3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups lukewarm warm water
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.
2. Mix on medium speed until the dough forms a shaggy mass.
3. Press into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.
4. Invert the dough onto a floured board and knead. Periodically pick up the dough and smack it down onto the board as hard as you can. This is the most fun and therapeutic stage of the process. It also develops gluten. Mmm. Gluten. Don't stop kneading until you see a qualitative change in the consistency dough. It will go from stiff and dry to smooth and stretchy. You'll know when this happens. it should take at least 5 minutes, give or take, depending on the efficiency of your kneading technique.
5. Cut the dough into four equal pieces. Drape the pieces with plastic wrap. Take one piece of dough and roll it into a tight ball. Then, roll the ball up on itself like a carpet. Turn the cylinder 90 degrees and roll it up on itself again. Turn another 90 degrees and roll again. Squeeze back into a tight ball and set on a floured tray at room temperature. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
6. Let sit at room temperature until swollen and puffy. This should take about two hours.
7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, or hotter. You will have to experiment. If you have a pizza stone, now would be a good time to use it. If you don't have a pizza stone, put a rimless cookie sheet in the oven to heat up.
8. Get your toppings ready.
9. Sprinkle a wooden pizza peel or another rimless cookie sheet with cornmeal.
10. Stretch your ball of dough out to the desired thickness. Place on the pizza peel and sprinkle lightly with toppings. Transfer immediately to the pizza stone or hot cookie sheet.
11. Cook the pizza until it seems done. Again, you will have to experiment. The dough should bubble up and start to char just slightly in the thinnest places.
12. Transfer to a cutting board, slice, and serve.