Last week we walked through two days of fantastic no knead bread using Jim Lahey’s recipe from the Sullivan Street Bakery in NY. My husband wanted a loaf to have for sandwiches tonight so I started a double batch so I could take one to my mom…what happens next is the result of the foodie mind when it gets spinning….
Our last pizza night on my birthday turned out less than eventful. I’m battling a torn tendon in my bicep and nothing I touch seems to want to come out right, especially not dough. We have been searching for the perfect dough for about 15 years, I’ve tried them all and found that Peter Reinhart’s from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice is the closest to what I have been searching for…until tonight!
Remember that double batch of two day no-knead bread I just mentioned? It doubled again and turned into 4 incredible pizza’s! Making the starter just as we did with the two day bread I made a double batch in each of two large stainless steel bowls. I let them rest for about 3 hours and then pre-heated the oven to 525 degrees. Working with a VERY well floured surface and well floured hands I divided the two batches of dough into halves. I returned the remaining dough to the bowls. This is very sticky work and probably not a good idea for those who aren’t used to working with wet doughs. I worked in enough flour to get the dough nice and pliable and stretchy and worked it into a 12-14″ circle and gently laid it on a peel that was well dusted with Semolina. Working quickly I topped the dough with a nice homemade marinara, a blend of cheddar and provolone to which I tossed in a bit of oregano, basil, crushed red pepper and tiny bit of salt. My husband wanted some pepperoni so I added a couple pieces to make him happy. I popped it in the oven and GASP didn’t pay any attention to how long it was in there. I removed it when it was blistered, brown and bubbly.
The problem I have with most pizza dough recipes is the outer crust. It’s always too hard, too chewy, too soft, too bready…this one was JUST RIGHT.
please excuse the photos…I’m holding the camera with my left hand…ughhh…even photoshop can’t help these 🙂
SO anyway…back to the crust. Delightfully crispy on the outside, the tender chewiness on the inside and the wonderful airy texture. It was perfect. Absent was the slight sourdough flavor of the two rise, and that’s ok. All in all I think we have found a keeper. It is no harder to work with than a ciabatta dough and was just what I was after. The child and my husband both said “this one is it”. Is the search finally over?
***update*** I received this link in my sarnet report. You don’t get Sarnet? Sarnet is the Schafer Autism Report and Lenny Schafer does all families living with autism a huge service by scouring the worlds news for research and developments that families can use to help them make informed decisions. Anyway, shameless plug for Lenny Schafer aside, this link was in there regarding Asperger’s.
Creatively serving the Greater Binghamton area in the lovely Southern Tier of NY. www.foodwineartdesign.com
Colleen Cheechalk is a private caterer and personal chef, she also hosts the internet’s favorite resource for the home wine maker at www.homemadewine.net. Her blog is viewed by thousands each day who enjoy her simply explained, illustrated and photographed recipes and helpful tips.