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Gwen’s Ever-Evolving Pizza

(by Dana Aber)

(crust adapted from Bobby Flay)

3 1/2 - 4 c. bread flour, plus more for rolling

(Bread flour will yield a crisper crust. All-purpose flour will yield a chewier crust.)

1 t. sugar

1 envelope instant dry yeast

2 t. kosher salt

1 1/2 c. water, 110 degrees F.

2 T. plus 2 t. olive oil, divided

good quality jarred spaghetti sauce or canned chopped tomatoes

dried Italian herbs, to taste

12 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

optional: pepperoni or turkey pepperoni, sliced black olives, fresh basil

Combine flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.

With mixer running, add water and 2 T. oil.

Mix on high until the dough forms a ball.

If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 T. at a time, until it comes together.

If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 T. at a time.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.

Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 t. olive oil, add the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.

Roll each piece into a 14-inch circle.

Preheat oven to 475 F.

Place each piece on cooking surface of choice, crimping the edges.

(A pizza stone adds a little crisp, cast-iron gives a little char, and metal pizza pans provide a nicely crimped crust.)

Spread evenly with sauce and sprinkle with dried herbs, if desired.

Sprinkle with cheese, and add optional toppings.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

(Read My Mother Makes Pies, the story that accompanies this recipe.)

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