Over the past two months I have received over half of a million page views on a recipe that I posted over two years ago. That post was for "Crusty Bread". At the time I posted it I had no idea it originated from a "No-Knead" bread recipe originating from Jim Lahey.
I had seen Jim Lahey recently on the Martha Stewart show. He made pizza from his no-knead recipe. I thought it seemed like a brilliant idea and easy as can be.
They kids and I started using this recipe for our pizza creations and I have to admit they have been AMAZING!
THEN I ventured to the brand new "City Creek" shopping mall in Salt Lake City. My son had told me about a fast casual restaurant called Bocata which had been opened by one of our favorite pizza joints in SLC called Settebello. He told me they baked the bread for their sandwiches in a wood burning oven.
I decided to try it out. It was a great sandwich that I found myself craving for several days.
I was pretty sure that this same no-knead dough would work for the buns that the sandwiches were built
on. What the heck! I'll play with the dough and see what I come up with.
This post is me experimenting with the no-knead bread recipe. You are my Guinea pigs! I think
the recipes turned out fabulous. I used one idea to create a sandwich AND a pizza.
Here we go.
Begin by making the no-knead dough recipe found here: Crusty Bread
Follow the step-by-step recipe for the dough only. It should take you about 5 minutes to make.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave out on your counter top for about 12-18 hours - give or take
It doesn't matter the exact length. Just as long as it's at least 12 hours.
After 12 hours your dough should look something like this. It looks like a bubbly sponge.
It will be very sticky.
Dump the dough out onto a heavily floured surface.
Sprinkle the dough with more flour, flour your hands and anything else the dough will come in contact with.
Divide the dough in half.
Divide each half into thirds. You should have 6 pieces of dough.
Take each piece of dough and fold the dough under itself to create a smooth ball.
Place each piece of dough onto a floured baking sheet. I lined my baking sheet with parchment.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for at least an hour and up to 3 hours.
Very important: At this point if you would like to use a pizza stone place it in your oven. Hopefully it will heat to 500-550 degrees. Let the stone heat at this temperature for one hour.
If you can't get your oven to heat that high, just go as high as you can.
While the dough is resting, start slow roasting the tomatoes.
You will need:
2 lbs of small or cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons sugar
fresh thyme or basil (forgot to put in pic)
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Oh and fresh mozzarella, but that's for later
Place the tomatoes in a baking dish.
In a small mixing bowl add the olive oil.
Fresh herbs of choice. My choice in thyme because it is so beautiful in my garden right now.
Chop the 4 cloves of garlic.
Add to the olive oil.
Pour over the tomatoes.
Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Bake in a preheated 350F oven for one hour.
Prepare yourself because the aroma coming from your kitchen will make you cry.
It's that fabulous.
After one hour the tomatoes will be soft and the skins will be cracked. You will notice juices that have accumulated in the bottom of the dish. These juices are to be savored. Reserve them for a great pasta dish.
While to tomatoes are cooking a bit, let's get back to the dough.
I'm going to start with making sandwich buns. Remember you have had a pizza stone in your oven for an hour heating. If you don't have a stone you can use unglazed tiles purchased from Home Depot or where ever. I used them for years until I could afford a stone. If you don't have either you can try just baking them on this baking sheet...dang I should have tried that!
The dough is still sticky so flour the heck out of your hands.
Carefully slightly flatten the dough. Just barely. You don't want to deflate the wonderful air bubbles inside.
I like to lift the parchment paper and flip the dough onto my hand.
Then turn it over again onto the hot stone.
Ok. This one turned out a bit oval. I don't care. It's all good.
Oh look. My second one turned out a bit rounder. I baked these two mounds of dough for about 10 minutes. The really puffed up. That's why I flattened them a bit. Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack while you assemble the sandwich.
You will need that fresh mozzarella, the roasted tomatoes, baby arugula, fresh basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
Slice the fresh mozzarella.
The bread is till pretty hot.
I'm using a clean cloth to hold the hot bun while I slice it.
Layer the mozzarella,
Warm roasted tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves.
Mound up some baby arugula and drizzle with a good olive oil.
Just a dribble or two of balsamic vinegar.
I like a sprinkling of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
MINE! Amazing! This was a successful experiment.
Patting myself on the back.
Now let's try pizza. I'm using the same little mounds of dough. I just decided to do half sandwich rolls and half individual pizzas.
My son and I discovered that if you just gently form the dough into a pizza crust that the air bubbles will stay. I really like the air bubbles after they have baked. My son pulled and shaped while I took a rolling pin to the dough. His was better. Who knew?
Place the dough on a pizza peel that has been sprinkled with a bit of cornmeal. The cornmeal will allow the
dough to just slide right off onto the hot stone.
Drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.
Brush the oil around the dough.
Coarsely chop the roasted tomatoes.
Oh whoops. I forgot to take a picture of the mozzarella being placed on the dough.
Put the mozzarella on first THEN add the chopped tomatoes.
Slide the pizza onto the hot stone.
Bake for about 8-10 minutes.
When the crust is golden, slide the stone back under the crust.
Here is a little secret that my son does. Place the cooked pizza on the top rack of the oven for just a few
minutes. This will give you a great crisp crust. We just really like doing that now.
Remove from the oven.
Top with fresh torn basil.
I decided that I want arugula on top of my pizza.
Take a handful of arugula and drizzle with olive oil.
Add a few drops of balsamic vinegar.
I'm tossing with my hands.
More kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
Mound in the center of cooked pizza.
I think this is going to be amazing.
I was right. It is amazing.
Slow Roasted Tomato Sandwiches
2 lbs small tomatoes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoons sugar
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1- 2 lbs fresh mozzarella
6 fresh baked buns or purchased buns
Fresh basil leaves
extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
balsamic vinegar for drizzling
To roast the tomatoes:
Preheat oven to 325F. Place the tomatoes in a baking dish. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, thyme and sugar. Drizzle over tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for one hour or until the tomatoes are soft and skins crack.
To assemble sandwiches:
Arrange slices of mozzarella and warm roasted tomatoes on a sliced bun. Top with fresh basil leaves. Mound with baby arugula and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
I just created two different dishes with one basic recipe. I loved them both. In fact, I was chowing down on the sandwich when I realized that I was also chewing on my hair, which isn't long enough to reach my mouth. Somehow it managed to get in there. I think it's from inhaling my food. Next time I want to add prosciutto to my pizza. What will you add to your pizza?
This recipe for no knead dough is pretty forgiving and you can seriously make it in less than 5 minutes. Start creating some fun meals by using this simple dough. Then pass on your genius ideas.