While most view the approach of Memorial Day weekend as a time to prime the grill, we see it as a signal to uncover our outdoor clay oven (here and here). It’s just a bitty thing, not unlike a wood-fired version of an Easy Bake Oven. However, this being New England, the weather’s been less than cooperative to get it going. Still, ever in search of the perfect pizza crust, I wanted to give Jim Lahey’s no-knead version of pizza dough a try. The recipe in its entirety can be found at Food52, complete with slideshow. If you’ve ever made his no-knead bread, you’ll find this is even easier and, with little forethought, you’ll never have to rely on store-bought dough again.
The recipe makes enough for 4 pizzas — the first we topped with goat cheese, roasted cherry tomatoes and basil; the second with mozzarella, green onions and bacon; the third with mozzarella and kale; and the fourth as dealer’s choice, a mix of what remained. The pizza with kale was inspired by last week’s pasta version, and the lemony notes of the salad mix made it our new favorite, elevating it far beyond its abstemious-sounding name.
With a small batch of the kale salad dressed and at the ready, we topped a round of dough with a layer of shredded mozzarella and a thin scattering of some of the kale mixture, reserving the rest. Once the pizza was done baking, we finished it with another layer of kale salad. The heat of the pizza will wilt it slightly, but not enough that the kale loses its freshness, a welcome contrast to the blistery crust. The only improvement would be to bake it in the wood-fired oven, for which we await the weather to clear.
Recipe for Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Pizza Dough >
Recipe for Kale with Ricotta Salata >
Local ingredients: Mozzarella from Maplebrook; goat cheese homemade from Jesta Farm goat’s milk; tomatoes from Stout Oak Farm; bacon from New Roots Farm; kale, basil and green onions from the garden.
I love this recipe! The dough balls freeze very well, just double wrap. I take a frozen dough ball out of the freezer in the morning, leave it on the counter and it is thawed and proofed in time for dinner. One for today and three for weeks to come! -Julie Lapham
Hi Julie, thanks for the tip on freezing! I found the Bon Appetite recipe [http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2012/03/no-knead-pizza-dough] that you mentioned, and it seems double this one, which is from the cookbook. The yield for this one is 4 pizzas, at 10 to 12 inches.
Very creative use of kale, Glad to know the dough ball freezes well.
I too am looking for the perfect pizza dough recipe so very much appreciate the link. Did you allow it for as long as 18 hours – that seems like a very long time….but then perhaps that’s where me previous attempts have suffered…
Hi, Liz — I usually let no-knead doughs to sit overnight at least 15 hours and up to 20, depending on how the next day goes, and how warm the weather is. For this pizza dough, I let it sit overnight, then refrigerated the dough to hold until I was going to use it that evening. I took it out, and divided and shaped it about an hour ahead of time to let it come back to room temperature. Next time I’ll let it sit in the fridge for at least another day to let the flavor of the dough develop.