Monday, January 16, 2012


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I have the first two "5 Minute" bread books ("Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" and "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day") by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois in my growing collection of no-knead bread books, but I've been looking forward to getting my hands on their newest, "Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads in Five Minutes a Day".  I'm always on the lookout for a new, fabulous pizza dough recipe, and I hadn't had much  success so far with my own experiments in making a no-knead pizza dough. 

Note: The books are not vegan, or even vegetarian, but most of the dough recipes are or can be vegan and, well, we vegans are good at adapting!

The book arrived last week and yesterday (Sunday), three of my granddaughters were coming over for lunch. Pizza seemed like the perfect thing to serve. So, on Saturday, I stirred up up a batch of  "Crisp-Yet-Tender Pizza Dough Even Closer to the Style of Naples"-- literally stirred; no kneading.  It probably took 5 minutes or under.  After letting it rise for a few hours, I stashed it in the refrigerator in a snap-lid bowl with room to rise overnight.

That odd-looking implement is a Danish dough whisk, perfect for stirring thick batters and soft doughs.

This particular (fat-free) dough is supposed to be made with Italian "00" flour, which is lower in protein (gluten) than North American flour.  "00" flour is available in North America now, at and King Arthur Flour. Both contain about 8% protein ( as a comparison, ordinary all-purpose flour contains about 11%).  I didn't have any of this, but, fortunately, the book contains a formula for making your own Italian-style flour blend using unbleached flour and pastry flour.  I couldn't resist using half whole wheat pastry flour in place of some of the white pastry flour called for, and that worked well, so next time I'll take a chance and use more.  I also used a bit more salt than they called for (the book contains a great section on ingredients and how to change some things to your own taste).

The dough after about 18 hours in the refrigerator.

I should have made the dough a few days earlier, I realize, because, being familiar with no-knead dough by now, I could see that another day in the fridge would have ripened the dough more thoroughly.  But it was still no trouble to roll out and stretch 6 pizzas in a short amount of time. (I roll it out on baking parchment and  also bake it on the parchment-- no sticking to the peel that way!)

(BTW, If you want to learn how to throw pizza dough, see the videos and instructions here: )

I baked one pizza at a time in a 14" cast iron skillet (you could also use a cast iron pizza pan), which is my new favorite way to bake pizza (cast iron pans heat up twice as fast as a pizza stone, and the pizza cooks in about 7 minutes with a nice speckled crust).  I was happy to see that the authors of this book gave this as an option.

I used my pizza sauce from my book  World Vegan Feast and what I had around for toppings-- Daiya vegan mozzarella, green pepper, kalamata olives and Yves veggie pepperoni (thought the girls would like this) cut into slivers, pepper and a little olive oil.

I won't say that I will always use this dough, because I like to change it up, but this is certainly a great pizza dough, and very easy and convenient to make.  The dough will keep refrigerated for about 2 weeks, so, if you don't have company and eat the whole thing in one sitting, you can pull out a piece of dough and whip up a pizza (no rising necessary) in no time at all.

(PS: No, we didn't eat the whole batch, but we had collectively eaten 5 of them by the time the girls left -- I managed to save one for my stepson, who came along later.  Fast-growing12 year-old girls can eat alot of pizza!)

I'm anxious to try the focaccia, Cornmeal Olive Oil Dough, Chapati, Corn Masa Dough, Crisp Pita Bread Bowl,  and several other goodies, but I'm only going to make them when we have company to eat most of it-- otherwise my good intentions to lose weight will fall by the wayside!   

Even if you have never made any sort of bread before, fear not-- you can make some mighty good pizza with this book, pizza suited to your tastes and busy schedule. Kudos once again to authors Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois!



Matt said...


That is fantastic looking pizza! Truly, fantastic. And a danish dough-whisk - what a wonderfully quirky but interesting implement!

Vegan Fazool said...

We are on the same page again! I have been looking for a new pizza dough recipe, as I like, but do not LOVE my current standard one.

I saw Jeff & Zoe on a morning show doing their thing. Though it seemed like a great idea, it also seemed a little gimmicky to me to make entire cookbooks and lots of "recipes" based on just a few techniques, so I was cautious.

Do you find the recipes are different enough to justify purchasing whole cookbooks dedicated to the five minute no-knead dough? Curious because the idea REALLY appeals to me.

Also, I have been using cast iron to make my pizzas since the summer. I use a double burner griddle (the smooth side) and it's GREAT. I'll never go back to the pizza stone!


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Dawn, I think that this book has the least amount of recipes. The other two have alot of variety. I generally try a few and then use the books for reference as I develop my own. But they are certainly worth checking out of the library, and you can then ascertain whether or not you need or want to buy them.

in2insight said...

This looks so good!

I'm intrigued by the use of parchment paper.
Does it allow the bottom of the pizza to crisp up as it does when directly on the stone / Skillet?
Is it easier just to use the pastry peel gadget, the one with the rolling cloth?

Off to see if our library system has this book.
(2012 promise to self. No more buying cookbooks. Yours had to honor of being the last! - Something about "Saving the best...")

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

in2insight, the bottoms of the pizza (or bread-- I also use it to lift the soft, risen no-knead loaves into hot pots for baking)brown just the same as they would on the pan itself. I do use my Superpeel (the one you mentioned), but like to try other methods for those who do not own one of those, and the simple metal paddle-type pizza peels are inexpensive and easy to find.

Vegan Fazool said...

Well, I went for it and got the generic one (Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day) since my library didn't have any of their books (it has a lot of cookbooks, but usually not the ones I want!).

I got a Danish Dough Whisk, too, I'm SO excited! Early birthday present to myself.

And, I do the same thing with cookbooks! I try a few recipes, then start developing my own, it's inevitable (though I'm not the master you are, of course!) :-)))


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Dawn, that whisk is great for any thick batters, like muffins, too.

in2insight said...

Thanks, Bryanna, for the follow up and great advise.
Our library had the book!!!

Looking forward to exploring more from WVF as part of Tami's Vine and Dine. I've made a few things already, each one a success and so yummy.


Sarah@studiofood said...

What a great idea to be able to leave the dough in the fridge until you need it!

Sarah E. Hoffman said...

i am jealous of your danish dough whisk! I use a sourdough pizza crust, it's very easy. you may want to look into just to change it up!

in2insight said...

Okay, finally got the Pizza book and made this dough with the sauce from WVF.
It was a great success!
Thank you for the kind assistance and the suggestions.
This is now my new fav pizza dough and sauce combo.