The title says it all – this pizza dough really is delicious and easy. All you need is some time, but most of it is the planning ahead kind of time. You just need to mix up the ingredients and wait. We ate pizza twice this week – once when the dough sat in the fridge for two days, one after four – and the second round was even better! So if you can plan that far in advance, I recommend the three to four day ferment.
The most difficult part about making pizza dough at this time in history (Covid 19 times) is sourcing flour and yeast! I happen to have half a jar of yeast in my fridge from “before,” and managed to find some flour recently – lucky me!
I’m not going to suggest toppings at this time, but I will say that it seems best when the toppings are minimal, as things get a bit mushy on pizza if there’s too much moisture on top. So a few well-chosen ingredients will be amazing on here. The one in the photo is just a simple tomato sauce with Mozzarella, but we also had a potato pizza, which was surprisingly good.
This is a Jim Lahey recipe, the guy who made this no-knead method so well known.
The recipe makes enough for four medium-sized hand-stretched pizzas. If you want a thin crust pizza it makes four large pizzas.
What you need:
- 500 grams (3 & ¾ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping the dough
- 1 gram (1/4 teaspoon) active dry yeast
- 16 grams (2 teaspoons) fine sea salt
- 350 grams (1 & ½ cups) water
What you do:
- Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a bowl.
- Add the water (room temperature) and mix it in until it is fully combined.
- Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap. Let the dough sit on a counter for about 18 hours. It could take longer if it is in a very cold room, but less if it is very warm. When it has about doubled in size you will know it is ready.
- At this point the dough is ready to use, but I think the tastiest pizza crusts are made with dough that has sat in the fridge for a few days. So go ahead and skip to step #7 if you want to make pizza today.
- Cut the dough into four equal pieces and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a few days. You could even freeze a ball or two for a few weeks.
- Take the pizza out of the fridge a few hours (minimum 3 hours, but longer is okay too) before you want to begin making it. Unwrap the plastic wrap, put the dough on a plate. Place the plastic wrap on top of the dough, tucking it in lightly so the dough can expand. I like to put a tea towel on top of the dough while it sits.
- Heat the oven as high as it will go. Get your toppings ready.
- I like to drizzle a bit of olive oil on the pan, but only where the dough will be or it will burn.
- Take a ball of dough and press it into the centre, then hold it in your fingers and let the weight of the dough stretch it, turning it as it stretches. Here is a video with some dough-stretching tips, since it’s a bit difficult to describe.
- Place the dough on the baking tray, put your toppings on it, and stick it in the oven. Depending on the thickness of the dough and the toppings you’ve put on it, it could be ready in 5-10 minutes.
- Eat it while it’s hot!