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 Basic Pizza Dough Recipe
2 Tb. active yeast
2 cups warm water
1-2 tsp. Salt
5 cups flour
3 Tb. olive oil

If you like shortcuts, a great way to make this easier is by making the dough in a bread machine. It will turn out smooth, velvety dough that is very easy to handle plus youíll have saved yourself a lot of manual labor (although kneading dough has been listed as a great calorie burner!) Just remember to put the water and olive oil into the tub before adding the dry ingredients. Place the tub in the machine and set on knead-only cycle. Let it go through the first 8 minutes. Stop it, unplug the machine and then let it go through the first 8 minutes of the sequence again Ė the result will be an incredibly workable dough.

Mix up your water and yeast first in a small bowl (knowing when the yeast is proofed by sprinkling some fresh flour onto the swamp and, if it disappears, itís OK, itís alive). Then gradually work this liquidy mix (properly called a sponge) into a well of flour (either on your countertop or in a large bowl) and mix with a fork. Once the dough pulls away from the sides, pull up your sleeves and knead the dough for about 5 or 6 minutes until you have a nice smooth ball.

Place the dough in a oil-sprayed large bowl and cover with plastic wrap that has also been sprayed. Every half hour or so, as you walk by, punch the dough down. Youíll want to do this for about 3 to 4 hours. Donít worry about ruining the rise, thereís a ton of yeast in the dough and youíre doing it a favor by pushing it back in order to get it to relax. You can also let the dough rise over night in the fridge, but make sure you put it in a very large container or the blob will take over your kitchen come morning!

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