Pair Bruce Hill's favorite toppings with our perfect, all-purpose dough that complements both traditional and modern pizzas.
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
2¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus ½ cup for working
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water and let stand until slightly foamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, stir together the 2¾ cups flour and the salt and form into a mound. Make a well in the center and add in the yeast mixture. Stir in a circular motion with a fork, gradually pulling the flour into the yeast mixture. Continue until a dough forms.
Lightly flour a work surface with some of the ½ cup flour and transfer the dough to it. Using the heel of your hand, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form into a ball.
Brush a large bowl with the olive oil and place the dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 1–2 hours.
Turn the dough out onto a surface dusted with flour. Punch down the dough and, using your hand, press it out gently into the desired shape. Place one hand in the center of the dough and, with the other hand, pull, lift and stretch the dough, gradually working your way all around the edge, until it is the desired thickness, about ¼ inch thick for a crusty pizza base and ½ inch thick for a softer one. Flip the dough over from time to time as your work with it. The dough should be slightly thinner in the middle than at the edge. Lift the edge of the pizza to form a slight rim.
Transfer to a baking sheet, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise again until almost doubled in size, about 20 minutes. Top and bake at 425º for 12–15 minutes. Makes enough for a 12-inch thin-crust pizza or a 9-inch thick-crust pizza. Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series: Pizza, by Lorenza de' Medici (Time-Life Books, 1993).