Patricia Wells’ Instant No-Knead Dough

By Lindsay-Jean Hard
March 16, 2017
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Author Notes: In  My Master Recipes, Wells shares: “I hate kitchen waste and so have gotten into he habit of saving the liquid that comes with fresh mozzarella. When preparing the dough, I use it in place of water, either all or in part.”

She says this no-knead dough is a staple in her kitchen, and uses it immediately for rustic pizzas (like we did in the photo, toppings based on this recipe), or with a quick rise, for focaccia or pinwheel breads. As the name suggests, it’s ready to right away, but can also be made a few days in advance.

Recipe adapted slightly from My Master Recipes (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2017).
Lindsay-Jean Hard

Makes: two 13-inch pizzas

  • 1 cup (250 ml) lukewarm water (regular water, the liquid that mozzarella is packaged in, or a mix—see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet (about 2 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  1. If you're planning on using this dough immediately for a pizza, place a baking stone or baking steel on the bottom rack of the oven. Heat the oven to its highest temperature (probably 500 or 550° F).
  2. In a cup with a pouring spout, combine the water and the olive oil.
  3. In a food processor, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Pulse to blend. Add the liquid slowly through the feed tube, pulsing until just before the dough forms a ball, 15 to 20 seconds—you might not need all of the liquid. (Adjust as needed: If the dough is too wet, add a little more flour. If it is too dry, add a little more water.)
  4. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and form it into a ball. The dough should be soft. Divide the dough into two equal balls. The dough can be used immediately or can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Punch down the dough as necessary.
  5. If you're using the dough immediately for pizza, roll or stretch the dough ball into a 13-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Carefully transfer the dough to a parchment-lined pizza peel. If it helps you handle it, you can fold it in half first and then unfold it once it’s on the peel.
  6. Add your toppings, then transfer the pizza, still on the parchment, to the baking stone or the baking steel. Bake until the dough is firm and crisp and the top is bubbling, 8 to 10 minutes. Check the bottom of the dough: It should be very crispy and well cooked, dotted with bubbles and with sections that are almost blackened.
  7. Note: If you use the water mozzarella is packaged in for the entire cup of water, taste a tiny bit first. If it's really salty, consider dialing back the salt in the dough.

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