First, start by mixing the dough ingredients—flour, water, yeast, and salt—in a larger container. Cover with a lid (not airtight) and let the dough rise for at least two hours at room temperature. Then go ahead and make pizza, or place the dough in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 14 days.
When you're ready to make pizza, start by placing the baking stone in the oven and preheating the stone to your oven's highest temperature—we set it at 450 degrees. Using the baking stone will give your pizza a nice, even crust. If you don't have a baking stone, a cookie sheet can work, too.
Before prepping the dough, get the pizza toppings ready. We used pretty traditional toppings—tomato sauce, mozzarella, red pepper, mushrooms, and basil.
Next, spread some cornmeal on a wooden pizza peel to prevent the dough from sticking. If you don't have a pizza peel, a thin wooden cutting board can work just as well.
Pull the dough from the refrigerator and dust the top with flour to reduce stickiness. Then grab a handful of dough—a navel-orange sized chunk should be enough.
Shape the dough into a ball in less than 30 seconds, adding flour to reduce stickiness, as needed. Place the dough on the pizza peel.
Roll out the dough using a rolling pin or you can use your hands to stretch the dough. If you're really adventurous, try tossing the dough in the air to stretch it out. It really works, but might spray cornmeal all over your kitchen.
Add the toppings to your pizza.
All ready for the oven! To transfer the pizza from the peel to the baking stone, hold the pizza peel above the stone and gently flick your wrist, nudging the pizza on to the hot stone.
Voilà! A delicious, homemade pizza.
Use the leftover dough to make another pizza or try a focaccia or flatbread recipe.