Before Tiny G arrived on the scene (BG as it’s known around here), I used to make my own pizza dough, and I’ve been dying to try the Overnight Pizza Dough from the April issue of Bon Appétit. But after purchasing premade pizza dough from Whole Foods this morning, I may not need to look any further. My friend Hugh has been raving about it on GastroKid, so today I picked some up. As you can see, the dough is very much alive (elapsed time between photos three hours). Note: for crispiest and most flavorful crust results, Hugh lets the dough rise several hours, which we did. (After it doubled in size, I put it in a covered bowl in the fridge and then brought to room temp before using.) Here it is making a jail break:
Oh, and it’s only $3. As much as I’d love to tell you that homemade dough is so worth the effort, after trying Whole Foods’ fresh dough, I’m not so sure. (Unless you are Nancy Silverton, in which case, yeah, your homemade dough trumps.) So about half an hour before baking, crank up the oven to 500 degrees. We were given an awesome Mario Batali pizza pan as a wedding present. I highly recommend it, but a baking sheet would work well, too. First, sprinkle your pan with cornmeal.
Stretch dough until it stretches to fit your pan, pinches edges and rotating. Here’s my sister showing us how it’s done:
Place dough on pizza pan. Since we like a crispy crust, I put the crust in—by itself without toppings—for 4 minutes. (I find this a particularly good strategy if you are using wet toppings, like a sauce or mushrooms, which can give off a lot of moisture.)
We spread pesto over the barely cooked crust. I didn’t have time to make my own, so this was from Academia Barilla from Liguria and is really good for jarred. And what could be faster?
Then we topped with marinated radicchio, basil and fresh ricotta left over from last night’s dinner. We finished with a little grated parm and black pepper.
From there we put it back in the oven for 10 minutes, until the crust was golden brown. Insanely good. I used an Alessi roller in the below photo mostly because I love the color, but last year for Christmas my friend Diane gave me an oversized Mario Batali pizza wheel and it works much, much better. Oh, and a word about the pizza: perfection. We saved a piece for my husband when he got home from the fight, and he declared the best piece of pizza he’d ever had (adding, other than Mozza). And the whole thing took five minutes to assemble.