Since I’ve started sharing videos with you guys I’ve been asking for ideas and requests about what kind of recipes or tutorials you’d like to see. Someone suggested I create a how to make pizza video with my favorite no-knead pizza dough recipe and I thought that was an excellent idea! This is my favorite way to make pizza and I share everything including tips and tricks for the dough, sauce, toppings, baking, and everything in between. Please note that this is my personal favorite way to make pizza, you can adapt and customize these techniques any way you’d like. Also note that I am not claiming that this is the traditional or “correct” way to make pizza, it’s just how I like to do it! Not to brag, but I find this method produces better pizza than most restaurants. I love it.
What you will need:
Recipe ingredients listed below
-This isn’t 100% necessary, if you have a pizza screen or other pan that creates a crisp crust, use that instead. However I LOVE my baking stone and find it creates the best pizza and this particular stone by Emile Henry is also safe to use on your grill, so you can make pizza in the summer without heating your whole kitchen up.
-You can also use the flat side of a large cookie sheet. This makes sliding the pizza onto the baking stone in the oven much easier.
-Use this to help you slide the uncooked pizza off the peel and onto the baking stone. Don’t worry, it may char but it won’t catch fire.
-The pizza dough can take literally all day to ferment and rise since it is a no-knead dough. The amount of time depends on how warm it is in your house (warmer = faster). However, this dough is also very forgiving so if you haven’t got all day it isn’t the end of the world. The dough will be more flavorful the longer it has fermented. I actually like to make the dough and let it rise day and night in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature, which can take a few hours, before using. See the make-ahead tips within the recipe.
-The dough recipe used in this video and recipe is Jim Lahey’s no-knead pizza dough. You basically just mix the ingredients together until they form a cohesive, shaggy, wet dough.
-Once the dough has fermented, either at room temperature or overnight in the fridge, divide the dough into 3 equally sized balls.
-At this point, the balls can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month. See recipe for make-ahead instructions.
-To make stretching and rolling out the dough easier, let the ball of dough rest at room temperature for about 1 hour before shaping.
-If the dough springs back while you are trying to shape it, cover with a clean towel and let rest for 10 minutes before continuing shaping.
-Beware of thin spots or tears in the dough where sauce and cheese may leak through and cause the pizza to stick to the stone or fall apart.
-For more flavor, add fresh chopped herbs or dried herbs to the dough as you mix the other ingredients, such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, etc.
-To make a whole wheat version, substitute half of the flour with whole wheat flour.
-I stick with the classics in this video but feel free to add any toppings you desire, just don’t overload the pizza with watery toppings that will make for a soggy pie.
-Raw meats like sausage, bacon, or chicken must be cooked before topping.
-In the video I briefly saute the pepperoni, even though it does not need to be cooked, to render some of the fat so the pizza won’t be greasy and to ensure crisp pepperoni.
-Use high quality freshly shredded mozzarella
-I created a garlic butter crust in the video to boost the pizza’s flavor but if you don’t want to do this go ahead and brush the edges of the dough with olive oil before baking instead.
-Place the baking stone on the bottom rack and preheat the oven to the highest temperature you can comfortably heat. For me, this is 500°F in the winter and 450°F in the summer. I also place my baking stone on the grill to make pizza during the summer.
-Make sure the pizza is well browned on the edges and the cheese is bubbling throughout before you remove from the oven, there’s nothing worse than undercooked pizza!
Yield: 3 balls of pizza dough and 1 cup sauce
For the dough:
3 3/4 cups (500 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (be sure not to use really hot water as that will kill the yeast)
For the garlic butter crust:
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 garlic cloves, minced
For the sauce:
1 (14.5-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon allspice
Fresh mozzarella cheese, grated
In a medium bowl combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Gradually add the water, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the water is incorporated and a shaggy dough forms. You may need to use your hands to fully incorporate the water. Just remember, you don't need to knead!
Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a clean large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature in a draft-free place until the dough is doubled in size. This may take up to 10 hours, depending on how warm your kitchen is. Don't worry too much about the time as this dough is very forgiving. You can also let the dough ferment in the fridge overnight. Remove from the fridge 2 hours before using the dough, or until the dough is at room temperature.
Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface. Divide into 3 equal portions. Take one portion of dough and gather 4 corners to the center to create 4 folds. Turn seam side down and roll into an even ball. Repeat with remaining portions. Let the dough rest, covered, until soft and pliable, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
The dough can be made ahead of time. Refrigerate the dough, individually wrapped in plastic, for up to 3 days. Unwrap and let rest at room temperature, covered in plastic wrap, for 2 to 3 hours before shaping. Freeze the dough, individually wrapped in plastic and placed in ziptop bags, for up to 1 month. Defrost the dough overnight in the fridge then allow to sit at room temperature as directed above before shaping.
Place a baking stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat to 450°F or 500°F, as hot as you can comfortably crank it.
The dough is now ready to be shaped. On a well-floured work surface use your hands and fingers to gently stretch one ball of dough out into an evenly thin 10 to 12-inch disk. To get the dough super thin, briefly stretch out with a rolling pin. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined pizza peel or flat cookie sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel until ready to top.
For the sauce:
In a small saucepan combine all the sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce, and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
For the pepperoni:
Place the pepperoni in a medium skillet. Set over medium-high heat and saute the pepperoni until some fat has rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove the pepperoni to a paper towel-lined plate.
Brush the garlic butter onto the edges of the pizza dough. Top pizza dough with a large dollop of sauce and spread evenly. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Top with pepperoni and basil. Slide the dough onto the baking stone, keeping the parchment underneath the dough. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the dough is golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.