¼cupextra virgin olive oilplus more for the top of the dough
2teaspoonsflaky sea saltplus extra for sprinkling
Thinly sliced tomatoes for toppingoptional
Fresh basil for toppingoptional
Combine warm water and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the dough attachment; stir to combine. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. Give the yeast a quick stir to mix it in with the water. Then let it sit 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast is foamy.
Set the mixer to low speed and gradually add flour, olive oil, and salt. Increase speed to medium-low and continue mixing the dough for 5 minutes. (If the dough is too sticky and isn’t pulling away from the sides of the bowl, add an extra ¼ cup flour while it is mixing.)
Remove dough and form into a ball. Grease the mixing bowl (or a separate bowl) with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray, then place the dough ball back in the bowl and cover it with a damp towel. Place in a warm spot, giving the dough time to rise, about 50 minutes or until it has nearly doubled in size.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll it into a large circle or rectangle until the dough is about ½ inch thick. Cover the dough again with the damp towel and let the dough continue to rise for another 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Press dough into a 9-inch baking dish. Use your fingers to poke dents over the surface of the dough. Drizzle a tablespoon or two of olive oil evenly all over the top of the dough; sprinkle evenly with sea salt and black pepper.
If adding topping(s), include them on top of the dough before baking. Bake 20 minutes or until dough is cooked through.
Remove from oven. If desired, drizzle with a little more olive oil. Slice and serve warm. Makes 1 loaf.