Pizza in a Pinch

Tomato Basil Pizza with Burrata and Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses.

To most pizza aficianoados, pizza is about the crust. Without homemade crust, what’s the point? And even though making a simple dough is easy, it still takes some time. So when the new book Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg, MD and Zoe Francois, landed on my desk, I was intrigued. Theirs is a no-knead, no-fuss dough quickly mixed up and plopped in the fridge, ready to use at a moment’s notice. So I went to work.  As directed, I used an old plastic bucket I found under the sink. I combined water, salt, flour and yeast and mixed quickly with a spoon. I covered the bucket with a plastic plate and set it on the kitchen counter. After two hours, as directed, I placed the bucket in the fridge. Later that day, I pinched off a knot of dough, shaped it and topped with tomato sauce, burrata cheese and fresh basil. In a word, amazing. The toppings were great, yes, but the crust was even better. And possibly the best thing? There’s an entire bucket of dough waiting to be used again and again—in a pinch. Now, on to flatbreads, made in my panini maker. Stay tuned.

The lowdown on the dough:

Mixing up this no-fuss, no-knead dough felt a bit like mixing up grout or cement for a home improvement project. Not the most romantic, but hey…

After two hours the dough had risen to the top of the bucket. At this point, I gingerly placed it in the fridge—although it didn’t seem to be delicate and didn’t fall, as dough sometimes does.

Italian Burrata cheese is a super creamy, super buttery-tasting soft cheese that is great on pizza. It comes immersed in liquid in tubs. I found it at Trader Joe’s.

The pizza was some of the best I’ve ever made.

Tomato Basil Pizza

This is the recipe for the dough. The cookbook authors give great, detailed instructions for rolling out and placing on a peel and then hot stone. I, however, used my perforated pizza pan.

Crust:
3 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Topping:
Tomato sauce
Burrata cheese
Fresh basil
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a plastic bucket or large (5 quart) bowl. Mix loosely with a spoon or whisk. Cover loosely and place on counter for 2 hours. Don’t punch dough down. Place bucket in fridge.  Pull off a piece of dough and roll out on pizza pan. Let stand 30 minutes.

2. Top with tomato sauce, burrata cheese, slivered fresh basil and cheese and bake in lower third of oven preheated to 500F.


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7 thoughts on “Pizza in a Pinch

  1. Oh for pizza sake! You have turned what could be a tiresome dough making process into a very appealing, fun way to whip up a pizza on a whim. Your pizza looks so “artisan” and delicious. Perfectimento!

  2. This looks really good especially since I’m starving at the moment.I think the ease of preparation is what clinches this deal for me!

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