Makes enough dough for 4 (7-inch) pizzas
You can make the dough with all-purpose or “00” flours or a mix of both. All-purpose, the higher protein option, produces more loft during rising and baking, and a chewier crust. “00,” a low-protein flour, makes a more supple dough that's easier to stretch and works well for thinner crusts. Look for “00” flour at Italian specialty markets and online.
1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
3 1/2 cups “00” flour or unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
1 3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil for bowl
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, sprinkle yeast and sugar over 1 1/4 cups warm water (100º to 105º); let stand until yeast is creamy, 5 to 10 minutes. (If yeast does not become creamy, discard and start over with new yeast.)
In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add to yeast mixture. Mix on low speed for 4 minutes or until dough forms a coarse ball. Let dough rest, with bowl covered with a damp kitchen towel, 5 minutes, then remove towel and knead on medium-low speed, 2 minutes more, or until dough clears sides of bowl. If dough is too soft and sticky to hold its shape, mix in more flour by the tablespoonful. If it is too stiff or dry, mix in more water by the tablespoonful. (If not using a mixer, dough can be combined in a large bowl and, on a lightly floured work surface, vigorously kneaded by hand, following kneading and resting times above.)
Lightly oil a large bowl. Form dough into a ball, transfer to bowl and turn to lightly coat with oil. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk; time may vary depending on room temperature and yeast.
Divide dough into 4 pieces; shape pieces into balls and place on a lightly floured work surface, leaving a few inches between balls. Loosely cover with a damp dishtowel (not terry cloth) and let rise at warm room temperature until doubled, about 2 hours; time may vary depending on room temperature and freshness of yeast. If skin forms on dough while rising, lightly spray surface with water.
Shape and bake the dough as directed in your pizza recipe.