I loved Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, so I was thrilled to hear that Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François were coming out with a book dedicated to making pizza and flatbread in their signature “five minutes a day” style. The theory behind this method is to make a big batch of dough on Sunday (or any day) and use it to bake homemade bread, or in this case pizza, quickly when pressed for time. Having done it myself, I can truly say it’s a lifesaver on a weeknight when you need bread to go with dinner. Sure, you can stop by the bakery and pick up a loaf, but it won’t taste nearly as good as a fresh loaf and it definitely won’t fill your home with the smell of freshly baked bread.
Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day takes the work out of pizza dough. I don’t know about you, but I have yet to find the magical combination of ingredients that yield a delicious homemade pizza. The closest I’ve gotten was using the Healthy Bread in Five recipe, so I was beside myself to learn about this book entirely dedicated to pizza. Just looking at these photos, it’s easy to tell that these recipes will allow you to create chewy, crunchy pizzas with little effort. My proposition? Forget ordering delivery pizza on Friday and plan ahead. Make a batch of dough on Sunday, it only takes a few minutes, and pull it out on Friday. Follow the directions below and you’ll have a tastier pizza in less time than it takes to get a delivery on Friday night (45 minutes in my neck of the woods). Not only that, but you’ll know what went into it (no nasty preservatives) and you can feel proud that you created such a splendid meal for your family.
To show you just how great this book is, Jeff and Zoë, are sharing this recipe and their signature method with you here. I know, it looks daunting, but try it and then see what you think. I can tell you what I’ll be doing this weekend! They’ve also generously offered up three copies of Artisan Pizza and Flatbread for you to win. In addition to that, we’ll kick in a 5 lb bag of our whole wheat flour (or a gluten free alternative) and an 8 oz package of our active dry yeast so you can get started right away. (If you haven’t tried our yeast, let me just say that I can tell a huge difference between ours and those little yeast-packets.)
Whole Wheat Pizza Margherita (Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil)
Adapted from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day,
by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François Thomas Dunne Books, 2011
- 3-¼ cups lukewarm Water
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Active Dry or Instant Yeast (or 1 packet)
- 1 to 1½ Tbsp Coarse Salt
- 2 Tbsp Sugar, Honey, Malt Powder, or Agave Syrup
- 3-½ cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 3-½ cups Whole Wheat Flour (“white” whole wheat or traditional)
- ⅓ cup Tomato Sauce
- 3 ounces fresh Mozzarella Cheese (cut into 1/2-inch chunks)
- 4 fresh Basil Leaves (whole, thinly slivered or torn)
- Olive Oil for drizzling over the pizza before baking
- Flour, Cornmeal or Parchment for the pizza peel
Mixing and Storing the Dough
- Add olive oil, yeast, salt, and sweetener to the water in a 5-quart bowl or in a lidded (not airtight) plastic food container.
- Measure the flours with the “scoop-and-sweep” method. Then mix with the liquids: Add both flours and mix with a wooden spoon, dough whisk or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). Don’t knead, it isn’t necessary.
- Allow to rise: Cover with a lid (not airtight), leave it open a crack for the first 48 hours and allow the dough to rise at room temperature until it begins to flatten on the top, approximately 2 hours. Do not punch down the dough!
- After rising, refrigerate and use over the next 10 days; the dough will develop sourdough characteristics with storage. Fully refrigerated wet dough is less sticky and is easier to work with. The first time you try our method, it’s best to refrigerate the dough overnight (or at least 3 hours) before use. Once refrigerated, the dough will collapse, and it will never rise again in the bucket—that’s normal.
On Pizza Day
- Prepare and measure toppings in advance: This will help you top the pizza quickly so you can get it into the oven before it sticks to the pizza peel.
- Thirty minutes before you’re ready to bake, preheat a baking stone at your oven’s highest temperature, with the baking stone placed in the bottom third of the oven.
- Shape a ball in 20 to 30 seconds. Prepare a pizza peel with flour, cornmeal or parchement to prevent sticking. Sprinkle the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour. Cut off a half-pound (orange-sized) piece of dough, using a serrated knife or kitchen shears. Hold the piece of dough and add a little more flour as needed so it won’t stick to your hands. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the dough a quarter-turn as you go to form a ball.
Roll out and stretch a pizza crust: Flatten the dough with your hands and a rolling pin on the counter or directly onto the pizza peel to produce a ⅛-inch-thick round, 12 inches across, dusting with flour to keep the dough from adhering to your work surface. Use a dough scraper to “un-stick” the dough as needed, and transfer it to the prepared pizza peel if you haven’t stretched the dough directly on one. When you’re finished, it should have enough flour under it to move easily when you shake the peel. The pizza should move freely. If it doesn’t, use the dough scraper and some flour to un-stick.
- Add the toppings: Spread the tomato sauce over the dough, leaving a half-inch border at the edges, then add the cheese and basil, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Drizzle a little olive oil over the pizza.
- Slide the pizza onto the preheated stone: Place the tip of the peel near the back
of the stone, give the peel a few quick forward-and-back jiggles and pull it sharply out from under the pizza. Check for doneness in 8 to 10 minutes and turn the pizza around
in the oven if one side is browning too fast. It may take up to 5 more minutes. Allow to cool slightly, preferably on a wire cooling rack, so that the cheese sets.
Recipe copyright 2011, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, adapted from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day (Thomas Dunne Books, 2011). Photos courtesy of Mark Luinenburg (MarkLuinenburg.com)
Visit artisanbreadinfive.com for tips, tricks and recipes using all three of these wonderful books.
To enter the contest, please tell us what your favorite pizza topping is in the comments, then be sure to click in the box below to say “I did this.” If you don’t have a facebook account, you can set up an account with an email address. Extra entries can be earned by completing the tasks below.
Totally confused? You’re not alone! Check out this great tutorial for how to enter here: http://blog.rafflecopter.com/2011/07/how-to-enter-rafflecopter-giveaways/