- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one 1/4-ounce envelope)
- 2 cups warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees)
- 5 to 5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting, preferably organic
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for bowl
Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in 3 cups flour and the salt, stirring until smooth. Stir in an additional 2 cups flour; continue adding flour (up to 1/2 cup), 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until dough comes away from bowl but is still sticky.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead with lightly floured hands. Start by slapping the dough onto the counter, pulling it toward you with one hand and pushing it away from you with the other. Fold the dough back over itself (use a bench scraper or a wide knife to help scrape dough from surface). Repeat until it's easier to handle, about 10 times. Finish kneading normally until dough is smooth, elastic, and soft, but a little tacky, about 10 minutes.
Shape dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl; turn to coat. Cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, 2 hours. Press it with your finger to see if it's done; an indent should remain.
Scrape dough out of the bowl onto floured surface, and cut it into 4 pieces. Shape into balls. Dust with flour, and cover with plastic. Transfer to refrigerator, let rise overnight.
SourceThe Martha Stewart Show, May 2009