A step-by-step guide for beginners
Run the water in your sink until it’s almost too hot to comfortably hold your hand under (about 90°F).
In a tall glass (10 oz.), add 1 c. of warm water. Add the yeast and 1 T. sugar. Stir just until the ingredients are wet.
Let the mixture set for 30-60 seconds allowing the yeast to begin feeding on the sugar.
Then, stir until the sugar and yeast is dissolved. The mixture will appear muddy.
Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes until a full “foam head” develops at the top of the glass.
Put salt, remaining 1 T. sugar, and 1 tsp. olive oil in the bottom of the mixing bowl.
Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl.
Add 1 c. flour and the wheat bran (optional).
Mix with the whisk attachment for about 1 minute, continuing to add flour about 1/4 c. at a time until the mixture has a pancake-batter consistency. This will happen at around ½ c. of added flour.
Taste the mixture and adjust the salt, sugar, and oil as desired. Change the mixer attachment to the dough hook.
Add another cup of flour and mix on low speed for another minute. Increase speed to medium for about 30 seconds, then turn to low again and add another ¼ c. flour. Repeat this mixing pattern until the dough just starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. (see video below)
Stop the mixer. Test the dough with your finger to see if the dough sticks to your finger. If it sticks, Add more flour and mix again. Stop adding flour and mixing the dough when the dough is no longer sticky, but is still soft. This shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. (see video below)
At this point, turn off the mixer and dust the dough with a couple more tablespoons of flour.
While the dough rests in the bowl, warm your oven very briefly to about 90°F (or, use the proof setting if your oven has one).
Turn off the oven, put your dough in the oven and let it rise for 40-45 minutes. The dough will double in size.
Flour your counter top. Turn out the dough and fold and knead it lightly by hand, about 1 minute, adding flour if the dough is too sticky.
Cut the dough in half for two crusts. You can freeze one half, if desired.
Grease your baking pan with olive oil. Start spreading the dough out in the pan shape, using your hands or a rolling pin.
As you spread the dough, continue sprinkling with flour and flipping it over to help it stretch.
When it is just about the correct size, transfer the dough to the oiled pan and finish the edges to form a rim.
Place the pan in the oven and let the dough rise again, about 20 minutes.
If using tomato sauce rather than prepared pizza sauce, mix the tomato sauce with the dried herbs and fresh garlic.
If using spinach, add it to a pan over low heat with some olive oil and salt. Cook until leaves begin to wilt, then turn off heat.
Slice or chop other desired toppings. If using fresh tomato, slice very thin.
Remove the dough pan from the oven and then preheat the oven to 450°F.
When heated, return the dough pan to the oven and bake the dough for about 5 minutes until set.
Remove the pan from the oven. Cover the crust with tomato sauce. Add desired toppings.
Next, cover the pizza with cheeses. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 10-14 minutes, until the cheese begins to brown.
Let the pizza cool for 5 minutes or so until it is easy to cut.
Serve and enjoy!
Makes 2 pizza crusts, about 4 servings each.