Jim Lahey's no-knead pizza dough is more time consuming than Jamie Oliver's "cheat's pizza", but it's quicker and simpler than the more traditional dough recipes. The rise time is only two hours, and the kneading is minimal. I still prefer Jamie's pizza, but I sense this is because I haven't quite mastered Lahey's recipe yet.
It make a good, decent crust - more substantial in taste and weight than Jamie's.
2 large rectangular pizzas; SERVES 4 -5 people.
- 3 3/4 cups bread flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons instant or other active dry yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt
- 3/4 teaspoon plus a pinch sugar
- 1 1/3 cup room temperature water
- olive oil
- 2 13" x 18" metal baking pans
- plastic wrap
Step 1 Make Your Dough
Mix together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a medium-sized bowl.
Slowly add the water as you mix (I start mixing with a fork, and then eventually use my hand).
- The first time I made this recipe, I didn't mix the dough well enough. Once a ball is formed, knead with your hands until you are sure all the flour clumps have been worked out. The dough should be somewhat thicker and drier than your typical pizza dough.
Step 2 Let it Rise
Once you have a well-mixed ball of dough about the size of a baseball, place it in a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Store in a cool place, out of direct sunlight, and give it two hours to rise.
Step 3 Prep Your Toppings
While you're waiting for your dough to rise, get your toppings together and preheat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. I prepped the spread shown below, and tore apart some fresh mozzarella. The choice of sauce is up to you - I opted for the same recipe used in Jamie Oliver's "cheat's pizza".
Step 4 Prep Your Second Rise
Once two hours have passed, your dough should have doubled in size. Using your hands or a rubber spatula, remove the dough and place on a lightly floured surface.
Divide the dough in two halves, and place them roughly 4 inches apart.
Cover with a damp washcloth, and let sit for an additional 30 minutes.
Step 5 Stretch Your Dough
You should now have two slightly larger balls of dough. Oil two 13" by 18" pans, evenly spreading the oil with a pastry brush (or your fingers).
Now comes the critical part: the dough stretching and spreading. I'm fairly certain this is the part I haven't quite mastered.
Take your first ball of dough, stretch lengthwise and place in the center of the pan. Using your fingers, work the dough to the sides, stretching, pulling and patting until you have a nice, even surface. Mine came out a bit thin in parts, but practice makes perfect.
Repeat with your second ball of dough to make your second pizza. Please note: The image above shows only the beginnings of stretching, I didn't get a final shot before the toppings went on.
Step 6 Add Your Toppings
Once you're satisfied with your stretched dough, add your sauce and toppings. The image below shows one of the pizzas half cooked, topped with mozzarella, sliced heirloom tomatoes and green onions.
- Be careful not to overload in juices (too much sauce or tomato topping, etc.) - this will cause the center to remain soggy, while your edges and toppings burn.
Step 7 Bake & Enjoy!
Stick your pizzas in your preheated 500 degree oven. Baking time is typically around 30 minutes, but be sure to check on them along the way.
- Play around! I made an extra ball of dough, rolled it out, and plopped it on a pizza stone. I "par-fried" the dough a bit (a method demonstrated here), which caused it to puff up and curl at the edges. I then topped it, and stuck it back in the oven for 10 minutes or so. The result was interesting - thinner and crispier than the metal pan method.
Article thumbnail image of Jim Lahey via Serious Eats' Slice
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