Monday, March 1, 2010

Dishin' on No-knead Pizza Dough

I used to make pizza dough in a food processor. While the result was pretty good, it involved utilizing an appliance with parts that have to be hand washed. I hate, hate, hate to wash dishes.  Over the years, I’ve learned to load a dishwasher like it was a jigsaw puzzle to be conquered. As the kids would say, I’ve got mad skills. So even though my old recipe worked pretty well, I was highly motivated to try Jim Lahey’s no-knead pizza dough. Like other no-knead bread variations, you just throw all the ingredients into a bowl, stir, and let time and fermentation work its magic. One dish, no worries.

My first attempt turned out a lumpy. Maybe the bread flour here in Central Texas is drier or the atmospheric conditions didn’t quite mimic Mr. Lahey’s test kitchen, whatever, something was definitely off. The dough was tough and there were unabsorbed lumps of flour in the dough. I added some extra olive oil to compensate when shaping the dough but the crust was a little too crusty after baking from having to overwork the dough.

On my second attempt, I decided to decrease the amount of flour called for by a quarter cup. Even so, I still wound up adding extra water when mixing the dough. But this time it turned out just right! I recreated a favorite prosciutto and arugula pizza from Mandola’s.  I simplify my version and it’s even more delicious, in my humble opinion. Really, I can be humble… just not when describing my dish-loading prowess.

Dough *makes two large crusts
Adapted from Jim Lahey’s Basic Pizza Dough recipe

3 ½ cups bread flour

2 ½ teaspoon instant yeast 
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoons sugar plus a pinch
1 ½ cups water (just slightly warm)


3-4 very thin slices of your favorite prosciutto
Shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese
Handful of arugula
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add the water and stir until blended (the dough will be stiffer than other no-knead recipes). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for approximately 2 hours in a warm spot.
2. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and gently form into a ball. Divide the dough into two halves, cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
3. Oil a half-sheet baking pan and stretch or toss the dough into the desired shape, brush with olive oil and add a little salt and cracked pepper on top. Bake 12-15 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Immediately after removing crust from oven, sprinkle on parm-reg, top with prosciutto slices, and toss the arugula on top. Then dig in!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so making this since my food processor is in storage somewhere... yummy!