Pizza recipes are often daunting. Pizza making videos are worse. Those folks may be able to toss the dough in the air and get a lovely circle of dough but, after many tries, I can't!
What makes this recipe fool-proof is weighing the crust ingredients and pre-cooking many of the toppings. The crust is also a relatively wet dough which can be shaped right in the pan using wet fingers.
For many of us Americans, a gram is a mysteriously tiny amount yet this recipe uses grams for weighing the ingredients. Why? Because they are precise and easy to work with using simple arithmetic.
1In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and yeast, evenly distributing the ingredients.
To take the guess-work out of making the crust use a digital scale and measure each ingredient by weight. The picture shows using a two bowl method. Use the scale's tare function to set the weight to zero. Weigh each ingredient individually in the small bowl then transfer to the large bowl.
2Add the water and oil and stir until all flour has been incorporated. At this point, the dough will resemble a very stiff and sticky muffin batter. Ignore small lumps.
3Cover and set aside for 45 minutes. If your kitchen is under 70F, increase all wait times by 5 minutes; if over 80F, decrease by 5 minutes. The dough will grow but still will look more like muffin batter than bread dough. It is sticky and stringy like hot cheese or marshmallows.
4Stir with a spoon, approximately 20 strokes, stretching and turning over the dough. The dough will shrink, be very sticky and still somewhat ragged. Use the spoon to form into a single lump in the bowl. Cover and let sit a second 45 minutes.
5At this point the dough is ready to start the shaping process. Line a pizza pan or rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Flop the dough out onto the parchment and start to stretch the dough out toward the edges of the pan or until about 1/4 thick over most of the pan and a bit thicker at the edges. A 12" round pan results in a thick crust. For a thinner crust use a larger pan and spread the dough as far as it will allow.
6Now is the time to start pre-heating the oven to its highest baking temperature. For many ovens that is 550F.
7Let rest for 20 minutes. The dough will have shrunk a bit. Gently stretch out again until you have the size pizza you desire or until the dough refuses to stay stretched. It may grab the edge of the paper and pull it over itself. Just peel it off when the pizza is cut for serving.
8Coat the pizza with a sauce if desired. In the picture, 2 tablespoons each of prepared pesto and olive oil were used as the sauce.
9When the oven is fully up to temperature, add the toppings and cheese. Shown here is a somewhat overloaded pizza with Italian sausage (6 ounces before cooking) which was cooked with 4 ounces of slice mushrooms and 1/2 cup of coarsely diced red bell pepper. The cheese shown is 4 ounces of fresh mozzarella mini-balls (available in many supermarket deli cases)
10Bake the pizza for 10 minutes. You may wish to preemptively disable any sensitive smoke detectors before removing the pizza from the oven. The sudden heat may set them off. Let the pizza rest 10 minutes before serving. Shown is a 12" round pizza fresh out of the oven.