Pizza Dough With Variations
Yield: 1 12-16" crust
Attach dough hook to mixer and knead dough for approximately 7-9 minutes. Remove dough to greased glass container; cover loosely with tea towel or plastic wrap. Set in a warm, draft-free location until doubled in bulk; punch down. You may repeat for a second rising, but it is not necessary for pizza dough.
Punch down dough and shape into a ball; let rest for 10-20 minutes. Roll out to desired thickness to fit pan, or to size desired. Ensure that the outer edges of dough are slightly thicker so that toppings do not drip off during baking. Brush dough all over with olive oil. Cover loosely with tea towel or plastic wrap; place in warm, draft-free location until dough has risen slightly (about 20-25 minutes).
VARIATION #1:To make a nice herbed pizza crust, add dried or fresh herbs along with the dry ingredients when mixing. These might include herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, rosemary, and sage in the quantities that you like best. Alternately, you may wish to use an Italian herb mix which already contains various herbs. If the mix includes salt be sure to reduce the amount of salt you add in the recipe, perhaps cutting it in half.
VARIATION #2:Pizza doesn't have to be round like many of the pies you see in restaurants! If you don't have a round pizza pan, just press the dough into a square jelly roll pan. For a deep-dish pizza, you may even want to use a 9x13 brownie pan. Using a square pan makes it easier to cut into even-sized squares when it's finished baking.