We love a pizza crust that stays crispy underneath the filling, yet the edges are light and airy with big air pockets inside the dough. The hardest part of this recipe (that's a joke) is to remember to mix the dough the night before (it needs to sit at room temperature for 24 hours). No need to use a mixer and dough hook, just a bowl and spoon; it is super-easy.
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon yeast
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon black pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon sugar
1½ cups warm water
In a large bowl, mix everything, using a wooden spoon. The dough will be very wet and look more like a batter than a dough. Don't be tempted to add more flour at this stage!!
Heavily flour your counter top and pour/scoop the dough out onto the flour. Generously sprinkle flour over the top of the dough too. Fold the dough back onto itself a few times. This is a little messy/sticky, so keep flouring your hands. After you've coated the dough with flour and folded it over a few times, cut it in half (makes 2 medium pizza's).
Preheat your oven (with pizza stone on center rack) to 450 degrees.
Put each piece of dough on its own piece of parchment paper and using floured hands, gently pat it into a circle, leaving the edges thicker and the center as thin as you can. Add toppings and brush the edges of the crust with a little water (not much).
The dough is going to stay on the parchment paper when you put it onto the hot pizza stone. To do this, I transfer the paper and dough by lifting it with a rim-less cookie sheet, and then I slide the whole thing off of the cookie sheet and right onto the stone. Bake it for 8 minutes.
After 8 minutes, pull the parchment paper out of the oven. Turn the bake cycle off and turn on the broiler cycle for about 1 to 2 minutes (watch closely). The hot pizza stone will continue to bake the underside of the crust, but the broiler will brown the toppings nicely.
We love those light airy pockets inside the crust!!