Contributor: Jay G.
I was like you, once, thinking Never would, never could I ever make pizza from scratch! Well, I did and you can, too. YES. YOU. CAN! Like many recipes I actually endeavor to try, this was inspired by my desire to not over-spend on par or sub-par foods. Here in Portland, Oregon there is a lot of great pizza– but you’re gonna $pay$. Wanna save dough? Wanna have the pizza of your dreams? Make it yourself. The more you make it the easier it gets.
This recipe comes from Jim Lahey, whose “no-knead” recipes are truly a dream (here is sample recipe, Bon Appetit seems to have doubled it for some reason: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/no-knead-pizza-dough). The secret to his recipes are truly to *not* over-work them. Check out his book/s for even more fun times with breads. Alright! Let’s get to it.
3 3/4 cups bread flour
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp fine salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
You will also need some flour for surfaces, a bowl with lid (or saran wrap) and a roller, if you’re so inclined. Makes 2 large pizzas.
1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add warm water and mix with a spoon, then your well-floured hands, until “just mixed” (no need to knead!). Cover with lid or saran. Tip: store in oven for extra climate control. Another tip: don’t turn the oven on with bowl inside. 🙂
2. This the hard part. The dough needs to be mixed at least 12 hours before you plan to eat, and actually more like 18 hours = perfection. For dinner on Tuesday, we make dough Monday night before bed (9pm or 10pm).
3. When you are ready for dinner, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Don’t forget: TAKE OUT YOUR BOWL FROM THE OVEN!! Grease your pizza pan/s with olive oil or [gasp] Pam! We use pans with holes in them; we like very thin, crispy crust.
4. Take the dough out of the bowl and split in two. Flour a surface, counter, or cutting board, and roll out your dough. I usually half roll-out, then stretch the dough by hand, then lay it out on the pan and manually push the dough out to the corners of the pan.
5. The fun part! Spoon on sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and decorate with vegetables and/or meats. Or keep it clean and just do cheese. Dream big!
6. Pop it in the oven for 20 minutes. OK, maybe for 15 minutes, then check for your first time. We always seem to reach perfection at 23 minutes.
7. YOU’VE MADE PIZZA! and really, even though we’re on step 7, you made it in less than 4 steps. We did the math once, and even with fancier ingredients were spending less than $5.00 on the entire pizza– the dough itself is less than $1.00 for two pizzas!
Tip: We are hungry men who need/like to make two pizzas at once (cold leftovers, duh) but you don’t have to. The dough will sit on the counter another day no problem. We have not yet tried to freeze the dough… because we always eat it all. So, actually… I don’t know if this is really a “tip.”
Recipe ideas, tried and true:
– Barbecue sauce, Mexican cheese blend, chicken, red onion
– Red sauce, mozzarella, black olives, spinach, mushrooms
– Red sauce, mozzarella, red pepper, west phalian ham (similar to prosciutto we get from the German deli)
– Sweet chili sauce, light mozzarella, scallions, peppers, mushrooms
– Olive oil base with olive tapenade, cheese of your choice, THEN plenty of greens (arugula, kale, spinach)– so fresh!
– Red sauce, cheese, pepperoni – ~*classic*~
Don’t forget to crack some salt and pepper on your pizza when it comes out of the oven! Salt on pizza sounds like a heart attack, but believe once you go there you will never go back… ack ack ack. Enjoy-a your pizz-a!