Another use for No-Knead Bread Dough: Slow Roasted Tomato Sandwiches and Pizza

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.

balsamic vinegar


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.

Stir together.

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
baby arugula
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.


  1. Beautiful bread! Thanks for including 2 different uses for the dough. I can't wait to try this out!

    1. Thank you for your kind comment. I hope you try it out soon.

  2. I just recently discovered your blog...another Pinterest find :) Love your recipes and your blog! I'll be following along for more of your great ideas!

    1. I'm so happy to have another follower. Hooray for Pinterest!

  3. awesome...but I just realized I don't know where our pizza stone is

    1. I have an extra one, you can take it home with you next time you come.

  4. Great idea! Looks really good! Can't wait for my cherry tomatoes to start ripening so I can try roasting them. Pinning this to Pinterest so I can try this out in a couple of weeks.

    1. I'm with you! Homegrown tomatoes will just push this right over the top!

  5. This looks absolutely incredible! I'm so excited that I found another great food blog! I want to try the bread today in the dutch oven, and then I want to make that sandwich! Sadly I'm still a college student at BYU, so I don't have a really wonderful, fully equipped kitchen, but I do what I can. (And yes, I found you through pinterest!)

    1. OK BYU student you just need to contact by BYU son because he has all the equipment. You should try some of the ideas that have been posted on the crusty bread post. Go to the DI and buy an old crock pot insert. Remove the knob from the lid and you can use that to bake the bread in. I think could try baking this sandwich bread on a baking sheet. It's totally worth a try.

  6. This is sandwich perfection!!!

  7. My girlfriend and I made sandwiches with the roasted tomatoes/mozzarella as you did. It truly was one of the best sandwiches I have had in a LONG time. Absolutely amazing.

    Thank you for the great recipe!

    1. Thank you so much for letting me know how much you enjoyed your sandwich. I'm with you it's really good and I crave it daily.

  8. The next idea that I must take! Janet, you're the greatest!
    Greetings from Germany

    1. Thanks Hermann. What a great compliment from a country that has amazing breads.

    2. Hi Janet,

      Yes, we have a great selection of bread. Unfortunately, the bakeries that produce everything themselves, are not to be found more easily. Most bakeries now use baking mixes. There are many additives contain ... With homemade bread, I know the ingredients.
      The bread and the pizza I baked now. Yummy! The whole family loved it!


    3. That saddens me to hear. I had hoped that Europe would keep their traditions of great baked from scratch pastries. I did notice on my last trip to France that all croissants were NOT created equal. Keep up the home baking. Nothing can compare.

  9. Oh wow! Everything about this looks so amazing! It's nearly midnight, but I'm sitting here practically starving now. Can't wait to make some dough tomorrow!

    1. I hope you love it. I'm thinking I should start some dough right now. Let me know if you like the recipe. Thank you.

  10. OMG... there is a good!! thank you so much Janet, I've always wondered if this dough would turn out good in rolls. You gave me the reassurance I needed and made one italian...away from her native country, very very happy...and of course my family too. The rolls turned out great and we can't wait to have them with our burgers tonight. Much blessing to you and family.

  11. Made your crusty bread today.... Hubby and I consumed half the loaf! Was soo tasty... I amazed myself that it came from MY oven! Thank you so much! I'm very excited about making pizza crust with it now! Also how wonderful to give a family from our church some homemade soup and a entire loaf of this wonderful bread for a ministry?!? thanks again!

    1. What a great gift, soup and bread. You have inspired me.

  12. I am in heavy drool mode. I followed the pinterest link for the no-knead bread to your blog about three hous ago. I now have the bread rising on the counter, and have been reading your recipes since! Cannot wait to try the pumpkin coconut bisque for dinner tomorrow night! Then I'm going to try the pizza crusts! So happy I found your blog!
    Sherrie in Alabama

  13. Could you freeze the portions of pizza dough? It's an amazing recipe, tried it just last week! But I'd love to have fast pizza dough on hand for whenever!

  14. I have never tried freezing this dough. You could give it a try, but I'd let it rise throughout the day to create the air bubbles in the dough.

  15. I'm loving your 'no knead' bread recipes-they have opened the door to a whole new bread world :)
    But I have a question about the buns: do you bake them at 500° or 350°? And if you're using a baking sheet instead of a pizza stone do you still heat it for an hour?
    Thank you!

    1. There is no need to heat the oven for an hour if you're not using a pizza stone. I would bake them at 450 degrees just like the crusty bread. I hope this helps. Thanks for your comment.