On Friday I shared a recipe on how to prepare and bake a simple no-knead bread. Since I have made the bread many times before, I decided to try another variation and that was to use the dough as the base for a pan pizza.
With a completely unplanned but fortunate bit of timing, the batch of preserved lemons I prepared in early February was due for a quality check and it was also the warmest day of the year (so far). The result: A fantastic, barbecued pan pizza with a moist & chewy thick crust (and crispy toasted bottom) topped with turkey, mushroom, bacon, basil, and preserved lemon.
No-Knead Pizza Dough
I followed the instructions and quantities for the no-knead dough exactly as written in regards to preparation and fermenting. On Friday I prepared a batch of dough and let it sit out for 12 hours before placing it in the fridge to ferment further. On Sunday morning I pulled the bowl of dough from the fridge and rolled it into a loose ball then pressed it into an olive oil greased 12-inch cast iron pan. I flipped the dough over in the oil and made sure it was spread up the sides of the pan (the oil that is), covered it with a cloth and let rise for a few hours.
While waiting for the dough to rise, I assembled my pizza toppings. I used whatever I had available including roast turkey, red onions, mushrooms, basil pesto, bacon lardons, asiago cheese, and preserved lemons.
By dry-salting lemons, moisture is pulled out of the citrus fruit which allows them to ferment under their own juices. Remember the wall-of-text I wrote about preparing kimchi a few weeks ago? Some of the same chemical and biological reactions that happen to create the Korean vegetable condiment also happen with these lemons, too. 'Good' lactic acid bacteria is allowed to flourish creating unique flavours and textures while unwanted microorganisms that would spoil the ferment are kept at bay.
After a month of fermenting, the lemon skins will have softened and a distinct, aged, lemon flavour will have developed. Preserved lemons will still add a sour, citrus flavour wherever you use them and will still pack a big punch if used in large quantities - a little bit goes a long way.
Baking the No-Knead Pizza
I will definitely be preparing this pizza again. Although this pizza will serve 2-4 people easily (with a salad), the crust ended up being a little too thick for my liking. Adjusting the recipe by 1/3 would leave ample enough crust for a pie big enough for one or two to share. I'll let you know how it goes!
Eating. Drinking. Sharing.