I finally caved and made homemade pizza dough. And you know what - it was easy. I was terrified of making a bread product. Using yeast and all those active alive little things. But I followed the recipe and the dough was delicious. I used another recipe from Cooks Illustrated because I figure if I have no idea what I'm doing, I should first consult the people who do. And they have a few different recipes which I will try in the future as well.
Pizza Dough (Cake Flour Version)
1 package instant yeast
1 c. water - room temperature
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 c. cake flour
1 1/2 t. salt
2 t. sugar
For Rosemary Pizza Crust - use about 1/2c. fresh rosemary leaves and puree them in a food processor. I use a Magic Bullet since my Cuisinart would be way too big, and I need it for the dough. Chop until it's fine and add it in with the dry ingredients when you make the dough. Pulse the dry ingredients together a few times so the rosemary is well combined with the flour, salt, and sugar.
Whisk the yeast into the room temperature water and set aside. In the bowl of a food processor with the blade attachment (best part of this entire recipe - all done in a food processor), add the rest of the ingredients and combine. Once the dry ingredients are combined, slowly pour the water and yeast in with the food processor running. Leave the processor running until the dough forms a sticky ball that clears the sides of the bowl, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. If the dough is still crumbly after one minute, add 1-2 T. water and process until a solid ball forms. Remove the dough ball from the food processor and place on a floured surface. Spray some plastic wrap with non stick cooking spray and lay over the dough ball. Let rise for an hour, until it has about doubled in volume. Once the dough has doubled in size, proceed with whichever pizza recipe you crave.
The dough can also be kept in the refrigerator overnight and I actually kept it for two days. I did have to punch it down and knead it after one night in the fridge, but it lasted perfectly for two days. I am still trying to determine when the best point would be to freeze the dough ball - before or after it rises. I'll talk to my source (aka my mom) and update. Update - information from the mother states to freeze the dough ball before it rises so right when you remove it from the food processor. When you are ready to use the dough, remove it from the freezer 24hrs in advance and stick it in the fridge. Pull out of the fridge about two hours before you plan to use it to let it rise. This recipe was great because it is something I can make when I get home from work - it's not a long labor intensive process. Actually takes less time than defrosting the purchased frozen dough balls.