Proof the yeast by adding a small pinch of sugar to the warm water, and then add the yeast.
Chef’s Note: After about 10 minutes, you should see the top of the water covered in foam. If nothing happens, your yeast is deceased (I hate it when that happens). Get some fresh yeast and start again.
Add the salt and the flour to the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, and blend at low speed.
Add the olive oil to the proofed yeast mixture.
Chef’s Note: It’s not necessary to mix the oil into the proofed yeast; just add it.
While the mixer is turning on low speed add the proofed yeast/water oil mixture in a slow steady stream.
Allow the mixer to blend the dough until it is smooth and pliant, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Chef’s Note: You don’t have to use a standing mixer; you could do this by hand.
Add a bit of olive oil to a bowl.
Add the dough to the bowl, and coat in the oil.
Cover the bowl and allow it to sit in a warm, non-drafty space.
Allow the dough to rise until it doubles, about 1 to 1.5 hours.
Chef’s Note: The amount of time it takes dough to rise depends on a lot of factors; including temperature, humidity, strength of yeast, and even altitude. Be patient, if you have good yeast, it will rise.
Remove from bowl, divide into three equal parts, and form balls from each portion.
Chef’s Note: If you’re not planning on making all three, tightly wrap the other two in cling wrap, and put in the refrigerator, or the freezer.
Take the dough and use your hands to spread into a circle approximately 14-inches in diameter.
Cover with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 425f (218c).
Use your fingers to dimple the dough.
Brush the surface with some extra virgin olive oil.
Add additional toppings (your choice).
Cook in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.