Tag Archives: pizza dough

Pizza: Day Two—White Pizza

Here’s the dough this morning, all bubbly and risen. It’ll still be a few hours before I put it in the pan to rise again.

White Parmesan sauce with roasted garlic, arugula, sage sausage, and red peppers. A little mozzarella, too. That’s how I’m dressing the no-knead pizza dough that I made yesterday. I’m only making one pizza today, and putting the second ball of dough in the fridge to be used again in a few days.

I’m using a heavy springform pan, which will make a thick and crispy crust, not unlike the cast iron pan used in the original recipe. I’m  still following the directions from Serious Eats for finishing the dough, but with my own topping ideas.

White Pizza and Foolproof Pan Pizza Dough

  • Servings: 2 10-inch pizzas
  • Difficulty: easy, but requires time management
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Plan for the dough to rise in pans for two hours.

Preheat oven to 500°-550° an hour before putting pizza toppings on dough. My oven doesn’t go to 550° but the lower temp worked fine.

Finishing the dough per the original recipe with my comments in brackets:

  1. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with flour, then transfer it to a well-floured work surface. Divide dough into two pieces and form each into a ball by holding it with well-floured hands and tucking the dough underneath itself, rotating it until it forms a tight ball. [I put one of the balls in the refrigerator to make another day.]
  2. Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in the bottom of two 10-inch cast iron skillet or round cake pans [or springform pans with foil wrapped around bottom to avoid dripping oil into oven]. Place 1 ball of dough in each pan and turn to coat evenly with oil. Using a flat palm, press the dough around the pan, flattening it slightly and spreading oil around the entire bottom and edges of the pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough sit at room temperature for two hours. After the first hour, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 550°F.
  3. After two hours, dough should be mostly filling in the pan up to the edges. [Mine did not fill the pan, but was bubbly and soft enough to spread very, very easily.] Use your fingertips to press it around until it fills in every corner, popping any large bubbles that appear. Lift up one edge of the dough to let any air bubbles underneath escape and repeat, moving around the dough until there are no air bubbles left underneath and the dough is evenly spread around the pan.
  4. [See my own toppings and finishing below.] Top each round of dough with 3/4 cup sauce, spreading the sauce with the back of a spoon into every corner. Spread evenly with mozzarella cheese, letting the cheese go all the way to the edges. Season with salt. Add other toppings as desired. Drizzle with olive oil and scatter a few basil leaves over the top (if desired)
  5. Transfer pan to oven and bake until top is golden brown and bubbly and bottom is golden brown and crisp when you lift it with a thin spatula, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pizzas and transfer to to a cutting board. Cut each one into six slices and serve immediately.

White Pizza

  • 2 cups Parmesan White Sauce with Roasted Garlic (below)
  • 1 lb bulk sausage, browned (I used a sage country sausage)
  • 2 roasted bell peppers, cut in chunks
  • 1 lb mozzarella, grated (do not use fresh mozzarella)
  • 1/2-1 cup baby arugula or regular arugula, chopped
  1. Top each pizza with 1/2-3/4 cup shredded mozzarella.
  2. Spread about 1 cup of white sauce (below) over dough and cheese.
  3. Top with browned sausage, roasted bell peppers, baby arugula, and a little more mozzarella.
  4. Follow the baking instructions in step 5 above, making sure to preheat the oven early.
Parmesan White Sauce with Roasted Garlic

Makes 2 cups sauce.

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Garlic from 1 head of roasted garlic, mashed
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4-1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated

In small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and work in mashed garlic until combined. Stir in flour, cooking until there are no lumps. Slowly pour in milk, stirring to combine. Continue stirring until mixture comes to boil. Stir in cheese to combine. Set aside to cool, covered. Use as above.

Wow! The dough here is excellent for a pan pizza. It was incredibly light, yet crispy on the edges and bottom. You didn’t feel like you were eating a loaf of bread with this crust. We usually prefer a thin crust, but were enthusiastic about this one. Give it a try some day when you can plan ahead. You can make the dough one afternoon and put it together the next. I went to the extra trouble of roasting the garlic and peppers, but you can find ways around that.

FYI It took a little muscle to open the springform pan

Pizza: Day One

I’m making the no-knead pizza dough, but I’m not sure why, since kneading is one of the rewarding parts of making any bread dough. I can see, however, that one benefit is that you do 1/3 of the work on one day, giving you a break from some of the kitchen chaos that goes with any cooking project. So, here the dough sits until 24 hours from now when it will go into two pans, rise, and be dressed for dinner:


Foolproof Pan Pizza Dough

  • Servings: 2 10-inch pizzas
  • Difficulty: easy
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This is the “Foolproof Pan Pizza” dough recipe you can find here: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/01/foolproof-pan-pizza-recipe.html

I followed the weight/volume measurements just to see if that works out. It sure seems like a kind of dry dough, but we’ll see what happens. The ingredients and steps below are verbatim from the original site. Go there to see images and the rest of the author’s steps.

400 grams (14 ounces, about 2 1/2 cups) bread flour

10 grams (.35 ounces, about 2 teaspoons) kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling

4 grams (.15 ounces, about 1 teaspoon) instant yeast

275 grams (9.5 ounces, about 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) water

8 grams (.25 ounces, about 2 teaspoons) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to coat pans and drizzle

  1. Combine flour, salt, yeast, water, and oil in a large bowl. Mix with hands or a wooden spoon until no dry flour remains. The bowl should be at least 4 to 6 times to volume of the dough to account for rising.
  2. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, making sure that edges are well-sealed, then let rest on the countertop for at least 8 hours and up to 24. Dough should rise dramatically and fill bowl.

Tomorrow, I’m making the pizza, but not like the ones at Serious Eats. I’m making white pizza with roasted garlic, arugula, sausage and peppers.

Pesto Bacon Tomato Pizza

Maybe you’re wondering why a person would plant so many tomatoes if only one person in the household will eat them and then exhibit anguish at having so many in the harvest. We asked those questions and plan to plant a more focused batch next year. Of course part of the problem is that the grower is the one who doesn’t like tomatoes; he just likes to watch plants grow. We’re working on this weird setup.

I used to make my own pizza all the time when my children were young, which led to a long period of bread making, but more about that in a later post. It has been a long time since I made my own yeast dough and I’m hoping it works out well today. This pizza is only going to use up two tomatoes, but still it seemed like another good use of them. One can eat only so much salsa.

Another oddity about us is that we are not very interested in any food with Italian tomato sauce. I guess we grew out of it, because we did used to eat things like lasagna or pasta and meatballs. Although we do eat the occasional pizza with red sauce, today’s will be green and red, with fresh tomatoes and red bell peppers for the red part and basil for the green, and I think my reluctant tomato grower will be okay with it, since the tomatoes will be cooked, as well as surrounded by cheeses and bacon.

Long ago, I only mixed dough by hand, and then at some point, I bought the Kitchen Aid stand mixer, which saves these old hands and arms a lot of work. Here are forty seconds of the dough being kneaded:

Pesto Bacon Tomato Pizza

  • Servings: 1 12-inch pizza
  • Difficulty: moderate
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If you read all the way to the end, you will see suggestions for making the same pizza with ready-made ingredients from the grocery store.

Basil-Red Pepper Pesto

1/2 cup basil leaves

2 roasted, peeled, and seeded red bell peppers (I used prepared peppers in a jar)

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Salt & pepper to taste (I did not add extra salt because of the salty Parmesan)

Optional: 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts ( I decided against using nuts)

  1. I blanched the basil leaves for 10 seconds in boiling water and then plunged them in ice water and dried them on paper towels. The blanching helps maintain a bright green color; however, they look a little wilted, and I didn’t get a good photo of them when they were still leafy.
  2. Add basil, peppers, garlic, and seasonings to the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped and blended. Add olive oil in a steady stream as the mixture continues to process until you have a fine consistency. Don’t over-process. This is less oil than in most pesto recipes, but you don’t want to have too much oil on the pizza. There will be fat from the bacon and cheese.
  3. Add the grated cheese and pulse to blend.
  4. The pesto can be made ahead.


1 12 oz. package of thick-sliced bacon

I cooked the bacon in the microwave between four paper towels, in order to minimize the fat that would be added to the pizza. Place four slices at a time between four paper towels (two on the top, two on the bottom). Microwave for 2-3 minutes until light brown. The method cooks pretty evenly and the paper absorbs most of the fat. When cool, chop in half-inch pieces. This can be done ahead.

Pizza Dough

1 package active dry yeast

3/4 cup lukewarm water

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups bread flour

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water for about 10-30 minutes or until foamy. You can add the sugar and salt to this mixture at the same time—I did.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast mixture, olive oil, and flour.
  3. With the dough hook, combine on low. When all the flour is combined, turn to medium and knead for at least ten minutes. The resulting dough will have a nice elasticity that is hard to achieve by hand, but you can certainly make this or any dough by hand.
  4. Round the dough up into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, in a warm place, covered with a pastry cloth or towel. I set mine on the top of the stove and turned the oven on to 200° because my oven vents onto the stove top, keeping the bowl (and the rest of the house) warm.
  5. I let the dough rise to double, twice. The first rise takes longer than the second one, maybe 45 minutes to an hour. The second rise takes only about a half hour.
    1. Some people only let pizza dough rise once; some people don’t let it rise at all.
    2. Some people let the dough ferment overnight or longer in the refrigerator, first.

Preparing the Pizza

Preheat oven to 450°

These instructions assume you are using a peel and baking stone.

Pizza dough (above)

1 cup prepared pesto (above)

6-8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped

8 oz fresh mozzarella

2-3 sliced tomatoes, seeded

1/4-1/2 cup grated Parmesan

  1. Have your baking stone on the lowest oven rack before preheating the oven.
  2. Cover the peel with a 50/50 combination of flour and cornmeal.
  3. On a damp counter or rolling mat, roll the dough into a circle, then pick it up and stretch as needed. If you are using a peel, you have to have the dough pretty much ready to top when you put it on the peel, because if you try to handle it too much there, it will stick and not want to slide onto your baking stone. If you are using a pizza pan, you can push the dough up to the edges in the pan.
  4. Place the stretched pizza dough on the peel and form edges without pressing the dough into the board. You can test that the dough will slide by shaking the peel a little. Once the pizza is put together, it must be able to slide off easily. You can do some slight stretching of the dough on the peel if you don’t press it into the board. If you have edges that are sticking, carefully lift them without disturbing the toppings and put a little flour underneath.
  5. Spread the pesto on the dough up to the edges.
  6. Add the chopped bacon next.
  7. Fresh mozzarella works best if small pieces are pinched off, because it is very soft and moist. If using regular low-moisture mozzarella, you can slice or grate it. Sprinkle mozzarella pieces over the pizza.
  8. Cover the top with sliced tomatoes. I seeded the whole tomatoes as much as possible before slicing to avoid a watery pizza.
  9. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan to taste.
  10. Brush the edges of the crust with olive oil.
  11. Slide pizza from peel to hot stone in oven. Aim well, because you won’t be able to move it after it hits the stone. Even if you are using a pizza pan, you can still bake it on the stone.
  12. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown.

All this said, you can make this pizza using ready-made ingredients: You can buy pizza dough in most grocery stores, now. You can get good pesto in a jar, as well as the red peppers I used. You can even get pre-cooked bacon and cheese that is already grated, so don’t run away thinking this is too much work. It is too much work and you can do it more easily and get the same flavors from ready-made ingredients.

Did it go over well? Yep.