1 Tablespoon granulated sugar or honey
1 cup warm water (110º to 115ºF—warm to the touch like bathwater, but not hot)
1/4 ounce (2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
2 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
3/4 cup fine cornmeal
1/4 cup coarse cornmeal (polenta)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Flour (unbleached, all-purpose) for dusting/kneading dough
Polenta or semolina flour for dusting pizza peel
Olive oil for the rising dough and for brushing the rolled-out dough
Cook's note: Be sure to use liquid measuring cups for liquid and solid measuring cups for the solids. For measuring solids, apply the scoop and sweep method.
Proof the Yeast: In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar into the warm water. (Use an instant-read thermometer for temperature accuracy.) Sprinkle the yeast over the water/sugar mixture and stir gently until it dissolves, about 1 minute. Let the mixture sit in a warm spot until a thin layer of foam covers the surface, about 5 minutes, indicating that the yeast is effective. (If the bubbles have not formed within 5 minutes, discard the mixture and start over.)
Make Dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, 2 types of cornmeal and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the yeast/water mix and the oil into the well. Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the well a little at a time, until the flour is incorporated and the dough just begins to hold together. (If using a standing mixer, transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and insert the dough hook. For kneading the dough in a mixer, follow the instructions listed below).
Knead/Rise: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough gently as follows: press down on the dough with the heels of your hands and push it away from you, then partially fold it back over itself. Shift it in a quarter turn and repeat the procedure. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, 9-10 minutes. (If using and mixer, turn the machine on setting number 3 and let the mixer knead the dough for only 5 minutes). Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning to coat it completely on all sides with oil. (This prevents a hard crust from forming that would inhibit rising.) Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap to prevent moisture loss. Set the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free place (75º - 85ºF), until doubled in volume, about 1- 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven: Place a pizza stone in the bottom of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500ºF at least an hour before cooking the pizza. The oven should be VERY hot.
Roll It Out: Once the dough has doubled in bulk, remove the dough from the bowl and cut in half. Do not work the dough at this point, as it will make it too elastic when you try to roll it out. Instead, generously dust the dough with flour and begin to roll out. If the dough is too elastic, let it rest, covered for 15 minutes then try rolling again. Do this until the dough is rolled to your desired thickness.
Add Topping: Transfer the dough to a pizza peel that has been dusted generously with polenta or semolina flour. Brush the crust with olive oil. Form a rim around the edge and fill with your favorite ingredients.
Cook Pizza: Transfer to the pizza stone and bake until golden, about 10-15 minutes.
Recipe created by Parties That Cook®
Makes enough dough for 2, 12-inch pizzas