In a large 5 to 6-quart bowl or lidded food container, add
Active Dry Yeast (1 Tbsp)
Kosher Salt (1 Tbsp)
Water (3 cups)
. Give it a quick stir.
Prepare the Neopolitan Crust Dough by mixing in the
Type 00 Flour (7 1/2 cups)
all at one time with a large wooden spoon or preferably, a Danish dough whisk. (You could also mix with a heavy-duty stand mixer with paddle or a 14-cup food processor, but not necessary.)
Cover with a non-airtight lid. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature until it begins to flatten on top, about 2 hours. Do not punch down the dough! With this method, you're trying to retain as much gas in the dough as possible.
Before the first use, refrigerate the dough overnight (or for at least 3 hours) for ease in handling.
To prepare the Margherita Pizza, place the pizza stone on a shelf in the bottom third of the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C ). Allow stone to preheat for a full 30 minutes.
Prepare your pizza peel with flour, cornmeal, or parchment paper to prevent the pizza from sticking to the peel when sliding it onto the stone.
Sprinkle the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour. Pull up and cut off a piece of orange-sized dough that weighs about 8 oz. A serrated knife or kitchen shears will be helpful.
Hold the dough in your hands, adding a little more flour as needed so that it doesn’t stick to your hands. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around the bottom all the way around, rotating the dough as you go to form a ball. Work quickly so that the entire process takes just 20 to 30 seconds. You don’t want to overwork the dough.
Flatten the dough with your hands than with a rolling pin directly on your prepared pizza peel. You may need to sprinkle additional flour as you go to prevent sticking.
Roll the ball out into a 1/8-inch-thick round measuring about 12-inches across. (If the dough is resisting, just let it sit for about 5 minutes.
Tomato Sauce (1/3 cup)
over the dough, leaving about a half-inch border then add the
Fresh Basil Leaves (6)
Mozzarella Cheese (3/4 cup)
. Drizzle a little
Olive Oil (as needed)
over the pizza, if desired.
As you add the toppings, continue to test for sticking by gently shaking the peel. If you are using a base of flour or cornmeal, the pizza should move freely. If it is sticking, use a dough scraper and some flour to free it.
Place the tip of the peel near the back of the stone close to where you want the far edge of the pizza to land. Give the peel a few quick forward-and-back jiggles and pull it sharply out from under the pizza. Check for doneness in 8-10 minutes. Using a spatula may be helpful in nudging the baked pizza back onto the peel.
Allow the pizza to cool slightly, preferably on a wire rack, so that the cheese sets properly. Enjoy!