Monday, January 16, 2012
MY FIRST PIZZA FROM "ARTISAN PIZZA AND FLATBREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY"
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 amazon.com 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: http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2012/01/03/how-to-throw-pizza-dough-new-video )
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!
Posted by Bryanna Clark Grogan at 8:57 PM