- 1¾ cups warm water
- ½ cup corn meal
- 1 tablespoon dry active yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3½ cups unbleached bread flour*
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil*You can also use a blend of 2½ unbleached bread flour and 1 cup whole wheat bread flour.
- Proof the yeast in ½ cup of warm water with a pinch of sugar.
- In a separate bowl, add the oil to the remaining warm water.
- Blend the flour, salt and corn meal in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the water/oil mixture and the proofed yeast to the dry ingredients.
- Blend mixture with a spatula until you have a shaggy mass.
- Knead the dough by hand on a floured counter or in your mixer with a dough hook for about 8-10 minutes.
- Lightly oil the interior of a bowl large enough for the dough to double in size.
- Put the dough into the oiled bowl and turn it to oil all sides.
- Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, about 1-2 hours.
- When the dough has completed the first rise, punch it down.
- Turn onto a floured counter surface.
- Cut the dough into 4 or 5 equal pieces and give each a quick knead by hand.
- Shape the pieces into balls and arrange on a cookie sheet for the second rise.
- Cover with a damp tea towel. The second rise should take about 1 hour.
- Preheat your oven to 500̊ F and let run for about 1 hour to ensure the oven is hot.
- When the second rise is complete, roll the pizza out on a floured surface, turning the dough frequently and dusting with flour.
- Prepare the baking pan by greasing it and then sprinkling it with a bit of corn meal.
- Transfer your crust to the baking sheet and you are ready for toppings.
- Put the pizza into the oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and slide it onto a large cutting board. Allow the pizza to firm up for a few minutes and then slice and serve.
If you do not need all 4 or 5 crusts, they can be frozen. Take a plastic bag and oil the inside with a splash of oil. Put in a ball of dough, wiggle it around until the ball is well oiled. Store in the freezer. When you want to use it you can defrost it in the fridge overnight.