I am about to share with you my new, most very favorite, recipe in the world. This recipe has turned my life around. What? Maybe the ability to have fabulous, homemade pizza any night of the week is not a life changing experience for you, but for me, it's at the top.
I love pizza, I adore pizza. If left to my own devices, I could quite possibly eat pizza every night of the week. So, having a bucket of pizza dough in my fridge at all times, ready to turn into whatever pizza I want, is a dream come true. And since my other dreams of world peace and winning the lottery aren't happening anytime soon, this will do.
You will find this miracle in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. Before you read on, you must promise me to go get the book right now. Seriously, you will not regret it. I have only made two things from it, the basic bread and the pizza. I can't help it, they are that good, I just keep making them over and over. But there is also: European Peasant Bread, Deli-Style Rye, Limpa, Pumpernickel, Light Whole Wheat, Bagels, Pretzels...and more and more and more.
The concept is simple. You mix your dough in a big bucket or container. I just stir it up with a big wooden spoon. Then let it sit on your counter top for about 2 hours as it rises. Once it has risen and then deflated slightly, you store it in the fridge, loosely covered. When you are ready to bake, bring it out, cut off a lump, roll or shape, rise (if needed) and bake. That's it. It's genius, really.
Olive Oil Dough
From Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
(makes about 4 pizzas)
2 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Mix the water, yeast, salt, sugar and olive oil in a 5-quart, lidded container (or bowl).
Mix the flour in, without kneading. Use a wooden spoon, a stand mixer, or a food processor.
Cover, not airtight, and let sit at room temperature for about 2 hours, until the dough rises and then flattens on top.
Store in the fridge, keep it covered, but not air tight, and use within 12 days.
On the day you are going to make pizza, bring the dough out of the fridge. Dust the surface of the dough with some flour and pull off a one pound chunk (using a serrated knife or kitchen shears), this is about grapefruit size. Put the rest of the dough back in the fridge to be used another day. Using floured hands quickly shape into a ball and then roll out, just like you roll any other pizza dough. Using flour when needed to keep it from sticking. There is no need for it to rest, you can proceed directly with your pizza recipe!