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