In one of the recent issues of Food and Wine Magazine, there was a great recipe for pizza dough from scratch that involves no kneading. I don’t mind kneading the pizza dough, however I think this recipe yields a much better dough than one that requires a lot more steps. The dough does require a whole day’s head start, but it literally takes 5 minutes to make, then 18-24 hours of proofing at room temperature. I noticed that the recipe requires less yeast than other recipes, the reason being the long proofing time for the dough. There are only 4 ingredients that goes into this dough: Flour, water, salt, and yeast.

The water is added gradually and mixed in with a wooden spoon. The recipe is for 6 10-inch pizzas, and I made half that amount by halving the recipe, which worked pretty well.

After the water is completely mixed in, the dough should be slightly sticky but not too dry or too wet. The bottom of the bowl should not have an excess of flour. A little bit left over is okay.

At this point, I gathered the dough with clean hands into the shape of a rough ball. The dough should feel firm, and if there are some spots that are more dry than the other, it’s okay, since it will even out in the proofing process.

The dough is placed in a bowl and covered with plastic wrap and left out in room temperature for 18-24 hours. With other recipes, when the proofing time is 3-6 hours, you need more yeast so that the dough proof faster, but in this case, you are letting time do it’s job and just a little bit of the yeast can yield big results. Room temperature should be around 75 degrees, and your dough will take a little longer or shorter depending on what your room temp is.

Once the dough is approximately doubled in size, and air bubbles are making its way to the top of the dough, it’s ready for the next step. The plastic wrap may feel a little wet, which is normal, because that is the chemical product of the yeast interacting with flour and water.

The dough is split into 3 pieces on a well floured surface, and each piece is shaped into a rough rectangle. You fold the 4 corners of the rectangle inwards and shape the dough into a ball. You should wrap each piece into plastic wrap and placed into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour until it’s time to use. The dough will continue to proof during this time. You can make the dough at this point up to 3 days in advance, which is what I did.

For the meat pizza, I wanted to try something different by making lamb meat balls, along with Italian San Marzano tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella, and Red Onions.

For the Lamb meat balls, I mixed together ground lamb, some ground ginger, ground cumin, Parmesan cheese, and grated cooked potatoes. The potatoes will act as a binding agent.

The meatballs are shaped into tea spoon rounds. Since these meatballs are going on a pizza, you don’t want to make giant monster sized ones that you can’t fit in your mouth easily.

The lamb meatballs are browned on all sides, and don’t worry if it’s not cooked through, since they will be in the oven on the pizza.

When you are ready to make the pizza, the dough is first stretched out using your finger tips and knuckles. Be careful not to make it too thin in the middle. Then, after oiling the dough with olive oil, I put drained, crushed, San Marzano Tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella cheese, the lamb meatballs, and some red onions on the dough. I also sprinkled a bit of crushed dried red pepper.

The Pizza is baked for 5-7 minutes on a very hot oven, 500F or 550F. It will cook very fast so be careful and watch out for the hot oven.

For the Vegetarian option, I oiled the dough, added both goat cheese and goat cheddar cheese. I shaved some brussel sprouts and placed some thinly sliced red onions on the dough.

The brussel sprouts will be slightly charred on top which will get rid of some of the bitterness in the vegetable.

For the Vegan option, no cheese was put on the pizza, but I just used drained crushed San Marzano tomatoes, sliced garlic, and fresh basil.

Pizza Dough Recipe: http://www.tastingtable.com/entry_detail/99/Jim_Lahey_reveals_his_recipe_for_no-knead_pizza_dough_.htm

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