Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pizza my heart...

Actually, that was the name of one of our favorite pizza places in college... ahh, memories. Anyway! In the wake of the unsatisfying Pizza Rustica, I wanted to post something good. And man, is this ever good. 

If you're like me, making pizza at home is always a little anti-climactic. You have grand aspirations of making the most fantastical pizza ever created by man, only to have it come out lack luster and rather disappointing. For me, it always boiled down to the crust... store bought ones didn't quite cut it, usually tasting like plastic and/or cardboard, and my homemade attempts weren't much better. 

That is, until I met this no-knead pizza dough recipe... 



While kneading bread isn't as intimidating as it used to be for me, I'm all for a knead-less shortcut when it comes to stuff like this. The recipe is extremely simple and really doesn't require any fancy tools or techniques... it just requires patience. The dough has to be left to rise about 10-12 hours, so it's not something you can throw together at the last minute... but believe me when I say, it's well worth waiting for.

It happened that I started it in the morning before work, but when I came home that night we got sidetracked with something else and we didn't end up having time to make the pizza, so I simply left it in the counter (covered in a bowl) until the next day. It ended up sitting for about 24 hours in total and I was a little worried that would be too much, but turns out this dough is very forgiving and it turned out fantastically well. One thing that takes a bit of getting used to is stretching/forming it. This is an extremely soft dough, so you have to work quickly and lightly to keep as many bubbles in the dough as possible while still forming it into the shape you want.



For the first attempt at cooking it, I tried the skillet method that had caught my eye in the first place. Let's just say that I ended up taking the batteries out of the smoke detector by the time I was done. It may very well have been something I did (maybe my cast iron skillet was too hot?), but the stove-top method was not working and I didn't want to ruin any more of the precious dough. So, I tried the oven. I put the formed pizza on a sheet of parchment paper and baking sheet under the broiler until it bubbled up and started to brown nicely. Once it looked just shy of being done, I took it out, flipped it over onto the counter where we topped it with plenty of sauce, veggies and cheese. Then, instead of placing it back on the baking sheet directly, I put it on a cooling rack set on the sheet so that the bottom of the pizza would not be directly against the baking sheet. Back under the broiler it went until the top was golden and the cheese bubbly.


I would describe how tasty it was, but I think the above pictures speak for themselves, really. The crust was light, moist and both crispy and chewy... it was delightful. The sauce was simply some homemade pasta sauce, topped with a few veggies and a liberal sprinkling of cheese. So. Freaking. Good. I need to make another batch of this and see how the dough does when frozen... the recipe says it is possible, but it was so good it didn't last long enough to find out last time ;) It would make me so happy to have a supply of this dough on hand in the freezer for those urgent pizza cravings! 

3 comments:

  1. Stephanie, I am SO LOOKING FORWARD to making this. Thanks for finding this gem.

    ~Carmen
    http://bakingismyzen.wordpress.com

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    Replies
    1. Enjoy!!! Something this good just shouldn't be this easy... I made another batch of it this weekend and put some in the freezer to see how it does. *crosses fingers*

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  2. Stephanie,

    I finally got around to posting about Skillet Pizza. Glad I found it on your site. Thanks!

    Carmen
    http://bakingismyzen.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/skillet-pizza-no-oven/

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