Thursday, April 15, 2010

Last Night's Dinner

The edited manuscript for my bread book is sitting on my desktop, awaiting my review and giving me a chance to revisit some of the recipes I developed last year that somehow haven't made it into regular rotation as have the pita breads and sourdough. One of them is for an extremely easy no-knead pizza dough with a moist and bubbly crumb. I mixed the dough in the morning, let it sit at room temperature until dinner time, and then topped it with some drained chopped tomatoes, local spinach sauteed with garlic, and blobs of ricotta cheese. Here is the recipe:

No-Knead Pizza Topped with Spinach and Ricotta
Makes Four individual pizzas

This dough is quite wet, which gives it a bubbly texture and moist crumb when baked, but makes it sticky and a little difficult to work with. So it's best to assemble the pizzas on parchment paper and then just slide them, still on the parchment, onto a preheated baking stone.

For the dough:
1 3/4 cups room temperature water
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt

For the topping:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
10 ounces baby spinach, washed and dried
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/3 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Make the dough: Combine the water, yeast, flour, and sea salt in a large bowl. Mix with a rubber spatula until a rough dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours.
2. One hour before baking, place a baking stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and hot red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted. Season with salt and remove from the heat.
4. Heavily dust the countertop with flour. Turn the dough out onto the counter and heavily dust the top of the dough with flour. Use a bench scraper or sharp chef's knife to divide the dough into 4 equal pieces.
5. Line a baker's peel or rimless baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Transfer one of the dough pieces to the parchment and, with floured hands, gently stretch it into a 4-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Repeat with a second dough piece, so you have two pieces of dough side by side, with about 1 inch between them. Drape the remaining two dough pieces with plastic wrap.
6. Scatter 1/4 of the tomatoes over each dough piece. Spread 1/4 of the spinach over the tomatoes. Place heaping spoonfuls of the ricotta over the spinach. Brush the edges of the doughs with some of the remaining olive oil.
7. Slide the pizzas, still on the parchment, onto the baking stone and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and repeat with the remaining two dough pieces and remaining topping ingredients.


  1. this looks awesome! and easy to adapt to any kind of toppings. I love the fact that it can sit out all day just waiting to be finished. I see easy to make individual pizza dinner in my future.!

  2. You should try this! But you need parchment paper!