Thursday, February 28, 2013

no-knead pizza dough.

I am always amazed at how shocked people are when I tell them I make my own bread and pasta and pizza dough.  For me it’s become second nature.  If I want those things I will make the homemade version.  It provides me a sense of accomplishment but it also makes me feel like I am doing something good for myself.  When you make your own food you know exactly what’s going into it.  There are no chemicals or impossible to pronounce ingredients.  It’s food in it’s purest form and that should be everyone’s motivation for making food from scratch.  But maybe, the idea of bread making scares you.  (I can see why because it intimidated me at first) and if that is the case then this is the recipe for you! Do you own a wooden spoon (or even a regular spoon but you should own a wooden spoon) and a bowl?  Are you capable of stirring dough for all 2 minutes?  If so, you are capable of making your own pizza dough!  This involves no mixer, no fancy tools, nothing remotely difficult (which is why I made it twice in one week).   It’s conducive to any number of toppings (pictured is a white pizza with arugula and olive oil but I also made a corn pizza with tomato sauce), it’s quick and easy, and it is very, very good which is really the number one reason to cook in my book.    

No Knead Pizza Dough
Recipe from Joy the Baker

This recipe is just really good.  If you don’t have whole wheat flour you can use all bread flour.  I am also a fan of making the dough the night before and after the 2 hour rise placing it in the fridge overnight.  I think making it the night before is great for two reasons.  One is that it helps the flavor to develop and two because it makes dinner the following night super easy!  Just bring the dough to room temperature before stretching it. 

Makes 2 pizzas

2 ¾ cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon granulated sugar
1 ½ cups warm water

In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, yeast, salt, and sugar.  Add warm water all at once.  Using a wooden spoon work the mixture until fully incorporated.  If necessary ditch the spoon and work the mixture with your hands.  The dough will be slightly shaggy. 

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel.  Let rise at room temperature for 2 hours. 

After resting, dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface.  Divide in half.  If you are only making one pizza then you can wrap the second piece of dough in plastic wrap and place in a ziplock bag in the freezer.  Defrost dough in the fridge overnight and allow to come to room temperature before pressing the pizza crust. 

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. 

Working with one dough at a time, oil a 13x18 baking sheet with olive oil.  Place the rounded dough on the pan and stretch and press the dough out into a flat rectangle.  If the dough springs back as you are pressing it out, simply wait 5 minutes to allow the dough to rest and then try again.  The dough should be very thin.  If the dough tears, don’t worry, just press it back together.  Top the dough with the toppings of your choice.  Bake for about 10 – 12 minutes or until the edges are charred and bubbling. 

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