Recipes

Pizza Night

Pizza is one of my favorite foods.  My ideal pizza has simple and fresh ingredients, are crispy, and thin.  All week, I look forward to Fridays which are pizza nights in our household.  I usually buy the dough at Whole Foods but this time, I decided to make the dough myself.  I saw an article in Bon Appetit for no-knead pizza dough by the chef behind Co. which I’ve written about here.  It was so easy to make and so delicious I was amazed by the results.  The crust was perfectly crispy and the sauce and cheese melted into one and because the pizza only cooks for 10 minutes, we had dinner in a flash.

Ingredients for the dough include: Flour, sea salt, yeast and water

It was scary watching the dough rise twice it’s size.  It was bubbly and looked like The Blob.  This is the dough after it had been resting for 2 hours in plastic wrap.

Doesn’t it look professional?  The dough was very easy to work with.

Jim Lahey says, “our pies are not always round” so I feel better about mine.  He also says to start with olive oil and end with salt.

Toppings: San Marzano tomatoes, arugula, prosciutto di parma, and fresh mozzarella

 I didn’t have a fancy pizza stone or pizza oven, I just used a baking sheet.

Ingredients

  • 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (1000 grams) plus more for shaping dough
  • 4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

Preparation

  • Whisk flour, salt, and yeast in a medium bowl. While stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually add 3 cups water; stir until well incorporated. Mix dough gently with your hands to bring it together and form into a rough ball. Transfer to a large clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature (about 72°) in a draft-free area until surface is covered with tiny bubbles and dough has more than doubled in size, about 18 hours (time will vary depending on the temperature in the room).
  • Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Gently shape into a rough rectangle. Divide into 6 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, gather 4 corners to center to create 4 folds. Turn seam side down and mold gently into a ball. Dust dough with flour; set aside on work surface or a floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining portions.
  • Let dough rest, covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, until soft and pliable, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Wrap each dough ball separately in plastic wrap and chill. Unwrap and let rest at room temperature on a lightly floured work surface, covered with plastic wrap, for 2–3 hours before shaping.

To Make the Pizzas

  • During the last hour of dough’s resting, prepare oven: If using a pizza stone, arrange a rack in upper third of oven and place stone on rack; preheat oven to its hottest setting, 500°–550°, for 1 hour. If using a baking sheet, arrange a rack in middle of oven and preheat to its hottest setting, 500°–550°. (You do not need to preheat the baking sheet.)
  • Working with 1 dough ball at a time, dust dough generously with flour and place on a floured work surface. Gently shape dough into a 10″–12″ disk.

If Using Pizza Stone

  • When ready to bake, increase oven heat to broil. Sprinkle a pizza peel or rimless (or inverted rimmed) baking sheet lightly with flour. Place dough disk on prepared peel and top with desired toppings.
  • Using small, quick back-and-forth movements, slide pizza from peel onto hot pizza stone. Broil pizza, rotating halfway, until bottom of crust is crisp and top is blistered, 5–7 minutes.
  • Using peel, transfer to a work surface to slice. Repeat, allowing pizza stone to reheat under broiler for 5 minutes between pizzas.

If Using a Baking Sheet

  • Arrange dough disk on baking sheet; top with desired toppings. Bake pizza until bottom of crust is crisp and top is blistered, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a work surface to slice. Repeat with remaining pizzas.