Pizza Crust or French Bread
7-7¼ C flour
2 pkg (5 tsp) dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp shortening
1 egg white
Put 3 C flour in a large mixing bowl. Mix yeast and sugar with 1/2 C warm water, let stand until foamy. Heat 2 C water with salt and shortening to 120 degrees. Add both liquids to the flour. Beat at low speed of electric mixer for 1/2 minute. Beat at high speed for 3 minutes. By hand mix in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and kneed until smooth and elastic, 10-12 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl turning once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1-1½ hours. Punch down, divide in half. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
Roll each half into a 15-12 rectangle, starting with the long edge roll up tightly, seal well, taper the ends. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal. Gash tops diagonally every 2-2½ inches, ¼inch deep.
Beat egg white just until foamy; add 1 Tbsp water. Brush tops and sides of loaves.
Cover and let rise until double, about an hour.
Bake in a 350° oven for 20 minutes, brush again with egg white mixture and bake 20 minutes longer. Remove from baking sheets; cool on wire racks.
Flatten each piece of dough onto a greased jelly roll or pizza pan, that has been sprinkled with corn meal, leaving a little bit thicker on the edges. Allow to rise for 1/2 hour. Top with sauce, toppings and cheese. Bake at 350° until cheeses melt and crust is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. This recipe can make 2 large pizza crusts.
Whole Wheat Crust:
Substitute 1-2 Cups of the white flour for whole wheat.
Add 1-2 Tbsp fresh herbs to dough during the final kneeding.
Try - Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Parsley, Rosemary
Add 1-2 C shredded cheese like parmasan, or cheddar to the dough during the final kneeding.