Recipe Redux: Pizza

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We are now professional pizza makers around here! I stopped making it for a while because it was such a hassle, but now, with the Jim Lahey no knead technique, we are all in. The recipe is all over the internet so I feel comfortable posting it here.

This can’t be easier and of course you can top it however you like. This recipe makes either 2 big pizzas or 4 little ones. We like the little ones because that way we can each design our own toppings. The key to this pizza is baking it for 10 minutes before putting anything on top. Otherwise the toppings dry out too fast.

Also,  the dough freezes really well. In fact, I usually make it ahead of time and store it for when we decide it is a pizza kind of day. I brush a piece of plastic wrap with a little olive oil and drop the dough onto it. Then I wrap it up tightly and put it into a freezer bag. When I want to use the dough, I defrost it in the refrigerator overnight and bring it to room temperature before making the pie.

For one big pie, use a baker’s half sheet. Or make two on one sheet. Or use a quarter sheet for each little pie.

500g bread flour (3 3/4 cups)
10 g instant or active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
5 g salt (3/4 teaspoon)
3 g coconut (or other vegan) sugar (3/4 teaspoon + a pinch)
300g room temperature water (1 1/3 cups)
Olive oil, for baking

Measure out the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Mix together with a fork. Add the water and mix well with a wooden spoon. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until the dough has doubled in size, at least 2 hours.

Flour a clean work surface and form the dough into a ball. Cut the dough in half with a bench scraper. If you are not using now, wrap in the oiled plastic and freeze. Otherwise, continue.

Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let sit for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 500 with the rack in the middle. Brush the baking sheet(s) liberally with olive oil.

With floured hands, stretch the dough the length of the baking sheet and gently pull and stretch it apart and try to get it to the edges of the baking sheet. It doesn’t have to go all the way. But the objective is to make an even layer. If the dough tears, pinch the holes together.

Bake for 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and top your pizza as you wish. I could give you a million ideas…but it’s pizza. It’s personal. We like pesto, sauce, and Kite Hill ricotta. We also love pizza bianca which is just olive oil and salt. Whatever you top your pizza with, put it back in to the oven for 5 or 10 minutes depending on how well done you like your pizza. Enjoy!

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