This is a double recipe of the peasant pizza dough in my cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs.
This recipe yields 4 rounds of dough. Recipe can be halved; dough can be refrigerated. I refrigerate individual rounds of dough in quart containers.
If you are unfamiliar with the peasant bread dough, it is a very wet, no-knead dough. The key when handling it, is to use as much flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the board and your hands.
Mozzarella: Buy fresh mozzarella not stored in brine to prevent the dough from getting too soggy.
If you need to use active dry yeast instead, proof it in the lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar first for about 10 minutes, until foamy, before adding to the other ingredients.
Note: Here’s a trick for making the perfect warm spot for the dough to rise. Set the oven to 400° F and let it preheat for 1 minute, then shut it off. The temperature will be between 80° F and 100° F. you should be able to place your hands (carefully) on the oven grates without burning them.
for the dough
- 4 cups (512 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for assembly
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 cups lukewarm water (made my stirring together 1.5 cups cold water and .5 cups boiling water)
toppings for kale & crème fraîche:
- extra-virgin olive oil
- a couple handfuls of baby kale
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic
- Sea salt, such as Maldon
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
- grated Parmigiano Reggiano, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup
- To make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and instant yeast. Add the water. Using a rubber spatula, mix until the water is absorbed and the ingredients form a sticky dough ball.
- Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in bulk.
- If you are baking the pizzas right away (as opposed to refrigerating the dough for another day), place a Baking Steel or pizza stone in top third of oven and preheat oven to its hottest setting, 550°F. Be sure the Baking Steel heats for at least 45 minutes once the oven temperature reaches 550ºF.
- Cover a work surface or cutting board liberally with flour — use at least 1/4 cup and more as needed. The dough is very wet, so don’t hesitate to use flour as needed. Using two forks, deflate the dough by releasing it from the sides of the bowl and pulling it toward the center. Rotate the bowl quarter turns as you deflate, turning the mass into a rough ball. Turn the dough out onto your floured surface and use a bench scraper to divide the dough into 4 equal portions. With floured hands, roll each portion into a ball, using the pinkie-edges of your hands to pinch the dough underneath each ball. Let the balls sit on their tucked-in edges for at least 30 minutes without touching.
- Proceed with recipe or transfer each round of dough to a plastic quart container, cover, and store in fridge.
- To Make the Pizzas: Pull out a pizza round from the fridge one hour before you plan on baking. Dust dough with flour and place on a floured work surface. Gently shape dough into a 10″–12″ disk handling it as minimally as possible. Lay a sheet of parchment paper of a pizza peel, and pour a few drops of oil into the center of it. Transfer the dough round to the parchment-lined baking peel.
- Top pizza as desired or to make this kale and crème fraîche pizza: Place the kale in a small bowl, drizzle with olive oil, season with sea salt, and toss. Spoon crème fraîche over the dough leaving a 1/2-inch border or so—I use about a tablespoon per pizza. Sprinkle with the garlic and a handful of the grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Top with the kale. Shimmy the pizza, parchment paper and all into the oven.
- Bake pizza until top is blistered, about 5 minutes. Transfer to cutting board. Cut and serve. Discard parchment paper.
- Category: Pizza
- Method: baked
- Cuisine: American, Italian
Keywords: pizza, neapolitan, no-knead dough