If I may, let me share with you what I personally do for my pizza's. This is based solely on Pete's excellent instruction and not by any genius on my part
. I've screwed up plenty a pizza's till he set me straight.
This recipe makes 2 12" pizzas. It helps if you have a digital scale, as I use weight for the ingredients. You don't mention where you live, so I'm going to assume US measurements are ok:
13.6 oz of King Arthur bread flour
8.6 oz water from my brita filter. Cold out of the fridge seems to work fine for me.
.25 tsp instant dry yeast (also known as rapid rise)
1.25 tsp Morton's kosher salt
1 tsp Olive Oil (regular olive oil, not extra virgin)
I have a kitchenaid mixer, not sure if you have a stand mixer or not - there's plenty of instruction on this site on hand kneading.
I measure out all my ingredients, mix the yeast with the flour in a bowl, and pour the water and salt in the bowl of my mixer.
I stir the water to dissolve the salt. Then put the paddle attachment on the mixer and turn it on "stir" speed.
I shovel the flour in a bit at a time, till it's all incorporated. Then I add the oil.
After the olive oil is incorporated, I spray PAM on the dough hook, and put that on the mixer instead of the paddle attachment. I put the mixer on 2 speed and let it knead for 7 minutes. I generally will stop half way through and pull the dough off the hook.
I use round tupperware containers (I like the round because it keeps the dough a round shape when I'm ready to make the pies), and oil them slightly.
After the 7 minutes, I take the big dough ball and weigh it. I then split it in two, form each half into balls and put them in the containers, tossing to coat them with the oil. They go in the fridge for a minimum of 24 hours, but I prefer 3 days.
On pizza making day, I preheat my stone in the oven set to 500 degrees. Take the dough out of the fridge, and put them on the counter. This is done as I said before, an hour prior to dinner time
While the stone and dough are warming up, I make sure my sauce is ready, either made, or pulled out of the fridge if I'd made some previously.
I also shred my cheese if I didn't buy some already shredded.
I do have a pizza peel, which is a wooden paddle for transferring the pizza to the oven and out. I sprinkle and spread out a small handful of semolina flour. the semolina flour helps prevent the dough from sticking to the peel.
I then hand shape one of the dough balls into 12" round "skins". I don't toss my pizzas, but will stretch by hand. The dough should work easily in your hands, and almost stretch TOO easily. I generally don't see any tears in my dough, but can get some thin spots.
I put the dough on the peel, then sauce and put the cheese on the pizza. I jerk the peel after each layer is applied to ensure the pizza doesn't stick.
Then, it's into the oven for 7-8 minutes, out and resting for 3 minutes.