Years ago, the Jimy Lahey (the owner of Sullivan Street Bakery) released his amazing no-knead method for making bread. It does require planning and allowing the flour-salt-yeast-water mixture to sit in a warm draft-free environment and ferment for 12 to 24 hours. But it is simply and I have made several amazing batches of bread this way. Mark Bittman adopted Jim Lahey’s method in the Food Matters Cookbook, slightly adapting it to a whole wheat version of pizza dough. In fact, the March issue of Bon Apetit did the cover story on Lahey’s no-knead pizza dough.
It really doesn’t take much time. In the morning, throw 3 cups of whole wheat flour (I used half white whole wheat and half whole wheat pastry flour), some salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of yeast in a bowl then add 1 1/2 cups of water. Stir with a wooden spoon. Put plastic wrap over it. Set aside. Done.
The pizza dough will be ready for you to work your magic once you get home from work. It will have bubbles on top from the fermentation process. Place the dough on a floured surface and work into small individual pizzas.
No need to spend extra “dough” on take out. Make this a fun experience with kids or friends or yourself. As you can see, I had two great helpers tonight in making individual pizzas. The kids chose their own toppings and they even experimented with an interesting guacamole pizza. Hrmmm.
If you don’t use all of the dough, or change your mind on dinner that night, the pizza dough will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a month.
Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Notes: I recommend investing in a good pizza stone! It makes a difference.
Makes: 2 10″ pizzas or 4 individual mini pizzas
- 3 cups whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat white flour and whole wheat pastry flour)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon active yeast
- Optional Toppings (olive oil, spicy tomato sauce, fresh mushrooms, goat cheese, fresh herbs, etc.)
- Place flour, salt, and yeast in a medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups of luke warm water. Stir with a wooden spoon until mixture comes together. Should resemble biscut dough. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm draft-free spot for at least 8 hours, but preferably 12 to 18 hours. The longer it sits, the better the taste. The dough will keep in the refridgerator for up to 3 days at this point.
- When you are ready to cook the dough, preheat oven to 500 to 550 F (or as high as it will go), placing a rack in the upper third portion of the oven and place a pizza stone on the rack. Preheat oven for at least 30 minute (45 minutes to 1 hour is preferable to recreate wood-fired pizza). If you are not using a pizza stone and are using a baking sheet, there is no need to preheat the baking sheet.
- Meanwhile, put the dough on a floured work surface. Shape into a rectangle and divide into several small pizzas, gently molding into appropriate sizes. Dust with flour and set aside on rimless baking sheet or pizza peel that has about 1/4 cup of corn meal on the baking sheet (easy to slide the uncooked pizza dough off). Allow dough to rest while oven preheats
- Top pizza with desired toppings (sauce, cheese, veggies). Remember, the lighter the toppings, the better this will be. Loading a pizza with too many toppings can result in a soggy pizza.
- To transfer the pizza from the rimless baking sheet to the hot pizza stone in the oven, use small and quick back-forth motions. Slide the pizza from the rimless baking sheet (or pizza peel) onto the hot stone. Bake pizza for 8 to 10 minutes, then broil on high for 2 minutes, or until bottom is crisp and top is melted and done.
- Using the rimless baking sheet, remove pizza from hot stone and transfer to a work surface to slice. If you have another pizza to cook, allow the pizza stone to reheat under the broiler or at 550 F for 5 minutes. Repeat steps 5 and 6 with remaining pizzas.