11.07.2006

Pizzas: Kneadless Expts.


In a previous post, I tried some focaccia dough using a kneadless technique to make the dough. It's from this book No Need to Knead and I thought it was a perfect application for a focaccia dough.

This night, I decided to take the same dough, divide it into two 250 g lumps and make pizzas out of it using 9" cake pans. My usual pizza prep involves fairly extensive kneading of the dough. But, I'm a wicked busy parent and looking for any possible way to get good food to the table in a shorter amount of time. I thought this expt. would be pretty fun too.

I made the dough as in the previous focaccia, post, divided it, plopped each lump into a 9" cake pan (dark, non stick), topped them with pureed tomatoes, oregano, good mozzarella, salt, pepper and tossed them in a 450-deg-F oven (middle) for 15 minutes.

Results
Crust was, like the focaccia, soft, not too chewy, cooked well all the way through (kind of a thick crust), and tasty but far, far from the robust crust of a well-kneaded dough.

My next foray into this kneadless stuff will be tonight when I apply the method to our night's baguette; a very lean dough (it's bread, cheese and salad night in our household). I'll post results.

Now vote, damnit.

4 comments:

eric said...

Dave - I found this article today about this no-kneading technique.

I might need to give this a try....


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/08mini.html?em&ex=1163307600&en=fa6664372a29d72e&ei=5087%0A

dave said...

Most excellent, thanks Eric. I used it the other night on my baguette recipe and it was quite good. I did age the initially made dough overnight in the fridge, but it was really good. And, sooooo much less work. Especially when the kid's running all over the place. Really makes a difference.

Going to read that article - Thanks again!

Molly said...

Hey, Dave, will you post your kneadless baguette recipe? Brandon and I have been rather intrigued by all this talk of kneadless breads around the Internet, and I'd love to see what you did with yours...

dave said...

Hey Molly,

You cheese cracker post was incredible. I'm actually printing it for sometime when I can fit it in.

Re: the kneadless baguette. Don't know when I'll have time. I wanted to do it and put the sequence of steps in a flickr slideshow but my shedule's killing me (and I'm selling my house and my father's sick ...).

Anyway, in a nutshell, I use my same baguette method:
la baguette only I just stir the stuff together in a tupperware container until it comes together; no exhaustive kneading. I use a full charge of yeast and either do it all within a couple hours or sometimes I let the first rise go overnight in the fridge. The method from the nytimes uses a trace of yeast and a room temp rise for some 20 hours. I think all those combinations may be nearly equivalent in the final product. ALSO, I'm working a lot of expts on humidification of the oven. Instead of a steam shot (60 mL of water), I'm currently using a hot pan in the bottom of the oven and dumping 2 cups of water at bake time which makes for a humid oven for about 2/3 of the baking time (the nytimes video claims you need 70% relative humidity for 2/3 of the total bake time; initially the humidity is for oven spring and then a dry oven for final crisping. The only kneadless baguette I did is posted on flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=294856906&size=l
and that was doing it identical to my regular baguette prep - with no kneading. So, some information, the full post whenever I gain my sanity. Good luck.

You're a talented whipper snapper, you'll get it.