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Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a 10-inch cast iron pan (or a heavy-duty 9-inch cake pan). Set aside.
Fill a medium-size bowl with hot tap water. Let sit for 2 minutes to warm up the bowl, then discard water. Add 3/4 cup hot tap water (around 105-115˚F), sugar and yeast to the bowl. Stir until the yeast is mostly dissolved (it’s okay if the mixture is a little lumpy). Allow to sit for 4-5 minutes, until mixture starts to bubble and foam (the bubbling and foaming means the yeast has been activated).
Once the yeast is activated add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and stir to combine. Add flour and salt. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula, stir until all flour is incorporated. At first it might seem like too much flour. Just keep stirring and it turns into a shaggy dough.
Sprinkle a work surface lightly with flour. Transfer the dough to the floured surface and knead for about 1 minute, until a nice smooth ball forms. Place the dough ball into the prepared cast iron pan and rub it around the pan to coat the bottom and sides with oil. Then turn the dough over so the oiled side is up. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Allow to rest in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap (don’t discard) and flatten the dough with your hand. Working with your fingers, dimple and push the dough to cover the bottom of the pan. Don’t push it up the sides.
Top with sauce, cheese and desired toppings to within a half inch of the edges. Cover again with the plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Allow to sit in a warm spot for 20 minutes while the oven is preheating. (At this point you could refrigerate the pizza for several hours. Allow it to come to room temperature again before baking.)
Preheat oven to 450˚F with a rack on the lowest level. (if using a cake pan preheat to 425˚F with a rack in the center of the oven).
When ready to bake, cover with foil (see Café Tips above) and bake for 15 minutes on the lowest rack of the oven. Remove foil and bake another 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melty and edges are light golden brown. Run a knife around the edge of the crust and transfer pizza to a cutting board with a spatula. Slice and enjoy!