Updated: Mar 7, 2020
When I first started working with dough, I was extremely intimidated. I cannot tell you how many times I literally threw the dough out of sheer frustration. Well, those days are long gone as I persevered until I got it right. Now, I make the dough on a regular basis.
I strongly suggest using 00 flour because it is finer and creates more elasticity to the dough. The other key to success is to ensure that the water used to bloom the yeast is just the right temperature: If it is too hot or too cold, the yeast will not bloom properly. If this happens, just throw it out and try again. You will know that it is blooming properly when it bubbles up.
I start with 2/3 cup of warm water (approximately 110 degrees) and then add .25 oz of active dry east with a healthy teaspoon of honey. The honey "feeds" the yeast to get it going. Then, I put it in a warm draft-free spot for five minutes or so. When it plumps up you know it is ready.
In the meantime, I add about 2 1/2 cups of 00 flour to my food processor with a healthy pinch of salt. Once the yeast is ready, simply add it to the flour and start the processor. It should end up being an elongated piece of single dough. If it is having a hard time pulling together, add some extra virgin olive oil and/or some more warm water. Add a small amount at a time to give it a change to pull together.
Then, remove the dough to a floured board and knead it a few times to form a smooth ball. Place it in an oiled bowl and roll it around to cover it with the oil. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap, fold a towel over it and put it in a warm, draft free area. Let it rise for at least an hour or until doubled in size. I know that a lot of people punch it down and let it rise a second time. I personally do not do that.
Once it has risen, you are ready to use it as you wish. Depending on my mood, I will make a couple of thin crust pizzas, a Sicilian sheet pan pizza, or calzones. Enjoy!