1. Sprinkle the yeast over the water, then whisk in about a cup of flour.
2. Stir in the olive oil and salt, then start stirring in the bulk of the flour. When the dough gets too thick to stir, turn it onto the counter. Gradually knead flour into the dough—use only enough to keep it from sticking to absolutely everything. Continue kneading until the dough is satiny smooth and maybe a little blistered. The final ball of dough should be a little moist, but not sticky. This should take about 10 minutes.
3. Smear a few drops of oil on the dough; put it back in the bowl and cover. Let the dough rise on the counter or in the refrigerator.
4 Wait until the dough has doubled—from 45 minutes to 1-1/2 hours depending on how warm the water was and how warm your kitchen is, then turn out of the bowl and punch it down. At this point it's ready to roll.
Note: Even in the refrigerator the dough will rise pretty quickly at first. The advantage to putting it in the fridge is that the rising will lose momentum, so you can ignore dough for 6 to 8 hours.
Both chef and musician, John Ryan wrote the Just Good Food blog from 1996 through 2001.
This page created 1997. Modified August 2007.
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