Monday, October 15, 2012

nywff part 1 no knead bread and pizza dough from jim lahey

saturday morning i got up at 5 am....jumped in the car and headed to new york city to meet 3 friends and spend a wonderful day cooking and eating at the new york wine and food festival.  this year they held master classes for the first time....and...we managed to get tickets to a bread and pasta master class with jim lahey and mark ladner... it was held at the international culinary center on broadway.  i have seen the no knead bread recipe before....mark bittman wrote it up in the ny times...brit sent it to me last year....but every time i looked at it i can not possibly has to stick to the can not come out like bakery bread...well i saw jim lahey in person explain the fermentation process...he recommended to touch the dough as little as possible...i watched wide eyed as the dough slid out of the bowl like the sci fi movie the blob...and i can tell you it works like a charm....all it takes is time. 

ok, so i got up late on sunday morning...went to williams & sonoma bought a pizza stone and a peel...i stocked up on flour and set to work on the plan.  i found jim's pizza dough recipe in a recent bon appetit magazine on line and compared it back to the bread recipe.....same am thinking make a big batch of the pizza dough...split it after raising...because really, hubby and i can not eat 6 pizzas!  so here we go! recipe after the jump

jim lahey's no-knead  pizza dough
makes 6 pizzas (or 3 pizzas and a bread if you do it my way)
remember start the day before you want to eat the bread or the pizza
7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour ( a bit extra for the board and shaping process)
4 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
3 cups of water

follow jim's excellent directions in the link.  whisk the dry ingredients together...gradually add the 3 cups of water while mixing with a wooden spoon, stirring until  well incorporated.  then bring the dough into a rough it in a larger clean bowl and top with plastic wrap.  put it in a draft free place that is 72 degrees...come back in 18 hours.
just after putting it in the large bowl: 
this is how it looks at 18 hours
flour a big board...dump the dough onto the board...cut it in half with a pastry cutter...put the bread half back in the bowl (cover it back up)....then follow jim's directions. flatten the pizza half of the big dough blob into a rectangle then cut it into 3 pieces.  work with one portion at a time and gather the 4 corners to create 4 folds.  turn seam side down and mold gently into a ball. wrap each pizza dough ball in plastic wrap. cover with a towel for about an hour.
pizza dough balls
ok now back to the bread blob....flour the board...dump the dough ball out onto the board.  sprinkle the top with a little more flour fold each side in on itself...each of the 4 corners....cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.  put a little flour on your fingers...gently shape the dough into a ball and place it on a floured cotton towel...seam side down...sprinkle a little flour or corn meal on top...and wrap it up with the towel...cover with another towel and wait 2 hours.
the dough after 2 hours..mine is not very round
next get out a 6-8 quart enamel cast iron pot with a lid.  put it in the oven and get it hot with the oven at 450 (best to do this at least a half hour before the bread is done with its 2 hour rise) when the dough is ready take the pot out of the oven...drop the bread in seam side up wiggle the pot to get it in the middle..put the top on and bake in the oven for 30 minutes
this is what mine looked like at 30 minutes
take the top off and put it back in the oven for 15 to 30 minutes until loaf is beautifully browned. my wolfe electric oven was on only took 10 minutes. the loaf comes right out of the mess.
looks nice tastes better
ok now to make the pizza's for dinner.  crank the stove up to 500 degrees and put the pizza stone in.  get it good and hot for an hour.  get your toppings ready.
1 can of san marzano tomatoes hand crushed
good olive oil to drizzle
a chunk of fresh mozzerella for me hand torn
a chunk of the regular mozz for lars hand torn
basil for me
pepperoni for lars
ricotta for me

just before you assemble the pizza switch the oven to broil....when the oven is ready work with one dough ball at a time. drop it on the floured board and gently shape the dough into a 10-12 inch disk.  place it on the pizza peel with a bit of corn meal dusted on it.
add a drizzle of olive oil, spread with your hand, add some tomatoes and your toppings of choice.  cook  each pizza 7 minutes, you may need to use the peel to slide the pizza around to get it to cook evenly on top.
ready to go in the oven
cooking on the stone
ready to eat my pizza 
ready to eat lars' pizza
this looks like a lot of work but it was fun! the pizza and the bread both tasted great...the bread tasted like bread and the pizza tasted like pizza...they did not taste like they were the same dough...a little magic in the cooking process.  happy eating!

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