Makes six 6-1/2-ounce dough balls

  • 5 Cups (22 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons table salt or 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups room-temperature water

1. With a large metal spoon, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, yeast 1 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the water in a 4-quart bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer until combined.

2. If mixing with an electric mixer, fit it with the dough hook and mix on low speed for about 4 minutes, or until the dough forms a coarse ball and clears the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Add more flour or water by the tablespoonful as needed.

3. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes, then mix again on medium-low speed for an additional 2 to 4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, supple and tacky but not sticky.

4. Immediately divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Gently round each piece into a ball and brush or rub each ball with olive oil. Place each ball inside its own zippered freezer bag. Using the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over the ball in each bag and seal the bags closed. Let the balls sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then refrigerate the balls for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight.

5. Remove the dough balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan to roll them out to take off the chill and to relax the gluten. At this point, you can hold any balls you don’t want to use right away in the refrigerator for up to 3 d