I’ve been experimenting a lot with pizza lately. Although there is a special place in my heart for grilled pizzas, with the weather turning cooler (at least in theory), and with my pregnancy-fueled love of all things carb-y, I am turning more toward a thicker crust and an oven preparation. I’ve tried several recipes recently — Chicago-style deep dish pizza (recipe to come, once I’ve perfected it), a flatbread recipe that’s to die for (more on that soon) — but this one just may be my favorite.
I was so excited when I saw Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for “lazy pizza dough” — it’s a no-knead dough that you basically mix and forget about until it’s time to stretch, top and bake. She gives options for an overnight, all-day or part-day rise, but I’m going to give you the part-day rise here, since it’s the only one I’ve tried (and it worked beautifully). We also seem to have lost our pizza stone and peel somewhere in the cross-country move (18 months or so ago… which goes to show you how often it got used), so, with some trepidation, I baked this pizza on a well-oiled baking sheet. Guess what? It still tuned out crispy and delicious. So, no special equipment required!
Plus, it’s Nora-approved.
- 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp (slightly heaped) active dry yeast
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- 1¼ cups warm water
- olive oil for greasing pan
- 1 14.5-oz can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
- 8 oz mozzarella (aged, not fresh), grated
- 2 oz parmesan, grated
- several fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- In a large non-reactive bowl, mix the flour, yeast, salt and water. The dough will be craggy, but should come together pretty well. If necessary, you can add another tablespoon or so of water.
- Once all ingredients are incorporated, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for about 6 hours, until more than doubled in size. (See the original recipe for overnight and all-day rise options, if that timing works better for you.)
- When the dough is almost ready, make the sauce and prepare your toppings. Preheat the oven to 500°. Oil a rimmed baking sheet generously with olive oil.
- Combine the crushed tomatoes, garlic cloves, salt and crushed red pepper in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and shape it into a ball.
- Flour the top of the dough ball and, using well-floured hands, grab one side of the dough and let it stretch down, repeating several times.
- Place the stretched dough onto the prepared baking sheet and stretch and spread it with your hands until it is roughly 9 x 13 inches in size (stretching almost to the edges of the pan).
- Top with approximately ½ cup of the sauce, spreading evenly (reserve the rest for another use). Sprinkle the mozzarella over the sauce, and top with the parmesan.
- Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is puffed and the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown, turning once to ensure even cooking.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the basil leaves. Cool slightly, then slide onto a cutting board and cut into pieces. Serve warm with a salad, and enjoy!