Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Best Pizza Recipe

We are a family of pizza lovers so I make it often.  I have tried many, many recipes for dough and I haven't come across a bad one yet.  But, this one that I found in the March issue of Bon Appétit is my new favorite.  It's also very easy as long as you remember to start it the night before - it's one of those long rising, no knead doughs.

This recipe makes a lot -- enough for six individual pizzas.  Brett polishes his off but Camille and I can't finish a whole one.  The baking method is also part of the reason this crust is so awesome; light, full of air pockets, and tasty.

Ready?

No-Knead Pizza Dough
7 1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3 cups water

Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together.  While stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually add the water.  Mix until well incorporated and then gather into a rough ball and transfer to a clean bowl.  I oiled my bowl although the recipe doesn't specify that. Habit.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and go to bed.  Let the dough rise at room temperature until it is covered with tiny bubbles and has more than doubled in size (about 18 hours).

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and gently shape into a rough rectangle.  Divide the dough into six pieces.

Working with one piece at a time, fold the four corners into the center, turn upside down, and form into a ball.  Dust with flour, and set aside while you form the other five.  Let the dough rest, covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, for an hour.  If you are not going to use all the pieces, you can wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for three or four days.  Just let them rest at room temperature on a floured work surface, covered with plastic wrap, for 2-3 hours before using.

Making the Pizzas
While the dough is resting, heat your oven.  If you have a pizza stone put it in the oven in the top third and heat it on the highest temperature your oven goes to for an hour.  I heated my stone for an hour at 550F.  If you don't have a stone and are going to bake your pizza on a baking sheet, you don't need to preheat your sheet.

Form your dough into pizzas as gently as possible.  The less you mess with the dough, the better it comes out.  You want to preserve as man of the air bubbles and pockets as possible.  Add your toppings.  Turn on your broiler, slide the pizza onto the stone, and bake for 5-7 minutes.



My experience?  Like so - I made three batches, two pizzas each time.

#1 Dinner with Camille:
  • topping choices: caramelized onions, tomato sauce, roasted tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, pepperoni, sausage & ham
  • I put Camille's in the oven first.  She built it on my well floured pizza peel.  When I tried to slide it off the board onto the stone, some of the toppings rolled off and the dough squished up on its self.  Camille dissolved into hysterical laughter.  Mine didn't slide much better although I tried to help it with a spatula.  
  • They tasted great.
#2 Dinner with Brett:
  • I built the pizzas on parchment paper.  When I slid Brett's onto the hot stone, the parchment paper touched the broiler and caught fire.  Mine didn't catch fire, but I worried about it.
  • There were little bits of charred paper on the kitchen floor.  Not popular with Brett who cleans the kitchen.
  • The pizzas tasted awesome.  That charring action was quite tasty.
#3 Dinner with Brett:
  • I used parchment paper again but didn't use the broiler.  I just baked them at 550F on the stone.
  • The parchment paper turned black but it didn't catch fire.
  • The dough wasn't quite as yummy as when it was cooked under the broiler.


I need to figure out a way to get the pizza into the oven, onto the hot stone, without using parchment paper.  Maybe I'll try dusting the pizza peel with corn meal next time.  Lots and lots of cornmeal.









9 comments:

  1. Cornmeal works, I tend to just pull the stone out all the way, cut the pizza on it, transfer to a plate then put down more corn meal and another pizza....
    Tara

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  2. Don't I feel stupid. I have had a pizza stone for years and didn't know you were supposed to heat them up like that. I bet it makes all the difference in the world. These really look good!

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  3. Yum! They look delicious. Thanks for the idea. Now I know what to make for dinner tomorrow night.

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  4. We make lots of pizza too. Thanks for a recipe for no knead dough! I'm going to try it. It looks great.

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  5. I also meant to tell you - I 'pinned' this post for my pinterest food page and it instantly had 8 repins - it's a hit! :)

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  6. Can you freeze the dough?

    Jamie

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  7. Jamie - I've never tried freezing it but Chowhound says you can. Flatten the dough into a disk, oil it, wrap in plastic wrap, put in a ziplock and freeze. Defrost overnight in your freezer and then let it rest in a bowl on your countertop for a couple hours before using. Great question!

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  8. Thanks for the recipe! We're right in the middle of a kitchen remodel right now, but the minute we're done, I'm trying it! (& thanks for answering my question about freezing, we'd never be able to use it all before it went bad)

    :)

    Jamie

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.