When I sat down to write out my list of 100 new dinners to make this year, pizza-based meals made up almost 10% of the inventory. There is no denying that it's a family favourite, and not just on the weekends, either. To be honest, I actually prefer making pizzas on a weeknight, and packing up the leftovers for lunch the next day. It’s two for one cooking, which is my favourite way to do it.
Buying store-bought dough is a completely acceptable way of starting off your pizza nights, but believe it or not, there are days when I'm feeling really lazy, and making it from scratch is far easier. This no-knead version takes two minutes, which is less than the time it would take me to bundle up for the store. Then I would need to go shopping, pay for my purchases, and come home again. I think I'd rather just give up two minutes of my afternoon (or early morning), wouldn't you?
Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Pizza Dough
This recipe makes enough for one large or two small thin-crust pizzas. Feel free to freeze it after the first rise, or divide the dough and use half now and half later. It keeps in the fridge for up to one day, and stores well in a zip-lock bag lightly coated with olive oil. I’ve also swapped some (not all!) of the flour for a whole-wheat variety and that’s worked well, too.
- 3 3/4 cups flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons instant or other active dry yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/3 cup room-temperature water
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar.
2. Add the water and, using the end of a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until blended. The dough will be stiff, not sticky. Knead for 1 minute. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the dough has more than doubled in size, about 2 hours.
3. Shape the dough in a large ball and lightly dust the top with flour. Cover with a towel and let rise for an additional 30 minutes.
4. When you are ready to make a pizza, preheat oven to 500°F, roll out the dough and press it into an oiled baking sheet. Cover with toppings and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pizza dough is crisp and the cheese thoroughly melted.
Updated: There were some questions about the size of the baking sheet that I used. I found a 13" x 18" worked best for one pizza. It resulted a medium-thickness crust with a crispy browned bottom. Also, my girlfriend tried this recipe with all whole-wheat flour - she doesn't recommend it!