I know what you’re going to say: pizza without cheese is NOT pizza. But if you look at the basic definition of ‘pizza’ to be ‘a flat dough covered with a topping’ then this is, indeed pizza. And it’s really tasty. And easy. And, though I’ve also over-nighted the dough, you can have this together and on the table in a couple of hours, too. Okay, more like three, but … still.
First thing to know: the dough comes together really quickly. I’ve been known to sub in half or so of white wheat flour (just try it!), but I’ve also never once made it with the recommended bread flour and it’s been tasty so…. Know that the recipe is super flexible and forgiving. AS an aside: with the bread flour, the crust would have a good bit more chewy. That's a good quality, so it might be worth investing in that one bag of bread flour.
Makes 16 or so squares
Jim’s Basic (no-knead) Pizza Dough
Yield: enough dough for two pies baked in 13x18-inch rimmed baking sheets
3 3/4 cups (500 grams) bread flour (as I said above, I’ve used all purpose here, as well as ½ white wheat ½ a.p.; as mentioned above, bread flour will give your crust a bit more chew)
2 1/2 teaspoons (10 grams) instant or active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon (5 grams) salt
3/4 teaspoon plus pinch (3 grams) sugar
1 1/3 cups (300 grams) water
1 quart (800 grams) lukewarm water
4 teaspoons (24 grams) table salt
10 - 14 (1 1/2 kilos) Yukon Gold potatoes (or you can use same weight of potatoes + carrots + sweet potatoes. Really tasty)
1 1/2 cup (150 grams) diced yellow onion
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
About 1⁄2 cup (80 grams) extra virgin olive oil
About 1 tablespoon (2 grams) fresh rosemary leaves, snipped
2 T capers rinsed and drained
Fresh pepper and salt, to taste
Extra Virgin olive oil for pan
In a bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the water, and using a spoon, your hand, or a baker's plastic bench scraper, mix together until blended -- about a minute (Jim says 30 seconds but mine took a bit longer). You don't want to mix or knead this dough too much, but you also want to make sure all of the flour is incorporated. Shape the dough into a roughly roundish shape, grease your bowl, add your dough round, turn it over and then cover and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours. Here is where I cover the whole bowl with plastic wrap or a silicone cover and pop the bowl into the fridge overnight. You do need to get it out of the fridge earlier to let it come to room temp, but it does add extra flavor, methinks, plus makes getting dinner on the table a little more streamlined.
While your dough is resting, in a medium bowl, combine the water and salt, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Use a knife or mandoline to slice the potatoes very thin (1/16th inch thick), and put the slices directly into the salted water so they don’t oxidize and turn brown. Let soak in the brine for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate and soak for up to 12 hours until the slices are wilted and no longer crisp. (This not only flavors the potatoes, but also helps dry them out, ironically enough). I also add the onions to the water to cut their bite a bit.
When you are ready to make your pizzas, preheat your oven to 500 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, now is a great time to get it in there, warming up. Get the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly-floured counter. Oil two 13x18 inch rimmed baking sheets liberally with a few glugs of good extra virgin olive oil. Then gently plop half the dough on each pan and stretch and press it out to the edges. If it springs back, wait five minutes and then proceed. It will spread over the pan; just be persistent. The dough is very thin. If it tears, piece it back together. Note: Clearly, if you only want to make half a batch, you only need one pan, and half the amount of potatoes.
Drain the potatoes in a colander and use your hands to press out as much water as possible, then pat dry. In a medium bowl, toss together the potato slices, pepper, and olive oil.
Spread the potato mixture evenly over the dough, going all the way to the edges of the pan; put a bit more of the topping around the edges of the pie, as the outside tends to cook more quickly. Sprinkle evenly with the rosemary, capers salt and fresh pepper.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the topping is starting to turn golden brown and the crust is pulling away from the sides of the pan. Serve the pizza hot or at room temperature.