Saturday, February 27, 2010

Week 8: No Knead Pizza Crust

Friday night has lately been pizza night around here, which is just fine with me - pizza, even made from scratch, is easy, and everyone likes it. Win-win on a Friday night!

But plain cheese pizza (which the kids prefer) gets boring. And I wanted to try a new kind of pizza crust, using a no-knead dough. Now, making pizza dough isn't exactly a hardship for me, thanks to my shiny KitchenAid Mixer, but no knead dough sounded interesting, and it's supposed to give a better texture.

The main issue with no knead dough is that you have to start it really far in advance - it needs to rise for at least 12, preferable more like 24 hours. So when I'm making dinner on Thursday night I through together the dough and let it sit on the counter until Friday afternoon.

I forgot to take the first photo, but this is what the dough looks like after about 24 hours:

It's very, very, VERY soft and sticky. When you peel it out of the bowl, you have to cover your hands very well with flour, and it'll still probably stick!

dough turned out:

Stretched out on the pizza stone:

I find this dough both easy to work with, in that it stretches nicely, and immensely difficult, in that it's so sticky!

I like to pre bake the dough for about 15 minutes so I get a nice crispy crust, then add the toppings and just heat until they are warm.

So the kids got the plain cheese pizza, but for me I got a bit fancy, with caramelized onions, roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes, olive oil, black olives, feta and bacon. Yum!

No Knead pizza crust (makes two pizzas):

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon yeast
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ cups warm water

Stir together; I usually knead it one or two times just to make sure it's well mixed. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm, draft-free place for 12 to 24 hours.

Turn out onto a well-floured surface and shape into two rough balls. Cover with a clean tea towel and let sit for about 2 hours.

Stretch or roll out the dough. I like to pre-bake the crusts in a very hot oven (450 or so) for 10-15 minutes, then top, and return to the oven for about 5 minutes. let sit for 5 minutes, slice, and enjoy!

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