Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lazy (and Amazing) Pizza Dough

We make a lot of homemade pizza, but we've never had a good from-scratch dough for the crust.  I just don't like having to work the dough for awhile and letting it rise, etc, etc.  Ugh, too long to wait and it just doesn't appeal to me.

Well, thanks to Smitten Kitchen (love that blog), we now have the only pizza dough recipe we need!  Why is it so wonderful, you ask?  You barely have to do anything.  Mix together the ingredients.  Let it sit overnight/all day.  No kneading at all, just pat it in the pan and you've got a chewy, crispy, tasty pizza crust.  Could you ask for anything easier?

It starts simply enough, with the usual suspects: flour, yeast, salt, and water.

Cover, and let rise overnight and/or all day.

Dump it out on a floured mat/board.  It will be very soft - don't worry, that's perfect.  Dust it lightly with flour, cut it in half to create two balls.

Gently pat/stretch it into two pans.

Top with your favorites, bake as directed, and then you have an amazing pizza!

My veggie-licious vegan pizza on the left and the husband's traditional sausage, green pepper and onion on the right.  This crust works perfectly for any pizza!

If you need a topping idea, here's one for Shaved Asparagus Pizza and Balsamic Roasted Vegetable Pizza (this one is my go-to with a pesto base).

Lazy Pizza Dough
(from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes 2 medium pizza crusts

1) Overnight Dough Schedule: Begin between 8 and 9 p.m the evening before for dinner between 6 to 8 p.m. (approx. 22-hour dough)

2) All-Day Dough Schedule: Begin between 6 and 8 a.m that day for dinner between 6 to 8 p.m. (approx. 12-hour dough)

3) Part-Day Dough Schedule: Begin around noon that day for dinner between 6 to 8 p.m. (approx. 6-hour dough)

3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour (bread flour works too)
Slightly heaped 1/8, 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast (for Overnight, All-Day, or Part-Day Schedules respectively, above)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
1 1/4 cup water, plus an additional tablespoon or two if needed (updated)

In a very large bowl, mix all ingredients with a spoon. The dough will be craggy and rough; this is fine, but if it feels excessively so, add another spoonful or even two of water.  Cover bowl with plastic and keep at room temperature for approximately 22 (for Overnight schedule), 12 (for All-Day schedule) or 6 (for Part-Day schedule) hours, or until the dough has more than doubled. This takes longer in a chilly room and less in a very warm one, but don’t fret too much over this, as the dough is generally forgiving of a loosened schedule.

Prepare pizza pan with a very light, thin coat of olive oil or a nonstick cooking spray. Heat oven to its highest temperature, usually around 500 degrees F.  I know it seems high, but I promise it's fine!

Flour your counter very well. Scrape dough out of bowl onto floured counter; in the time it has risen it should change from that craggy rough ball to something very loose, soft, sticky and stretchy. Flour the top of the dough, and divide dough in half (or more pieces, if you’re making smaller pizzas). Form them into ball-like shapes. Grab first round with floured hands and let the loose, soft dough stretch and fall away from your hands a few times before landing the dough on your prepared baking sheet/paddle. Use floured fingers to press and nudge dough into a roughly round or rectangular shape. Add desired fixings and bake pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, rotating if it’s baking unevenly, until the top is blistered and the crust is golden. Repeat with remaining dough.

Whole wheat variation: Feel free to replace up to half the flour with whole wheat without altering any other ingredients.


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