1 3/4 cups Warm water
1 envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
2 tsp. sugar
3 Tbs. Olive Oil
4 cups Flour
2 tsp. Salt
In a clear mxing bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and sugar. Allow the yeast to dissolve and bloom, about 5 minutes. Once bloomed, add the olive oil.
In a mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the flour and salt. Stream in the water/yeast mixture and as the dough begins to come together, switch to a dough hook attachment. Allow the dough to knead, adding a bit more flour if needed, so that the dough releases from the sides of the bowl, 1 to 3 minutes. You should be able to touch the dough and not have the dough stick to your fingers. Once the dough has kneaded and has pulled away from the sides of the bowl, remove the dough from bowl to a floured work surface and, with floured hands, continue to knead it by hand for 1 to 2 minutes. Then form the dough into a round ball and place it into a large bowl sprayed with nonstick spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and let the dough rise in a warm area of your kitchen until it doubles in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. After the dough has risen it is ready to be cooked however you'd like!
Cook's Notes: This dough is wet dough, keep bench flour at the ready and make sure to flour your hands when working with the dough. Trust your gut as a chef, if the dough is to wet, add more flour, if it is too stiff, add a little water.
Sugar is used to feed the yeast which will help the dough to grow. Bread flour will give you a chewier texture because the flour has more gluten. You don't need to use a thermometer to get the water temperature, it should just feel warm to the touch.
(I will sometimes make a delicious dessert Foccacia bread with cinnamon, brown sugar, sugar, and a drizzle icing on top. I also make my pizza dough with a lot of fresh herbs. Oregano, Parsley, and Sweet Basil are delicious chopped up and mixed in with your dough.)