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This recipe lets you divide and conquer a family-size batch of pizza dough by freezing it in individual rounds. When you're in the mood for homemade pizza dough, pluck one or two of the dough rounds out of the freezer and let them thaw on a baking sheet for 1 hour at room temperature. Top with a few oddments from the refrigerator and bake at 500°F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is cooked through and the toppings are lightly browned. You'll have yourself designer pizzas as good as any you'll find in high-priced pizzerias.
To turn the dough into focaccia, thaw it and then allow it to rise until it doubles in height. Flavour it with things such as chopped olives, fresh rosemary, thinly sliced onions and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Bake focaccia in a slightly cooler oven than you would use for a pizza, about 400°F, until it is brown and crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Ingredients For 4 - For 8
1 1/4 cups - Warm water (100-110°F) - 2 1/2 cups
1 tbsp - Sugar - 2 tbsp
1 package - Active Dry Yeast - 2 packages
3 cups - Flour - 6 cups
1 tsp - Salt - 2 tsp
2 tbsp - Olive oil - 1/4 cup
In a large mixing bowl, combine the water with the sugar and yeast; stir to dissolve. Beat in half the flour and let the mixture stand until it gets foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the salt and the remaining flour to get a kneadable dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 4 (or 8) pieces, shape each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a clean cloth and let them rest for 10 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, using a rocking motion of your knuckles, push each dough ball outward from the center to make a 6" circle.
Brush the top and bottom of each circle lightly with the oil. Arrange the circles on a single layer on baking sheets; freeze them just until firm. Transfer to heavy-duty freezer bags (you can stack 4 crusts in each bag). Freeze for up to 3 months.