Easy pizza dough “no need to knead”
In my Italian blog I call this easy pizza dough impasto a mani pulite meaning “clean hands dough”. This is not because it has anything to do with the famous anti Mafia operation but because for making this dough there’s no need to get your hands dirty. This dough needs little work, just the time to mix all the ingredients: it takes longer to weight the ingredients and cleaning the tools afterwards than preparing it! My sister-in-law taught me how to make the dough in this way: until then I was accustomed to my mother’s method which involved a lot of kneading and banging the dough on the kitchen surface making a lot of noise! But no, with the light & yummy easy pizza dough there’s “no need to knead”!
Of course I am under no pretension that this recipe is the best pizza dough ever or the original one on earth. I only know that it works for me: with this dough I can to prepare a full oven tray of pizza of which I can eat a third using the same Propoints I would use when I eat a full meal. And a portion like this fills me up! Lots of people may think that eating pizza while on a diet is not possible, but try to reconsider it. Make a pizza dough like this one, choose a light topping filled with vegetables and eating pizza while on a diet is possible. You can see that I could not live without pizza: my favourite number one food!
Easy pizza dough “no need to knead” – the recipe
Type: Basic recipe
Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 5 min for pre-cooking before any topping is added
Weight Watchers ProPoints per portion: 10
300 g all-purpose flour
5 g dried baker’s yeast
3 tsps extra virgin olive oil
250 ml (approximately) lukewarm water
30 ml skimmed milk
1 generous pinch of salt
Making the dough
Adding milk is a simple trick used to remove the typical smell of the baker’s yeast from the final dough, which some people do not like. Hence pour the milk in the jug with the lukewarm water. In a bowl mix flour and yeast. Make a little hole in the middle and add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Start incorporating the flour in the middle using a wooden spoon or a silicon spatula.
Working quickly start mixing the dough adding the water and milk liquid in 2-3 times until it is absorbed. Of course, depending on the kind of flour used, you may need more or even less water. Keep in mind that the final dough has to be soft and sticky: in this way the final pizza will be soft inside and crunchy outside.
When the dough is ready place it in a large bowl slightly dusted with a little flour. Cover with cling film and with a cloth. Leave the bowl in a non cold place, a cupboard you don’t open too often or even in the oven (turned off). If it’s very cold then first warm the oven at 50°, switch off and put the bowl in. Let is raise for at least 4 hours.
Here it is after about 5 hours (these pictures were taken in winter). The easy pizza dough is more than doubled, very soft and has lots of bubbles: great, it’s ready to be used!
It is always better to slightly precook the base before adding any topping, which, especially when using tomato sauce, can make the surface of the pizza quite soggy.
Brush 1 tsp of olive oil directly on the oven tray (mine is 41 x 28 cm) or or on a large piece of baking paper. Pour the easy pizza dough in the oven tray and, with your fingertips made wet on the oiled tray or with a little water, start flattening the dough stretching it from the centre of the tray towards the sides. It takes a bit of practice and patience to do this but eventually you will manage to get better and better at this step. Preheat the oven at the maximum temperature, 250° is ideal, and bake for 5 minutes until the surface just starts colouring.
N.B.: Please do not use a rolling pin: first of all the dough will stick to it unless you use a lot of flour (extra flour = extra Propoints!) and second you will flatten all the little bubbles appeared during the raising phase and the resulting pizza will be hard and not crunchy!
Take the tray out of the oven and detach the dough from the tray delicately with a spatula unless you used baking paper, in which case simply pull the paper off! Now the easy pizza dough is ready for toppings. Put on it your favourite ingredients and bake for about 15 minutes for a fragrant and crunchy pizza!
I will soon have some example of toppings. Here’s one example, a slice of Pizza roasted peppers and olives:
by Giovanna Buono
It is easy to bake pizza for the whole family: just top the tray in sections letting everybody choose their preferred foods while you can put some lighter choices and all enjoy the pizza! You can use some kebab stick to help you dividing the sections: just remember to remove them before putting the tray in the oven though!
If you like the pizza to be higher, you can use a little more flour (and possibly water too) but remember to count the extra points!