I don’t know how she does it and I suspect she doesn’t know how she does it either but there you have it: homemade Pizza Margherita out of No-Knead Dough in 20 minutes.
Mel is a sort of a self-taught kinda cook who absorbs it all like a sponge from YouTube, then pops her devil-may-care fearlessness into the oven just to try the untried.
So she wanted to make a no-knead, no-meat pizza. The result is what you see in the picture above. It was really very good. Serious.
So, how did she make it?
“First,” she answered, “You gotta make the dough”.
Here’s how to make the easiest dough.
If you’d like to read, here are the ingredients and method from Gemma’s BiggerBolderBaking for the Best Ever Pizza Dough (No Knead). Here goes.
No-Knead Pizza Dough
- 1½ cup (12floz/ 300g) water ( at blood temperature)
- ¼ teaspoon dried yeast
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups /18oz/ 500g unbleached all-purpose flour
- In a large bowl or a plastic container with a lid, add in the flour, salt and yeast. Do not add the yeast and salt directly on each other as this can deactivate the yeast.
- Mix all of your dry ingredients together well
- Pour in the blood temperature water all at once and stir with a wooden spoon or your hand which is what I prefer so you can tell by the feel of the dough if you need more water early on.
- Mix it until all of the flour is incorporated into the dough and is hydrated. You don’t want any lumps of flour left dry. You can see it will be a wet, saggy dough.
- With a spatula scrape the dough off the sides of the container to join the dough. Put the lid on the container tightly or cover your bowl with cling wrap ensuring that no air gets into your dough as it rests. Air can cause the dough to form a skin which is not good for a dough.
- Allow the dough to sit at room temperature and ferment for about 12-18 hours. Keep out of direct sunlight.
- After the 18 hours if you are not planning on baking off the dough you can refrigerate the dough. The dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days at this stage and baked off any time. While in the fridge the flavor will deepen over that time, developing sourdough characteristics.
- The next day the dough will have more than doubled in size with lots of the bubbles on top. Also it will smell boozy and fermented. This is exactly what you want.
- Dust your hands and the surface of the dough with a little flour, just enough to prevent it from sticking to your hands. Gently turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Don’t knock out the air from the dough.
- Cut the dough into 4 pieces and using extra flour to handle if needed
- Lightly knead each portion of dough just to form a ball. Allow to rest on a floured board covered for 30 minutes. Your pizza dough is ready to use!
- On a flat baking tray or pizza peel, dust it with flour or semolina. With floured hands gently stretch your pizza dough to 10 inches. You can also use a rolling pin to stratch it out. If you find the dough is springing back and it hard to stretch then let it rest for 10 minutes on the board.
- Once you have gotten your desired thickness spread on your sauce and add your topping.
- Important note: Less is more. You don’t want to add too many heavy topping on your pizza otherwise you won’t be able to slide it off the baking tray onto the cast iron tray.
- Bake at 450oF (225oC) for roughly 10 minutes or until the base is crisp and golden brown.
If you’d like to follow a video instead, here is the step-by-step demonstration in Gemma’s video.
Best-Ever Pizza Dough (No Knead) BONUS 100th Episode – Gemma’s Bigger Bolder Baking
Now, while waiting for your dough to rise, here’s a short story about Pizza Margherita written by Sam Sifton with picture by Melina Hammer of the New York Times.
“Here is the archetype of a thin-crust pizza pie, a pizza margherita adorned simply in the colors of the Italian flag: green from basil, white from mozzarella, red from tomato sauce. This pizza is adapted from the recipe used by the staff at Roberta’s restaurant in Brooklyn, who make their tomato sauce simply by whizzing together canned tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. The ingredients offer in their proportions what appears to be a kind of austerity — not even 3 ounces of cheese! But the result is home-cooked pizza to beat the band, exactly the sort of recipe to start a career in home pizza-making, and to return to again and again.”
“As for the pizza sauce,” said Mel, “It’s all pretty no fuss. Just blend 1 (15 oz) can of canned tomatoes or tomato sauce with some fresh basil, oregano and some fresh garlic cloves. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then pour sauce in a sauce pan and boil on high-medium heat until it is reduced to half. The sauce should be thick not watery.”
Fresh herbs can usually be bought at AEON Jusco or Jaya Grocers, Cold Storage and other similar stores.
After your sauce is done and you have your pizza dough ready, do this:
Making Your Pizza
- 112-inch round of pizza dough, stretched
- 3 tablespoons of your prepared sauce
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 ¾ounces fresh mozzarella
- 4 to 5 basil leaves, roughly torn
- Place a pizza stone or tiles on the middle rack of your oven and turn heat to its highest setting. Let it heat for at least an hour.
- Put the sauce in the center of the stretched dough and use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly across the surface, stopping approximately 1/2 inch from the edges.
- Drizzle a little olive oil over the pie. Break the cheese into large pieces and place these gently on the sauce. Scatter basil leaves over the top.
- 4. Place pizza in oven. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling, approximately 4 to 8 minutes.
And here’s something to accompany your pizza munching … Pizza Jokes!
How can a broken pizza be fixed?
With tomato paste!
What would you get if you stacked up thousands of pizzas?
The leaning tower of pizzas!
Want to hear a pizza joke?
No its too cheesy!
Wanna have variations on a theme of pizza? Click Going Blue on a Theme of Margherita (Part 2)
And we leave you with some food for thought: