The crust has simple ingredients and comes together really fast. Let it sit on the counter to rise for 45 minutes before chucking in the fridge to "develop flavor" for the next 4 hours. You can leave the raw dough in the fridge as long as 3 days. Next, you par-bake the crust, which then resembles an underdone Boboli shell. Again, you can pause here: wrap the cooled crust and refrigerate it for 5 days or freeze it for up to a month. Or, keep going, and make yourself some dinner!
In rereading the recipe, I just realized I forgot to let the dough rest again on the cookie sheet after stretching it out, before par-baking. Oops. I don't even know if that made a tremendous difference, though next time, I'll obey the rules.
OK, let's make pizza dough.
Now or Later Pizza
(Makes two crusts)
1 3/4 cups (7 1/4 ounces) flour
1 1/4 cups (7 1/4 ounces) semolina*
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pizza dough flavor (optional; I omitted it)
1 teaspoon instant yeast**
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/8 cups to 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
In the bowl of your mixer, place the flour, semolina (if using), pizza dough flavor (if using), dry or proofed yeast, salt, olive oil, and about 1 cup of water. Mix all the ingredients together, and if it looks dry, add a little more water. I think I added too much at once, and mine was really sticky. Knead by hand or using the dough hook until the dough is soft and smooth. The advice nurse said it shouldn't stick to my fingers, but it was okay if it was still pretty soft.
Allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes, covered, before placing it in the fridge for 4-36 hours. When you're ready to bake, remove the dough and divide it in half. Roll or stretch the dough out until it's fairly thin - approximately a 12" circle. (I made a rectangle because I suck at stretching out pizza dough. It tasted fine.) For what it's worth, I stretched one piece of dough by hand and rolled out the other with a rolling pin. I sprinkled flour on the surface of the dough wherever it was sticky, and that seemed to help. I like to think I'm not intimidated by yeast doughs, but I do get a little worried when the dough is sticky and seems blobby.
Place the shaped dough on a piece of parchment paper. I don't recommend a silpat; I'm pretty sure they can't bake in an oven hotter than 450F. You want your oven to be 500F or as close to it as you can (my dial only goes to 450). Let the dough rest for 30 minutes while you heat the oven; 60 minutes for thick crust. If you have a pizza stone, throw it in the oven as well; if not, use a cookie sheet. You want the crust to get nice and crisp on the bottom, and that's where mine fell short. The edges were great, but the center, under the toppings, was soft. I should have baked it 3-4 minutes longer and used my pizza stone.
Bake 6-7 minutes or until it's starting to get a little color. If any big bubbles form, pop them with a toothpick or cake tester. If you're going to eat now, remove it from the oven and top with your favorite sauce, cheese, and other goodies. Return to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.
If the crusts are for another night, pull off the parchment, cool completely, wrap, and store in the fridge or freezer. You won't even need to defrost the shell when you're ready to make pizza; just top the frozen shell, place it on a parchment-lined or oiled baking sheet, pop it in a 450F oven, and bake.
*If you don't have semolina, just use a total of 3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) flour
**If you use active dry yeast, it's probably a good idea to proof it: in a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over a few tablespoons of the warm water and a pinch of sugar, then throw that in with the rest of the ingredients.
(Sorry, no pictures tonight!)