1. Day 1: Make The Poolish

    Combine the yeast, water and flour, mix well, then allow to sit, covered, on the countertop for at least 12 hours. This will give the dough a “sour” flavor.

  2. Day 2: Make the dough

    Mix warm water and yeast until the yeast dissolves. Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes. In a stand mixer with dough hook attachment, add flour and ice water and mix until incorporated. Add yeast-water mixture and mix on slow speed for approximately 5 minutes (anything higher than the slowest speed will burn out your mixer). Add poolish and mix until everything comes together, then add salt. Mix for another 10 minutes.

  3. Portion into 255 gram (half-pound) dough balls, cover, place on countertop and allow to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. (At this point, you could freeze unused dough. See note.)

  4. Heat oven to 450 degrees with a rack in the top third position in the oven and a pizza stone in place. Generously sprinkle a pizza peel or cutting board with cornmeal (so the raw crust slides off easily). Turn one dough portion out onto a floured work surface. Using your hands, press and stretch the dough out into about a 10-inch circle, or 12-inch for a thinner crust (if the dough refuses to stretch further, allow it to rest for 5 minutes and resume). 

  5. Place the crust on the prepared pizza peel/cutting board. Dress with sauce, cheese and toppings of choice. (Resist the temptation to load on too many toppings so that you can taste the complexities of the dough!) Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone, opening and closing the oven door as quickly as possible.

  6. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crust is set to your liking (whether chewy or crispy) and toppings are bubbly. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then slice and enjoy!

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A person picks up a slice of pizza with lots of cheese and cherry tomatoes and an attractive braided crust.