My Kind of Weekend Fun – It’s a Pizza Party

Posted by Nads on July 6, 2012

pizzas waiting their turn for the oven – what a lineup!

 I’ve just returned from a long trip and upon my return believe it or not, all I wanted to do was cook.  Yup, I will confess I did shed some serious tears while in Europe – at a couple of markets on more than one occasion I teared up because I couldn’t purchase any of the gorgeous produce and ingredients that I saw and take them to a nearby kitchen and get cooking.  (I did however purchase some salami the size of my forearm which I did manage to get home but that’s another post!!)  Needless to say, as soon as we got back I headed up north to the family cottage to get my hands on whatever was growing in the garden and the wood burning oven.

fresh herbs from the garden for inspiration

I’ve been meaning to try a new pizza dough recipe for awhile.  It’s no knead recipe I came across in bon appetit from wonder baker Jim Lahey of no-knead bread fame.  It was fantastic!

pizza feast on a board for lunch – my kind of party

Super easy to assemble, you just mix up the ingredients and then let the dough sit overnight to rise on its’ own – about 18 hours.  So I spent the day making pizzas in the hot sun – what a feast.  I’ve shared some photos of the superb results, followed by the pizza dough recipe, courtesy of March’s bon appetit.  YUM.

roast pepper and chicken pizza

spicy swiss chard, dandelion and sausage pizza

margherita pizza

roasted red pepper, sage and mozzarella pizza

sausage, confit garlic, swiss chard pizza

wow! bring on lunch

Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Pizza Dough, courtesy of bon appetit

7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (1000 grams) plus more for shaping dough
4 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

Whisk flour, salt, and yeast in a medium bowl. While stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually add 3 cups water; stir until well incorporated. Mix dough gently with your hands to bring it together and form into a rough ball. Transfer to a large clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature (about 72°) in a draft-free area until surface is covered with tiny bubbles and dough has more than doubled in size, about 18 hours (time will vary depending on the temperature in the room).
Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Gently shape into a rough rectangle. Divide into 6 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, gather 4 corners to center to create 4 folds. Turn seam side down and mold gently into a ball. Dust dough with flour; set aside on work surface or a floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining portions.
Let dough rest, covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, until soft and pliable, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Wrap each dough ball separately in plastic wrap and chill. Unwrap and let rest at room temperature on a lightly floured work surface, covered with plastic wrap, for 2–3 hours before shaping.

To Make the Pizzas

During the last hour of dough’s resting, prepare oven: If using a pizza stone, arrange a rack in upper third of oven and place stone on rack; preheat oven to its hottest setting, 500°–550°, for 1 hour. If using a baking sheet, arrange a rack in middle of oven and preheat to its hottest setting, 500°–550°. (You do not need to preheat the baking sheet.)
Working with 1 dough ball at a time, dust dough generously with flour and place on a floured work surface. Gently shape dough into a 10″–12″ disk.

If Using Pizza Stone

When ready to bake, increase oven heat to broil. Sprinkle a pizza peel or rimless (or inverted rimmed) baking sheet lightly with flour. Place dough disk on prepared peel and top with desired toppings.
Using small, quick back-and-forth movements, slide pizza from peel onto hot pizza stone. Broil pizza, rotating halfway, until bottom of crust is crisp and top is blistered, 5–7 minutes.
Using peel, transfer to a work surface to slice. Repeat, allowing pizza stone to reheat under broiler for 5 minutes between pizzas.

If Using a Baking Sheet

Arrange dough disk on baking sheet; top with desired toppings. Bake pizza until bottom of crust is crisp and top is blistered, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a work surface to slice. Repeat with remaining pizzas.

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