When I got this month’s Bon Appetit magazine I realized that it had been way, way too long since I had made pizza. The cover has a beautiful picture of a hand made pizza and touts “Make Pizza Like a Pro.” Of course, I opened that as fast as I possibly could.
I was delighted to find that the pizza dough recipe inside was almost the exact same recipe as the no-knead focaccia that I had been using for pizza dough (see no-knead pesto pizza). But, my pizza dough, as delicious as it is, never turned out like the picture on the magazine cover. So, I made a few small changes per the suggestions in the article.
First, I used only all-purpose flour instead of the all-purpose and whole wheat combo that I usually do. I don’t like sacrificing my whole wheat flour, but I gotta be honest, it does make a huge difference in the texture. The dough was soft, supple, and had fantastic gluten formation, which allowed me to stretch the dough nice and thin.
Second, I actually turned my oven up to 500 degrees. I tried this once before, but it took forever and I didn’t have the patience, so I have been cooking my pizzas at about 425-450. In the back of my head I knew that the oven needed to be as hot as possible, yet I always compromised this step. Never again. Lastly, to make up for the fact that the oven was only 500 degrees and not hotter, I moved my oven rack up to the top third of my oven to try to capture as much heat as possible. Pizzas need to cook hot and FAST.
And that’s how I finally achieved a real, pizzaria type crust. Crunchy and flakey on the outside, chewy but not dense on the inside. It was perfect.
Kale, Swiss & Tomato Pizza
- about 4 cups all-purpose flour $0.59
- 2 tsp salt $0.10
- ¼ tsp instant yeast $0.02
- ⅓ recipe pizza dough (see above) $0.24
- 1 bunch kale $0.99
- 2 cloves garlic $0.16
- 3 Tbsp olive oil $0.36
- 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning $0.30
- 2 medium roma tomatoes $0.68
- 2 cups (8 oz) swiss cheese $2.49
- To make the dough, combine 3.5 cups of flour, 2 tsp of salt, and ¼ tsp instant yeast in a large bowl. Stir until evenly combined. Add just enough water to make the dough form a sticky ball with no dry flour left on the bottom of the bowl (about 1.5 cups). It’s better for the dough to be a little too wet than too dry. Let the dough sit at room temperature, loosely covered, for 18 hours.
- hours later the dough should be big and bubbly. Sprinkle with enough flour to keep it from sticking as you remove it from the bowl. Place it on a floured surface and divide into three equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball (adding enough flour just to keep it from sticking to your hands). Cover one ball with a damp towel and let rest for one hour. Freeze the other two balls by wrapping in plastic wrap or placing in a freezer bag coated with non-stick spray.
- While the dough is resting, remove the kale leaves from the stems and tear into small pieces. Place the torn leaves in a colander and rinse well. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the kale and two cloves of minced garlic. Saute until the kale has wilted. It’s okay if the kale is still wet from rinsing, the water will help steam the kale.
- After the dough has rested for an hour, adjust the oven rack begin to preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Stretch the dough into a 14 inch circle and place on a pizza pan prepared with non-stick spray (or corn meal or both). Brush the surface of the dough with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with one tablespoon of Italian seasoning.
- Sprinkle ¾ of the shredded swiss on top of the dough. Squeeze the excess moisture out of the kale and add to the pizza. Slice the tomatoes and place on top. Finally, add the remaining cheese and Italian seasoning.
- Bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes or until it is golden brown and crispy on the edges. Rotate the pizza half way through cooking.
Step By Step Photos
This is what the dough looks like after the 18 hour room temperature fermentation. If you would like pictures of what it looks like before this point, check out this post.
Sprinkle the dough with flour so that you can handle it without it sticking (it should be fairly sticky). Place it on a floured surface and divide into three equal portions.
Shape each portion into a ball. Cover the one that you’ll be using with a damp cloth and let it rest for one hour at room temperature. The other two can be frozen for later use. I put each in a freezer bag that I had spritzed with non-stick spray on the inside.
While the dough is resting, prepare the kale. Kale tears really easily from its branch-like stems. Tear the leaves into small pieces, place in a colander, and rinse well. Those curly leaves trap a lot of sand!
Add one tablespoon of olive oil and two cloves of minced garlic to a large skillet. Turn the heat on to medium.
Add the rinsed kale. Saute until it has wilted. Stir carefully because it will be really BIG while it is still raw… but it will shrink!
See, now it fits in the skillet!
After the dough has rested, stretch it into a 14 inch circle and place on a pizza pan (coat with non-stick spray or cornmeal). Brush the surface with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Also, begin to preheat the oven to 500 degrees and make sure the oven rack is raised toward the top of the oven.
Sprinkle about 3/4 of the cheese over the dough. Save the rest to sprinkle on last.
Squeeze the excess moisture out of the kale and add to the pizza. Slice the tomatoes and add to the pizza.
Add the rest of the cheese and Italian seasoning to the pizza.
Bake the pizza in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until it is golden brown and crispy around the edges. Rotate the pizza half way through. Every oven is different but at 500 degrees it will cook fast, so keep an eye on it!