I made a double batch of my favorite home-made pizza dough the other day, just because of this contest and all the different approaches take when making pizza at home.
I got this recipe from the Providence Journal ages ago, when Chef Brian Kingsford - either a former or current chef at the time - at Al Forno Restaurant was interviewed about grilled pizzas. He shared this recipe with the paper and I am sharing it with you.
Al Forno Grilled Pizza Dough
2 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
2 cups warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 cups flour
Just four simple ingredients.
And here are the instructions, with my photos and my own commentary in italics and parentheses:
Mix yeast and warm water in a large mixing bowl.
Allow to foam.
Add salt and then mix in flour with a dough hook.
Add more flour if necessary so dough is not sticky. (I finished mine on the counter by hand.)
Allow to sit in bowl for 15 minutes in a warm spot.
and separate into five balls of 7 1/2 ounces each. Use a kitchen scale. (I just cut it into 8 pieces approximately the same size and formed those into balls.)
Soak in oil bath for 30 minutes or more.
After the 30 minutes are up, you're ready to stretch out your dough and make a pizza.
The olive oil bath makes the dough unbelievably soft and smooth to work with.
You still need to be gentle so as not to poke holes in it,
but if you work quickly and carefully,
you'll have a lovely blank dough canvas on which to create your own work of pizza art.
I like to bake mine in the oven for 10 minutes at about 475-500 degrees F before adding any toppings – I find it helps prevent the crust from getting soggy.
And as for what to put on the pizza?
That part's up to you.