I usually make crusts for two huge pizzas and have sometimes have dough left over to make a small bread for sandwiches, depending on how big I make the pizzas.
The recipe I commit to memory is easy to member:
4 teaspoons yeast (I buy it in bulk from Costco and love their yeast)
4 cups lukewarm water (I microwave cold water from the tap until lukewarm, never use warm tap water)
4 teaspoons sugar
I mix the above together in a huge nonmetallic bowl. I do not use metal measuring spoons or let anything metal get near my yeast mixture, which is a living organism.
I wait a few minutes to see if the mixture changes in any way, such as seeing bubbles or anything different and then carefully add the flour.
I add 8 cups of flour (using my 2 cup measuring cup this is again, 4 loads of flour) slowly while mixing the batter until my batter becomes a dough. This morning my dough was too sticky, so I added almost another load (2 cups) of the flour mixture (half and half, whole wheat and unbleached) and continued to mix together with a wooden spoon.
Because I hate to cleanup, I knead the soft dough in the same large mixing bowl for a few minutes using either wetted hands or oily hands -- placing a bit of oil on my hands before kneading the dough, keeps it from sticking to my hands.
After kneading for a few minutes, I form the dough into a round ball, sprinkle a bit of flour on top of it, cover it with a clean kitchen towel and place it in a safe place. It is important to keep the dough away from cold drafts as that will slow down the growth of the yeast. The best place I have found to raise yeast dough is in my oven (turned off).
Some place the dough in the refrigerator and let it rise overnight. I have done this on occasion, but since I am usually making the pizza for dinner, I let it raise in a warm place.
When the dough in my bowl rises to double the size that it was when I first placed it in the cold oven, it is time to punch it down, and place it in the greased pizza pans to let it rise for a second time.
If one can toss the dough as seen on TV, one gets an incredible hand tossed crust. Hand tossing really improves the texture of the crust. I am not an expert at hand tossing the dough, but if I have time, I gently
toss it from one hand to the other and let it enlarge.
When I do not have time to hand toss, which is most of the time, I place about 1/3 of the dough in a pizza pan and press it to the edges of the pan, and leave it alone again until double in bulk.
When my pizza dough has doubled in bulk, I will edit this blog to add additional photographs!