Ever make something that was so delicious that when you discarded the foil you removed it from the garbage a few minutes later to savor a stranded carmelized onion or sauce-soaked bread crumb? Me either, ew, that’s….disgusting.
While a stir-fry is my usual “I have no idea what to make for dinner” dinner, large-batch no-knead pizza dough that can can be put into the freezer and taken out on-demand is a close runner up. What do I mean by no-knead? I mean that the dough takes 3 minutes to prepare, rises overnight and is ready to eat the next day. It’s ideal for those weeks you know you won’t have a lot of time to cook or if you like options. This is the kind of pizza dough that can be transformed into a flatbread with garlic, salt, rosemary and red onion or into a pesto-parmesan pizza appetizer or stand on its own as your lunch or dinner. The only catch is that you must prepare the dough at least one day in advance. But no worries! It freezes well.
Click here for the No-Knead Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe
What you need:
1-2 tblsp oil oil
2 tblsp of your favorite tomato sauce
3 garlic cloves; minced
1/2 yellow onion; thinly sliced into coins and carmelized (add a tsp or so of brown sugar to the onions with a little oil and fry until they become golden-brown)
a few sprigs of basil and parsley each; chopped
1/2 green bell pepper; sliced into thin, long pieces
1/2 fennel bulb; thinly sliced into coins
salt & pepper to taste
large pinch of dried oregano
How to do it:
Preheat your oven to as hot as it will go or at 500 F. Take your dough ball and roll it out on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin, glass or whatever else you use for a makeshift roller. Start from the center and spread outward; return to the center and spread outward just slightly to the right and left. Repeat this process while also rolling the edges horizontally to get a round shape. Using both palms, place the edge of the dough between your hands and form a crust by pressing down with the side of your hand. You can also just create one by pressing your fingers into the edges to form a dent and then rounding it with your palms after. Dust some corn meal or semolina onto a parchment-lined baking tray and transfer your dough to it. Reshape your dough at this point if it takes on a weird form. Brush 1-2 tblsp of oil on the dough (try not to put too much in the center or it will become soggy), garlic, salt, pepper and a large pinch of oregano. Place it on the bottom of your oven for about five minutes or until the crust and the bottom get a golden hue. If you lift it to check while it’s still in the oven, the dough should be stiff and not…wimpy. While this is happening, carmelize your onion.
Pop the holes or don’t pop them–as a kid I always wanted the slice with “the bubble” so I don’t pop them.
Spread 2 tblsp of sauce all over the pizza, leaving a 1″ margin for the crust. Again, try not to go overboard on the center of your pizza or it will become soggy. Add your carmelized onion, fennel, pepper and herbs. Place back into the oven on a middle rack and let cook for another 6-8 minutes. Enjoy!