- Pour water into a large bowl or measuring cup. Water should be between 100F (38C) and 110F (45C), slightly higher than body temperature. Stir in sugar, then yeast. Let stand until mixture is foamy on top, from 5 to 10 min, then stir in oil.
- Meanwhile, whirl 3 cups (750 mL) flour and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. While whirling, slowly pour in yeast-oil mixture until it begins to form a ball. If dough doesn’t come together, pulse in another 2 tbsp (15 mL) flour.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, then dust your hands with flour. Using the base of your palm, knead several times, rotating the dough a quarter turn after each knead, until it forms a smooth ball.
- Place dough in an oiled bowl. Turn to coat evenly. Spray a piece of waxed paper with oil and place on top of bowl. Cover with a damp cloth. Leave dough in a warm place until it doubles in size, 30 to 60 min. Remove it to a floured surface. Punch down. Use right away, refrigerate in a sealed plastic bag up to 2 days, or freeze up to 1 month.
- To bake, place rack in bottom third of oven. Preheat to 500F (260C). Oil a pizza pan or large baking sheet or sprinkle it with cornmeal. Stretch, press or roll out dough on counter or piece of parchment. Slide dough or parchment onto pan. Pull out paper. Add toppings. Bake until bottom of dough is golden, 10 to 15 min.
Margherita: Brush pizza dough with olive oil. Sprinkle with slices of garlic. Add slices of tomato and buffalo mozzarella, and slivers of red onion. After baking, scatter with fresh basil.
French: Lightly brush dough with olive oil. Arrange thin slices of pear overtop. Scatter with chunks of blue, goat or feta cheese. After baking, add baby spinach.