California Pizza Kitchen Pizza Dough

Nothing beats going out for pizza but sometimes it’s fun to stay home and make a few pizzas with lots of different toppings. I’ve made a few doughs over the years but this one is my favorite of all time.  It’s really easy but you have to plan ahead because it needs to sit over nite in the frig. It’s great with a marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese or if you have some of the CPK cookbooks, they give you lots of creative ideas.  A lot of their recipes are on the internet, too.  If you make this, let me know how you top yours!

California Pizza Kitchen Pizza Dough
1 teaspoon yeast
1/2 cup PLUS 1 tablespoon warm water (105 degrees to 110 degrees)
1 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon +1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (1 teaspoon for coating dough)

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water for 5 to 10 min.  Be sure water is not hot; or it will kill yeast.
2. Using mixer on LOW speed, combine all ingredients (except additional teaspoon olive oil)  with dissolved yeast.  (Do not pour salt directly into yeast water because it would kill some of the yeast.)    Mix 2 to 3 min., until dough is smooth and elastic.  Overmixing will produce tough, rubbery dough.
3. **Directions for using a food processor or mixing by hand are in CPK cookbook.
4. Lightly oil dough ball and inside of 1 quart glass bowl.  Place dough in bowl and seal air tight with plastic wrap.  Leave at room temperature to rise until double in bulk; about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
5. PUNCH DOWN dough, and re-form a round ball and return it to same bowl; cover again with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate overnight.
6. 2 hours before ready to assemble your pizza, remove dough from refrigerator. Divide into 2 equal portions (or 4 or 6).
7. Roll smaller doughs into round balls on smooth surface; seal any holes by pinching or rolling.
8. Place dough balls in glass casserole dish, spaced far enough apart to allow for each to double in size.  Seal dish air-tight with plastic wrap.  Leave at room temperature until the dough has doubled in size. (about 2 hours).  Should be smooth and puffy.
9. Sprinkle dusting of flour on counter.  Remove each dough ball from the dish, being very careful to preserve its round shape.  Flour dough liberally.
10. Use your hand or rolling pin to press dough down forming a flat circle about 1/2 inch thick.  Pinch dough between your fingers all around  edge of circle, forming a rim that rises about 1/4 inch above center surface of dough.  (I don’t bother doing this)  Continue outward stretching until you reach a 9 inch diameter pizza.
11. Preheat oven to 500 degrees for one hour before cooking pizza.  Recipe calls for using a pizza stone if you have it.
12. Quickly put on pizza ingredients so dough won’t become soggy or sticky from sauces and toppings.  Cook for 8 to 10 minutes.  I like it cooked 8 min., 10 is too long.

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