Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I'm home alone tonight... which means I get to eat anything I want. I've got some leftover marinara sauce, baby spinach and pesto, and a fresh hunk of parmesan reggiano. So I'm making pizza. I've tried a lot of pizza dough recipes over the years, and none of them were worth making again. Last summer while browsing in The Strand Bookstore (bullied into the cooking section by my cookbook obsessed brother) I discovered Suzanne Dunaway's No Need to Knead. I bought it primarily because the title was a pun (it also seemed to offer good recipes). I read it through quickly, appreciative of the idea that good bread should be tasty and practical, not day long once-a-year projects for super women. And the author is as interesting as her title suggested she would be. Here's her excellent pizza dough recipe I always use now:

Pizza Dough
1 tsp active dry yeast (I usually use "quick rise")
1 1/2 C lukewarm water
4 C all purpose flour
6 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for baking
1 tsp salt

1. In a container that pours easily sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir to dissolve.
2. Sift the flour and salt together in a bowl. Add the 6 Tbsp of olive oil and yeast mixture.
3. Sir to make a soft dough- just until it pulls away form the sides of the bowl.
4. Dip your fingers in olive oil and coat the dough.
5. Return to a bowl and cover with saran wrap.
6. Let sit for 30-60 minutes or until doubled in volume.
7. Divide in half. If you're only making one pizza, the dough freezes well, or refrigerate for up to one week.
8. Coat a baking sheet with a little olive oil.
9. Place the dough in the middle of the baking sheet and press/stretch it into a circle to form a thin (about 1 cm) crust.
10. Decorate with selected toppings.
11. Bake at 500F for 7-10 minutes or until the appropriate crispiness.

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