Combine ¾ cup warm water (100°-115°F / 38-46°C), sugar, and yeast in a large bowl; let sit until spongy, 4-5 minutes. Mix in 1 ½ tbsp of the olive oil and the salt. Stir in 2 ¼ cups of the flour. Turn out onto a work surface; knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour when the dough is sticking, about 6 minutes total. Grease a large bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add dough, cover bowl with plastic; let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, position one rack in the top third of the oven and another in the bottom third; place a pizza stone on the top rack and preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C). Preheat for 45 to 60 minutes.
Divide the dough in half. At this point, you can wrap the dough balls individually in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for a couple of days, or store in a plastic storage bag in the freezer for 1 to 2 months.
Roll out the Roman pizza dough
Sprinkle a clean, working surface and one of the balls of pizza dough with flour. Roll out the dough in a very thin, large rectangle with rounded corners (it doesn’t have to be perfect; in fact, it’s more authentic if it isn’t!). The thinner you manage to roll the crust, the crunchier it will be. I like to go as thin as 1/4-in (0.6 cm), but you can go thicker if that’s what you prefer.
Cut out a piece of parchment paper large enough to hold the pizza dough. Fold the dough in half and transfer to the parchment paper (the paper will make it easier to transfer the pizza to the oven, as the thinness of the crust would make it virtually impossible to slide the pizza off onto the stone). Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
Garnish the Roman-style pizza crust as desired. Transfer the pizza (with the parchment paper) to the pizza stone in the oven and bake for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.
Recipe Credit: Adapted from Bon Appétit Magazine.
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