Monday, September 10

The Lazy Houseboy's Perfect (No-Knead) Pizza

Everyone deserves a touch of gourmet everyday. As a lazy houseboy, I've had to find simple ways to amaze my patrons without much sweat off my back. There will always be those times when I'm short on ingredients (because I forgot to do the grocery shopping) or when I'm tired of lounging but can't find the time to create a four-course meal... this recipe is the solution. I've brought it to the table with "oohs" and "ahhhs" because it looks so delicious, and while it's genuinely easy - it tastes like a gourmet creation.

So first things first, your ingredients:

  • 2 Cups (Warm) Water
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Rapid Rise Yeast
  • 3 1/2 Cups Flour (I like King Arthur Bread Flour)
  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil
  • about 10 Shrimp, tails-off
  • 1-2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella (to taste)
  • A Scattering of Grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 Cup Alfredo Sauce
  • 1 Cup Assorted Crisp, Chopped Veggies (Broccoli and Zucchini are best)
  • Oregano, Basil & Garlic to taste

The Perfect Foundation: Delicious Dough
  • In a large bowl, add your warm water (should be the temperature of a bath after you've soaked your tired body for about 40 minutes, just 10 or 15 degrees above room temp.), stir in your yeast (Occasionally I add sugar, corn syrup or other fuel for the yeast guys) and allow to dissolve and activate for a couple minutes.
  • Begin to add your flour one cup at a time, stirring each cup in fully before adding more flour (you should have a soupy mixture until the third cup- Add any garlic, herbs, cheese, etc. to your dough during the first two cups of flour to ensure even flavor). Add the Olive Oil and Salt to your bowl during the first or second cup of flour.
  • Turn your gooey dough ball into an oiled bowl, cover with a towel or a wet paper-towel and allow to raise for about 45 minutes. The dough ball should nearly double in size. If you're cooking this in a cold environment (Like a Cleveland Winter) you may need to raise the dough in a 100 degree oven or proofer.
The Perfect Execution: Building Your Gourmet Creation

  • Pre-Heat your oven to 500 degrees (Just max it out).
  • After raising cut the dough ball roughly in half and place each in a 9-inch round cake pan that's been greased heavily with olive oil, cooking spray or whatever lubrication you prefer. Spread the dough to the edge of each pan with floured fingertips.
  • Spread your Alfredo Sauce in a thin layer on each pizza using the backside of a large spoon. Then scatter your Assorted Veg. around in an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the Mozzarella over the top of the sauce and veg in an even distribution, leaving about a quarter-inch around the edge of the pan. Add your Shrimp in circular patterns, so each slice will have a shrimp at it's center.
  • Bake your pizza pair for 10-14 minutes, removing from the oven when the cheese is crisp and bubbling, and the crust has browned around the edge.
The Perfect Presentation: Plating Your Creation

  • Presentation is key to appearing gourmet. Slice each pizza so the shrimp are in the middle of the pieces. I like to arrange plates like geometric art pieces, try making shapes from your rounded triangles of delicious pizza, toss a little spinach salad and you're ready to eat!

No comments: