dough, gently stretching it, until you have formed a 12" round. Prick the dough with a fork in several places.
  • Using a pizza peel, transfer to the hot baking sheet or pizza stone in the oven. Bake until set, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Repeat with second ball of dough.