I've been making homemade pizza dough and sauce for the past 8 years or so and I've tried many different methods. I think this no knead method is my favorite. It has turned out some of the best pizzas I've made throughout the years with minimal effort. You start by mixing up a "poolish" the night before you plan to make pizza and let it sit in the fridge overnight. This allows gluten to develop and makes the dough come out crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
To start a batch of poolish I combine some warm water with some sugar. I then add in the flour, salt, and yeast, stir, cover with cling wrap, and place it in a warm spot for an hour or so. I then place it in the fridge overnight. The poolish ratios I use are below:
- 1.5 Cups Warm Water ~100F
- 1 TB of Sugar
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp Yeast
When you're ready to start making the dough, take the poolish out of the fridge and sprinkle 1/2 to 3/4 cup of flour over it. Pull the dough away from the sides of the bowl and start folding it over itself, incorporating the dry flour. Form the dough into a ball, tucking the bottom of the dough into itself. You can add more flour if the dough is still sticky. Cover the bowl back up with cling wrap and set aside for 30 minutes. While you're letting the dough rise, you can start making the sauce.
Homemade tomato sauce is incredibly easy to make and tastes a whole lot better than any store bought stuff. I start by dicing up some onion, pepper, and garlic. I then saute that mix in a pot with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. I was frying up some bacon for a topping so I used the bacon drippings instead of olive oil. Once the onions and peppers are soft, I throw in a whole diced tomato, a can of tomato paste, and a can of tomato sauce. I fill up each can with water to get all the paste and sauce out, and pour that into the sauce. You can then add dry herbs, fresh herbs, Parmesan cheese, sugar, and whatever else you want. I usually simmer this for 30-45 minutes and make any adjustments throughout.
- 1/2 Onion - Diced
- 1/2 Green Pepper - Diced
- 2 Cloves of Garlic - Diced
- 1 Tomato - Diced
- 6oz Can of Tomato Paste (Fill can with water and add to sauce)
- 8oz Can of Tomato Sauce (Fill can with water and add to sauce)
- Salt/Pepper to Taste
- Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 TB Parmesan Cheese
- 1 TB Sugar
- 2 tsp Oregano
- Fresh Herbs - Parsley, Thyme, Basil etc
While the sauce is simmering, I punch the dough down and add flour if it's sticky. I form back into a tight ball by tucking the dough underneath it, replace the cling wrap, and let it rise for the final 30 minutes. After the sauce has been simmered I place the pot in the refrigerator to cool down. Preheat the oven to 495F. Flour the counter top and begin to shape the dough. I used a pizza stone for awhile but I disliked the preheat time. I've since moved to using these Pizza Screens. They're cheap and provide great heat access to every surface of the pizza. Place the dough on the screen, top with your cooled pizza sauce and toppings, drizzle some olive oil on the crust, and bake. I set a timer for 10 minutes and then check on it, rotating as needed. Bake for another 2-5 minutes, pull it out, and let it cool.