Friday, December 27, 2013

No Knead Pizza Crusts

 Lately, I've been playing around with two formulas for no knead pizza crusts as opposed to the "sponge crust" that I worked with in one form or another for the six months or so. The first one that I tried was an adapted for yield size from a recipe I found in the March 2013 King Arthur catalog. The second formula is an adaptation of a recipe from Rose Levy Berenbaum's "The Bread Bible". Most of what I did was to merely double the quantity of ingredients since her desired crust size was about ten inches. By doubling the ingredients. I can cover a 10x13 jelly roll pan. I'm sure Ms Berenbaum would recognize her recipe in a heartbeat if she were to stumble across my obscure corner of the internet.

"The Bread Bible" is turning out to be an interesting book. My first time around, I had to read it within the time constraints of a library loan. Now that I've actually bought a copy, I've had time to read and digest concepts more thoroughly. The book appears to be written as something approachable for raggedy home bakers such as myself as opposed to "Bread" by Jeff Hamelman which is aimed as either a textbook or more towards professional bakers. I haven't lost out on a thing by having bought and read both books.

The King Arthur formula is written as a much faster process to dough time. It can also be used a focaccia style flat bread without losing anything in the translation, just dress it in the appropriate toppings and go to town.

293 g KAF All Purpose Flour
187 g lukewarm water
4 tsp olive oil (about 20 ml)
5 g non iodized salt
3 g instant yeast

Optional
1/2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning

1. Mix ingredients together to make a slightly sticky soft dough. Cover and let rise 30-45 minutes depending on room temperature.
2. Place dough in a well oiled half sheet pan and let rest 10-15 minutes.
3. Pat and stretch the dough to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover and let rest for 30-40 minutes.
4. Preheat your oven to 425F.
5.Dressing for focaccia. The dough will already be oily so top the dough with coarse sea salt and if desired, grated parmesan or romano cheese. If you want to use herbs, wait for about 12-14 minutes into the bake before adding to avoid burning the herbs. You can dimple the dough if you wish before dressing the dough.
6.Bake at 425F, adding herbs if you choose at the prescribed time, for at least 22 minutes and a golden brown  crust. Remove from pan with a sturdy, wide spatula to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes
7. Dressing for pizza. Sprinkle a thin coat of grated cheese over the top of the raw dough. Par bake for 5-8 minutes. Proceed to dress with a thin coat of sauce, a thin sprinkling of either grated cheese, some pepperoni, and a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese.
8. Bake for 15 minutes and turn the pan around to bake for another 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Ms Berenbaum's crust is the formula for the Hawaiian style pizza pictured at the top of the post. Her procedures are different but also produce a pretty good crust. I've substituted either rye or whole wheat flour for up 15% of the total flour in my crusts. She recommends as long a fermenting period as possible, up to eight hours, but it can be used after only one hour. The olive oil isn't added directly into the mixing bowl in this recipe. Instead, it 's placed in the fermentation container to oil the container and dough.Leftover oil is to be poured onto the sheet pan or pizza pan to coat the surface. I used my jelly roll pan when making a pie with this formula.

226 g KAF AP flour
158 g lukewarm water
7 g non iodized salt
4 g active dry yeast or 3 g instant dry yeast
4 g sugar (I used some brown sugar because it's on hand)
20-30 g olive oil for fermenting container

1. Hydrate active dry yeast if using. Mix ingredients in a bowl into a shaggy mass.
2. Pour the oil into the fermenting container and spread around. Oil a spatula to help lift the dough into the fermenting container, coat the dough and cover the container.
3. Leave your container at room temperature for 30-60 minutes, depending on your room temperature, until the dough looks puffy. Refrigerate for 6-24 hours and then take out of refrigerator at least one hour before shaping.
4.Gently place the dough on your pizza pan or jelly roll pan and use any leftover olive oil to grease the pan. Wait ten minutes with dough covered.
5. Stretch the dough out to cover the bottom of the pan, waiting five minutes or so if the dough resists, then stretching again.
6 Cover your pan and let the dough rise for 45-60 minutes. After thirty minutes, preheat your oven to 450F.
7. Sprinkle the top of the dough with grated parmesan or romano and par bake for five minutes. Dress the dough with your sauce, scatter some mozzarella over the top, thinly add some of your favorite toppings. Too much isn't a good thing here.
8. Bake for 10 minutes and turn pan around. Pizza is done when the cheese is melted and golden brown, about ten to twelve minutes more. Cool on rack for AT LEAST 5 minutes, 10 is better, before slicing.

If you try these formulas, I hope you'll leave a comment or your suggestions for a better pizza.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.


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