Of all the posts I’ve ever done . . .
I’m most excited about this one.
My search for the PERFECT pizza crust is now over!
I’m serious now.
I’ve probably tried at least 100 different pizza crust recipes.
Some were good . . . some were bad . . . but none were worth making again & again.
Until I tried Jim Lahey’s No Knead Pizza Dough!
My only regret is that I didn’t take step by step pic’s for you. I really didn’t have much faith in this recipe when I first read through it. Flour, Salt, Water and 1/4 teaspoon yeast! O.K….I thought, doesn’t sound great. Eighteen hours . . . yeah right! The recipe below didn’t really have great instructions, I think you will want to buy his book that just hit the shelves if you want more detailed step by step instructions. I intend to buy it now, but what you see below is all I had when making this pizza. I only added one additional ingredient: I did add 1/2 teaspoon of white granulated sugar. You add it or leave it out, but it was perfect!
Now . . . I tried my hardest to write good notes below the actual recipe. PLEASE READ ALL THE NOTES BEFORE STARTING. Remember, you must think ahead. It’s all those long awaited hours of rising time that builds up the GLUTEN in the dough. It rises very very slowly because it only has 1/4 teaspoon of yeast. This is what will make it the perfect crispy yet wonderfully chewy pizza crust. I used quick rise yeast just in case you’re wondering.
Since my hubbie & I can’t eat 4 pizzas at once, I did refrigerate the left-over dough. I simply put it in a tupperware bowl with a good sealed lid and plopped it in the fridge. Last night, we had company. I decided to show them what Great pizza crust this recipe is. I simply took the bowl of covered dough and let it sit out for a couple of hours until it was warm again. Please read the notes from Lahey! You want to make sure that you don’t flatten all those nice bubbles out of the dough while you are shaping it! Be gentle…..leave those air bubbles alone!! Read ALL my notes below before you begin, and it will turn out fabulously!
I also tried a new red sauce recipe. It will be below the pizza crust recipe. It is from America’s Test Kitchen. It’s very good. Thumbs up!
I hope you try this recipe soon. My search for the perfect pizza crust has now ended. I found it!
JIM LAHEY’S NO KNEAD PIZZA DOUGH
Note from Lahey: While I’m not picky about the flour—either bread flour or all-purpose is fine—what does concern me is how the dough is handled. Treat it gently so the dough holds its character, its texture. When you get around to shaping the disk for a pie, go easy as you stretch it to allow it to retain a bit of bumpiness (I think of it as blistering), so not all of the gas is smashed out of the fermented dough. I prefer to hold off on shaping the ball until just before topping it. If it’s going to sit for a while—more than a couple of minutes—cover it with a damp kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out. I offer you two approaches for shaping. The simpler one, executed completely on the work surface, is slower than the second, where you lift the disk in the air and stretch it by rotating it on your knuckles. Lifting it into the air to shape it is more fun, too.
serves makes 4 balls of dough, enough for 4 pizzas, active time 10 minutes, total time 8 to 18 hours
- 500 grams (17 ½ ounces or about 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
- NOTE: I also added 1/2 tsp. sugar
In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and, with a wooden spoon or your hands, mix thoroughly.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow it to rise at room temperature (about 72°F) for 18 hours or until it has more than doubled. It will take longer in a chilly room and less time in a very warm one.
Flour a work surface and scrape out the dough. Divide it into 4 equal parts and shape them: Shape each portion into a round and turn seam side down. The mounds should not be sticky; if they are, dust with more flour. Let the rounds of dough sit for at least 30 minutes to one hours longer. (MAKE SURE THEY ARE COVERED WELL, SO THE DOUGH DOESN’T DRY OUT)
*Take a ball of dough, and sprinkle flour on top & bottom so that it’s not sticky. Start by pressing your fingers in the center of the ball, and carefully moving outward. You objective is to make the center thinner than the edges. Once you know that it’s not sticky, pick it up and starting at the edge, start stretching the dough…..moving around the edge of the whole circle. As you continue moving around all the edges of the circle of dough, it will grow in size. The dough will bubble up and thicken as it bakes, so try to get the dough as thin as possible without making holes in the dough. Leave the outer edges a bit thicker.
If you don’t intend to use the dough right away, wrap the balls individually in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Return to room temperature by leaving them out on the counter, covered in a damp cloth, for 2 to 3 hours before needed.
PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE OR VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING
The dough will seem quite sticky, but that’s o.k. You will flour a work surface quite heavily, so it all works fine. You need to make this the night before, or do what I did: (right or wrong – it worked!)
I made the dough at about 6:30 a.m. I preheated my oven on the lowest setting which is 170 degrees. TURN OFF THE HEAT. Lay a clean towel across the center rack of the warm oven. Place the dough in a oiled glass or tupperware type bowl with a good lid, or seal well with saran wrap. You don’t want the dough to dry out. Place the bowl in the warm oven (turned off) and let the dough sit until it’s doubled fully in size. This takes many many hours, since there is only 1/4 tsp. yeast in the dough. The sugar I added is optional, but turned out great.
When you are ready to make a pizza, you will think that it doesn’t seem like very much dough. I wanted a thin, crisp but chewy crust and you will get 4 – 10″ pizzas with this dough!
PREHEATING THE OVEN AND THE PIZZA STONE (don’t skip this)
At least 30 to 45 minutes before baking the pizza, you will want to turn your oven on to 500 degrees. Place the pizza stone on oven rack – about 8 inches from the heating element towards the top of the oven. Close the door, and heat that stone!
SHAPING THE DOUGH
Take a ball of dough, and sprinkle flour on top & bottom so that it’s not sticky. Start by pressing your fingers in the center of the ball, and carefully moving outward. You objective is to make the center thinner than the edges. Once you know that it’s not sticky, pick it up and starting at the edge, start stretching the dough…..moving around the edge of the whole circle. As you continue moving around all the edges of the circle of dough, it will grow in size. The dough will bubble up and thicken as it bakes, so try to get the dough as thin as possible without making holes in the dough. Leave the outer edges a bit thicker.
When you have about a nice 10″ circle or any shape will do, you are ready to make pizza!
Important note: If you don’t have a pizza peel that you have floured well and assembled the pizza on, you can either use a large floured cutting board, or turn a large cookie sheet over, flour it very well, and assemble pizza on top of it. You want enough flour on the bottom of the circle of dough, so that you can take it to the hot oven, and quickly SLIDE it off it’s surface onto the very hot Pizza stone. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can still make this pizza. Put a baking sheet in the oven upside down and heat it well, then slide your pizza onto the baking sheet. It might take slightly longer to bake.
BAKING OPTIONS: I used option 1, but if you do it this way . . . you must have everything prepared and ready to QUICKLY top the pizza with sauce & toppings!
(1) Place your nicely formed pizza dough on the very very hot pizza stone. Close the oven door for about 1 minute. The pizza will start to bubble up very nicely, and develop a crust. Quickly open oven door, and spoon sauce over the crust. Sprinkle with Parmesan if desired. Add grated mozzarella cheese over the sauce. Add additional toppings and SHUT THE DOOR FAST! My picture shows a Hawaiian Pizza with Ham & Pineapple.
(2) Assemble the dough and apply sauce & toppings before placing the pizza on the hot stone.
BAKING TIME: This will vary from oven to oven, but my thin crust pizzas only took about 8 to 10 minutes. Make sure that the bottom of the pizza is nice & golden as well. If the top is golden, but you want the bottom to cook longer. Carefully move the stone to a LOWER RACK for a short amount of time. Remove the stone from the oven and place on a HEAT PROOF SURFACE. Use a pizza cutter, and cut pizza into slices.
Note: This is big! My husband gave this pizza rave reviews. He thought it was better than any pizza that we have ever ordered in a great pizzeria! My search for a pizza crust recipe is now over. We loved this.
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
- 1(28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and liquid discarded (I used 1 – 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes instead)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 heaping teaspoon of granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar (optional – I left this out)
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons) Note: I used one clove)
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (I used 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
FOR THE SAUCE: Process all ingredients in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. (Only if using whole peeled tomatoes) Otherwise you can just mix all ingredients together with a whisk. Transfer to medium bowl or container – cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- 1/2 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)