1/2 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup water, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Add sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the top. If using active dry yeast, stir the yeast into the water and allow to sit until bubbly, about 5-10 minutes. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread flour and salt, mixing briefly to blend. Measure the room temperature water into the measuring cup with the yeast-water mixture. With the mixer on low speed, pour in the yeast-water mixture as well as the olive oil. Mix until a cohesive dough is formed. Switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (Dough comes off sides of bowl (if not add a little flour) but will stick to bottom) Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 1½-2 hours.
Press down the dough to deflate it. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball.
If freezing the dough, wrap each ball of dough in plastic wrap, then place in a freezer bag and freeze. Place the dough in the refrigerator on the morning of the day you want to use it. (If using the dough for lunch, transfer to the refrigerator the night before.) Before making the pizza, take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
If using the dough right away (not freezing it), cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no longer than 30 minutes.
To bake, preheat the oven and pizza stone to 500˚ F for at least 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to your shaping surface, lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. (a pizza peel or parchment paper) Shape the dough with lightly floured hands. Brush the outer edge lightly with olive oil (I didn't do this step but will try it next time and let you know). Top as desired. Bake until the crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbling, 8-12 minutes.
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