My latest culinary adventure has been in the world of pizza making. After spotting a recipe for Jim Lahey’s no-knead pizza dough, I thought I’d give it a shot.
Even though pizza dough ingredients are so basic: flour, salt, yeast and water, it was the endless kneading process that intimidated me. Instead of attempting to make the dough myself, I always opted to buy my pizzas (for $20 a pie!!!).
After reading this recipe, I realized the trick to the Jim Lahey method was the 18 hour waiting period required to allow the dough to rise. Patience is not exactly one of my strongest traits, but I made the dough at 11:00 pm and in less than 5 minutes, I was done. Since the directions said to keep the dough in a non-drafty warm-ish area, I opted to house the dough inside my microwave (after many popcorn popping sessions).
18 wonderful hours later, I had a pretty fluffy pizza dough and here came the hard part…I rolled it out instead of spinning in the air. My square dough came out pretty great and I rolled it onto my aluminum pan.
After about 15 minutes, my pizzas (I made two, one with my toppings and one for my hubby’s many toppings), were done. Wow, I was shocked at how beautifully brown the crusts were, even the bottoms were crisp!
Now the moment of truth…both pizzas were delish!
Now, it’s your turn….here’s the recipe, courtesy of Jim Lahey and Bon Appetit!
This dough is chewy, bubbly, and better than what you’ll get at most pizza places. It bakes wonderfully in a home oven, on a pizza stone or a baking sheet. And thanks to the brilliant no-knead method of Jim Lahey—owner of New York’s Sullivan Street Bakery and pizza spot Co.—it’s easy to prepare, deriving its character from overnight fermentation, not laborious kneading. Just remember to start at least 1 day ahead.
Makes six 10”–12” pizzas
Active time: 90 minutes total time: 20 1/2 hours
- 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
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.