I know. It seems like a recipe that basically requires no sacrifice, no technique, and no special ingredients is just a recipe for the uninitiated, right? I mean, this thing doesn’t even require you to get your hands dirty or own a cool, fancy electric mixer. How could it be good? HOW? Let me tell you my friends, this dough recipe is one of the best out there. It defies all logic. Heck! It defies all food science. This is a great example of how very, VERY simple ingredients paired with the idea that time is your number one secret ingredient can make one of the best pizzas doughs of your life. I know, you’ve written off this no-knead nonsense before. Let me impress upon you – try it once, you may just never go back. Here are the details:
This dough is chewy, bubbly, and better than what you’ll get at most pizza places. It bakes wonderfully in a home oven, on a pizza stone or a baking sheet. And thanks to the brilliant no-knead method of Jim Lahey—owner of New York’s Sullivan Street Bakery and pizza spot Co.—it’s easy to prepare, deriving its character from overnight fermentation, not laborious kneading. Just remember to start at least 1 day ahead – but three days ahead would be even better!
Whisk flour, salt, and yeast in a medium bowl. While stirring with a spoon, gradually add 3 cups water; stir until well incorporated. Mix dough gently with your hands to bring it together and form into a rough ball. Transfer to a large clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature (about 72°) in a draft-free area until surface is covered with tiny bubbles and dough has more than doubled in size, about 18 hours (time will vary depending on the temperature in the room).
Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Gently shape into a rough rectangle. Divide into 6 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, gather 4 corners to center to create 4 folds. Turn seam side down and mold gently into a ball. Dust dough with flour; set aside on work surface or a floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining portions.
Let dough rest, covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, until soft and pliable, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD:Can be made 3 days ahead. Wrap each dough ball separately in plastic wrap and chill. Unwrap and let rest at room temperature on a lightly floured work surface, covered with plastic wrap, for 2–3 hours before shaping.
To Make the Pizzas
During the last hour of dough’s resting, prepare oven: If using a pizza stone, arrange a rack in upper third of oven and place stone on rack; preheat oven to its hottest setting, 500°–550°, for 1 hour. If using a baking sheet, arrange a rack in middle of oven and preheat to its hottest setting, 500°–550°. (You do not need to preheat the baking sheet.)
Working with 1 dough ball at a time, dust dough generously with flour and place on a floured work surface. Gently shape dough into a 10″–12″ disk.
If Using Pizza Stone
When ready to bake, increase oven heat to broil. Sprinkle a pizza peel or rimless (or inverted rimmed) baking sheet lightly with flour. Place dough disk on prepared peel and top with desired toppings.
Using small, quick back-and-forth movements, slide pizza from peel onto hot pizza stone. Broil pizza, rotating halfway, until bottom of crust is crisp and top is blistered, 5–7 minutes.
Using peel, transfer to a work surface to slice. Repeat, allowing pizza stone to reheat under broiler for 5 minutes between pizzas.
If Using a Baking Sheet
Arrange dough disk on baking sheet; top with desired toppings. Bake pizza until bottom of crust is crisp and top is blistered, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a work surface to slice. Repeat with remaining pizzas.
See people? I get on here and blab blab blab about how great Central Milling flours are, even post pics and recipes using the new Germania Pizza Flour blend, and ta-da! Peter Reinhart picks up a sack for himself and loves it! I’ll let you know just as soon as Peter calls to thank me for the incredible tip off. Until then, maybe take a peek at his blog and his experiences/recipes with Central Milling flours.
Here’s what Peter is doing with his bag of Central Milling Germania pizza flour:
The Pizza Quest Challenge Dough (makes five 8 ounce/227 g dough balls)
For best results, this dough should be made at least one day in advance–it will also hold in the refrigerator for up to 3 days with good results. Any longer than 3 days and the dough will weaken (start to break down), though it can last for months if shaped into dough balls and frozen in small freezer zip bags.
22 ounces (624 grams) Germania flour or a blend of 20 oz./567 g of your favorite bread or Double Zero flour and 2 oz./56 g of pumpernickel or coarse rye flour or rye meal). If you don’t have a scale, this will be approx. 4 3/4 cups of flour.
0.5 oz/56 g. salt (a scant 2 teaspoons or 2 1/2 teaspoons if using coarse kosher or coarse sea salt)
1 oz./28 g crystal beer malt (light or dark–I use amber) or 1 1/2 tablespoons barley malt syrup
0.11 oz/3 g instant yeast (1 teaspoon) OR, 1 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast dissolved in 4 ounces of the water for about 3 to 5 minutes
16 oz/452 g water, room temp. (if using Caputo or another Italian Double Zero, reduce the water to 14 oz/399 g)
It’s been a while since my last post, and in the period of radio silence a lot has happened! We bought a small house with a gas oven, I found a new and exciting job, and perhaps most exciting of all, we traveled to San Francisco and had some world-class pizza. Also while in San Francisco, we had a chance to visit with your good friend and mine, Nick from Central Milling. Not only did I buy 100lb of their new ’00’ Normal Pizza Flour, but I also have in my possession 20lb of their newest experimental pizza flour “Pizza Germania.” Between new ovens, reports and reviews from Pizzeria Delfina and Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, and results photos from my experiments with the new Pizza Germania flour, you can expect this blog to roar back to life in the coming weeks.
Hello. Have I extolled the virtues of contacting and subsequently ordering fabulous flour from Nick over at Central Milling lately? Well let me tell you, I just received four bags of his latest and greatest “00″ flour – two bags reinforced, two bags normal – and can’t wait to get started putting it through the pizza paces. I’ll let you know as soon as I’ve completed a few test pies, until then, how about to email him and order some of your own?
So it’s been a long while since I purchased flour, mainly because my last purchase was firect from Central Milling and in the form of two 50lb bags of flour! The other day, I finally cracked into my second 50lb bag and started thinking, what would my next order be? Since Central Milling has always been so good to me, I knew I would definitely stick with them, but as you read on further, you’ll see why I had a bit of trouble deciding. They offer SO many flours in SO many different grades and varieties, the choices are endless! I thought I would share the list with you – enjoy browsing and let me know if you have any questions. If you’d like to contact them with an Order, hit Nick up at firstname.lastname@example.org, he’ll get it right out to you.
So about two weeks ago, I took delivery of 100 lbs of Central Milling flour, and wow, 100 lbs is a LOT of flour! It came in two 50 lb bags: One bag of Beehive Organic Unbleached Malted AP and one bag of their Artisan Bakers Craft Organic Wheat Flour. Both flours have produced nothing but amazing results so far, with only one negative side effect: Where does one store a hundred damn pounds of anything in one’s little apartment kitchen?? In the end, I got a great 12 qt glass storage container to store a usable amount on the counter, and I shoved the rest in next to the fridge to use as a refill as my container gets low. I’m happy to have my new favorite flour so proudly on display, and my wife is happy to have those huge sandbag-esque bags of flour out of the middle of the kitchen! It’s a win-win!
So I know, if you read this blog with any regularity, that you know I am all gaga about Central Milling flour. They seem to have a great selection of specialty flours and they are semi local to me so I can pick and choose new flours each time I get a hold of them. I also wanted to let you know that I’ve been making pizzas recently with just the Beehive Organic AP flour
(see Basil Pizza Photo) and I am just so surprised at how well the flour/dough sets its gluten structure up. Because it’s not a bread flour per-se, the dough isn’t rubbery or hard to stretch. But to my surprise, this simple AP flour also holds up really well to the bubbles and stretching produced by the CO2 from the yeast. It seems to be a perfect blend of a decently high gluten network with the soft, easy to toss feeling you may be looking for in your dough. Just thought you’d like to know WHY I like this flour so much
Anyhow, enjoy the photos, enjoy laughing at me and my inappropriately large bags of flour, and most importantly, go out and enjoy making some of the best pizza of your life for yourself tonight, would ya? If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment – I’ll get right back to you with some hopefully helpful tips