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18-hour No-knead Pizza Dough

18-hour No-knead Pizza Dough

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Makes 4 to 6 pizzas.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a recipe in bon appétit magazine.

Eliminating the kneading doesn’t make for an easy pizza dough. Nonetheless, if you don’t mind waiting 18 hours for the dough to rise, the resulting pizza crusts are delicate and light. The pizzas cook quickly on a hot pizza stone.

Some people like a thin pizza crust; I like thick. Some people go light on the toppings; I go heavy. The great thing about making your own pizzas is that you can make them the way you like best.

Ingredients:

36 ounces (2¼ pounds/1kg) all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons fine sea salt or kosher salt
½ teaspoon active dry yeast
3 cup (710ml) water

Directions:

In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, and yeast, using a whisk to mix thoroughly. Add about ¼ of the water and stir with a wooden spoon until most of the water is incorporated. Add more water and stir. Continue until all the water is added and the mixture starts to come together. Flour your hands well and mix the dough a little with your fingers until it forms a rough mass. Transfer to a clean large bowl, cover with plastic, and set aside for 18 hours to rise at room temperature.

Transfer the dough to a clean, floured surface. Dust your hands well and shape the dough into a rectangle. Divide into 6 equal portions. Form each part into a ball by bringing up the four corners and pinching together and shaping into a ball. Dust a baking sheet well with flour and arrange the 6 balls on the sheet with plenty of room between. Cover with plastic and let rest 1 hour.

Heat your oven to between 500°F and 550°F (260°C to 290°C) with a pizza stone on a rack in the upper third of the oven. If you do not have a pizza stone a baking sheet will suffice. Heat the stone at least 30 minutes in the oven.

Dust the dough and your hands well with flour and gently shape each dough ball into a pizza crust by pulling and stretching the dough with your hand, not by pressing the dough flat with a rolling pin. Try to maintain as much air and loft in the dough as possible.

If you have a pizza peel, prepare it with plenty of corn meal dusted on top. Carefully rest the dough on the corn meal and top with pizza ingredients. Change oven from Bake to Broil and carefully slide the pizza onto the pizza stone. (Or arrange on a baking sheet and place in the oven.) Cook pizza until the dough browns well around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. Repeat with remaining pizza doughs.