My sister-in-law, Carolyn, makes the best pizza dough. Crispy and yet soft. Here is her recipe with some updates:
4 1/2 C Bread Flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. oregano
1 T. sugar
1 T. olive oil
3 T. Yeast (two packets)
2 C. warm water
1 jar Pizza Quick Traditional Sauce (not Homestyle)
mozzarella and toppings as desiresd
Bake at 450 for 15-18 minutes
DOUGH-I make this in a food processor which dictates that you add dry ingredients first then wet. Mixing dough by hand you do the opposite:
In a large bowl (NOT PLASTIC) add 2 cups warm water (water has to be warm for dough to rise, too hot will kill it. I use tap water and then microwave for 1 min. so that it is warm to the touch.) When the water is warm measure 3 T. dry yeast-OR 2 packages of dry active yeast. Add 1 T. sugar and 1 T. Olive oil to the water/yeast mixture. Stir to mix, allow the mixture to become frothy which assures that the yeast is OK.
To the yeast mixture add @ a cup at a time: 4 1/2 C. Bread flour mixed with 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/4 tsp. oregano. Mix the flour with a spoon until the dough becomes too stiff to stir, then begin to mix the rest of the flour in by hand kneading the dough as you add more flour. Knead for 5 minutes to for the flour to release the gluten. Spread 1/2 tsp. olive oil in a large heatproof bowl and place the dough into the bowl, turning once to coat the dough with oil. Cover with a clean damp cloth (towel) and let rise in a warm area while you make pizza toppings. If it is very cold in your house, then you may want to turn the oven on to 200 degrees and then turn it off when has reached temperature and place bowl with the cloth covering in oven to be warm enough to rise.
OR YOU CAN USE A BOUGHT CRUST OR A REFRIGERATOR ROLL OUT CRUST FROM THE GROCERY STORE.
Toppings: For sauce I cheat and use: Ragu Pizza Quick Traditional Sauce in a jar. Thinly sliced onions and green peppers, sliced black olives, pepperoni (regular or turkey for less fat), sliced mushrooms (I use baby bellas), sliced Roma tomatoes, canned pineapple tidbits well drained, grated mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese. Be creative and add/delete toppings as you prefer.
Remove dough in bowl from oven if you have chosen that method, and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Punch down dough and divide in half for large pizzas, or in quarters for individual pizzas. Grease baking sheet or pie plate with a small amount of olive oil. Pat gently or roll with a rolling pin to make the dough fit the pan. The dough will be elastic and stretch and shrink as you work with it, so it will take a few minutes to work it into shape. I spread the dough with sauce and then allow each person to add their own toppings ending with cheese. Place the pizza in the oven (once it has reached 450) on the bottom rack, and bake for 15 minutes. Transfer to the top rack for another 10 minutes or until done. To make the crust crispier, remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the pizza directly onto the oven rack for another 5 minutes.
Makes 2 large or 4 small pizzas