Olive Oil Pizza Dough and Flatbread
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 package active dry yeast
3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
extra flour as needed
To proof the yeast: In the large bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve sugar in water. Stir in the yeast and allow to stand for 5 minutes, or until yeast starts to foam. To make the dough, add flour, salt and oil, and beat for 2 minutes. Continue beating with the dough hook for 5 minutes. If the dough is sticky of tacky, knead in a little flour, a tablespoon at a time. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat completely. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel, and allow to stand in a warm place (75-80ºF) until dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down.
To shape the dough, place dough on a floured surface and lightly flour the top. With floured hands, shape the dough into a circle or rectangle. With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1/4″ thickness. With your palms, press in 1/2″ of the rim to form a small lip around the edge. Sprinkle a pizza pan with cornmeal and place dough on top. Dough is now ready for filling and baking. Note: dough recipe using 3 cups flour will serve 6 and yield either 2 12″ round pizzas, or 4 8″ round individual size pizzas.
To make flatbreads instead, can use this same dough. Follow directions above. After placing dough in a 12″ pan, brush it with a little oil, sprinkle and lightly press into the dough either garlic powder, parmesan cheese, poppy seeds, onion flakes, chives, green onions, herbs, etc. Bake at 350 – 375ºF for 15 minutes for chewy bread or 20 minutes for a very crisp one.