I’m sorry to do this to you on a Monday, please forgive me. I know most of you are like me, trying to reign in the bad eating habits, but everyone needs a cheat day right? Or cheat food once in a while, just keep it on the DL if you are hanging around resolutioners – they may eat you alive because they are hungry.
I’ve always prided myself on my bread baking abilities. I’ve been baking bread by myself since I was about 14 or 15 years old and have always been in love with the process as well as the payoff.
The whole concept of no-knead dough was appealing to me in terms of time, but I really like making bread. I like kneading the dough to get the gluten forming to produce a better, higher rising, hearty bread. I like getting my hands in there and taking out the frustrations, or just lulling myself into a meditative state. Fold, press down, turn, fold , press down, turn, fold…you get it.
I got over this, and you may not be so hard to convince but this sh*t is delicious. It’s low impact, anyone can make it, pizza dough. I feel like it’s going to be my new staple. Top it with sun-dried tomatoes, a simple sauce and mozzarella, maybe brush with some of that tomato infused olive oil and crust the sides with poppy seeds? Now we are talking. I ate the whole thing, and you should too. A few early morning gym sessions and you’ll be even and it will be worth it!
No Knead Pizza Dough
makes 4 medium or 2 large pizzas adapted from Shutterbean’s adaptation of Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Pizza Dough
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 +1/2 tbs of vital wheat gluten
- 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 3/4 tsp table salt
- 3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/3 cups room temperature water
In a large bowl mix flour, gluten, yeast, sugar and salt.
Add in water and stir with a spoon until you have a shaggy dough.
Now get in there with your hands to until it becomes a more uniform hunk of dough.
I found I needed to use about 1 more tablespoon of water to make sure all the ingredients had come together after the initial mix.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature, for about 2 hours. Since it’s the winter, I turned my oven on the lowest setting for a few minutes just to give the yeast a head start.
After the two-hour mark, divide the dough into two halves. Place on a piece of plastic wrap or a floured cutting board and cover with a warm damp towel. Let the dough rest another 30 minutes while you bring your oven up to temperature and get your toppings ready.
I have a tiny oven therefore generally use tiny pans, I have two cookie sheets that are 10″ x 15″ and I found that I could make four pizzas around that size. From here I split one of my dough hunks into two pieces and the other I wrapped and put in the fridge to use tomorrow. If you want to freeze it make sure you wrap it well, or put it in a freezer bag. When you are ready to make pizza, let the dough come completely to room temperature before working with it.
Sun-dried Tomato Pizza
- Mozzarella cheese. shredded ( about 4 cups if you make all the dough)
- 1 cup of pizza sauce
- sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, halved or quartered
- 1-2 tbs of the oil from the tomatoes per pizza
- poppy seeds (optional)
- freshly ground pepper
Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees.
I have a madness to my method for the perfect pizza. This was inadvertently taught to me by the super awesome pizza joint around the corner from my house called Salvatore’s. The place is legendary in Halifax and is located in the Hydrostone if you are from around Halifax and haven’t tried it or you are wanting to visit go there.
Here goes… first rule, oil the pan well, 1 – 2 tbs of olive oil. This dough will spring back so I press it out as much as I can on one side and then completely flip it so both sides are oiled. This will also make it easier to press into an oval-esque shape. If you tear a hole in the dough, that is fine, just pinch it back together and smooth it out again.
Once you have the shape you want put the cheese down first, you really don’t need a lot. I used about one cup for this sized pizza which yielded about six slices.
Then quarter of half the tomatoes and space out equally, top with fresh ground pepper and dollop pizza sauce 1 tsp at a time spaced away from the tomatoes. Sauce on top is not sacrilegious – try it! Take some of the oil that the tomatoes were soaked in, and drizzle over the cheese, brush some of it on the exposed crust and then with a teaspoon liberally sprinkle on poppy seeds. You can also try sesame seeds or cornmeal!
Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Crust must be browned well, if you like yours extra cooked, put it under the broiler for an additional 1-2 minutes!
Slice and eat the heck out of this!