Monday, February 25, 2008

No Knead Pizza Crust

In a previous post I had mentioned using frozen bread dough as a pizza crust (and with less than desirable results). For the first few weeks after I broke my ankle, we had made our usual Sunday night pizza with a pizza crust bought in the dairy case which came rolled-up in a tube. It wasn’t bad, but we still longed for my pizza crust. While Jack is helping me in the kitchen, I really don’t want to make breads that require kneading. I am spoiled because several years ago, when recuperating from a frozen shoulder, I realized that my Kitchen Aid mixer could knead dough just as well as I am able to do by hand. This is how I make most of my bread and pizza crust now and, although it is easier, I still didn’t feel as though I could stand at the counter, adding flour, mixing, kneading… Those darn crutches keep falling over.

For this week’s pizza, I did a variation of a no-knead bread as a pizza crust and it turned out wonderfully. On Saturday night, before going to bed, I mixed a batch of no-knead bread dough then also a smaller batch to use as pizza crust. As with the bread, it was allowed to rise leisurely for about 18 hours. Then, because the dough is too wet for the crust to be rolled out, I kneaded in a little more flour. That dough rested for a couple of hours, then was shaped on a greased pizza pan, covered with plastic, and set aside for another half-hour. This produced a very satisfactory pizza crust for our Pizza Du Sunday

The crust was thin in the center, nice and puffy on the perimeter, and had a wonderfully developed flavor. This may be how I make my pizza crust from now on, even after I'm able to stand and use the KA once again.

Recipe for No Knead Pizza Crust

And here is the no-knead bread which was baked while I had the oven going. We just love that thin, crisp crust! Best part, though-- no kneading. I just have to remember to start it the night before.