No Knead Sheet Pan Pizza recipe
When it comes to our weekly takeaway, my least favourite choice is pizza. Last time the boys voted for pizza, I ended up having a sandwich instead. I’ve nothing against takeaway pizza, it’s just not my number 1 choice. But when it comes to homemade pizza, I’m all in. This No Knead Sheet Pan Pizza needs no further introduction from me, but suffice to say, you don’t have to knead it, and it’s bloody huge.
When I discovered this Sicilian style pizza on the fantastic Serious Eats site, I fell in love. I was wooed by a) the no knead nature b) the size of it and c) the promise of a crispy bottom. One thing I hate about pizza is a soggy, flabby dough, but with this recipe, makes soggy bottoms a thing of the past. This No Knead Sheet Pan Pizza is a big old bugger, made for a hungry family or to nibble with friends whilst socially distantly drinking in your garden. It’s best made in a food processor, but if you don’t have one I have noted the alternative methods at the bottom of the recipe below. The dough is mixed for less than a minute then left to prove for 2 to 3 hours. And the rest is then up to you. I couldn’t source any pepperoni so topped mine with crumbled sausage cooked with some fennel seeds. I made a really easy spicy tomato sauce to adorn this fantastic pizza, but you can easily use a bought one if you would prefer.
And that’s it. I can’t say any more than it’s huge, it has a crisp bottom and it’s bloody lovely. My love for pizza is back and it’s erring on obsession.
Here are the dough ingredients, simple, providing you can get yeast, that is.
And here’s all you need for the topping business. Traditionally pepperoni is used, however, there wasn’t a slice to be had in the SW14 area, so I went for sausage meat sauteed with fennel seeds.
Right, let’s get going. Using a food processor or stand mixer, the rise time for this is around 3 hours, so plan ahead. If you’re making by hand, you’ll need between 12 to 24 hours, so it’s worth using machinery if you have it. So, take your food processor with the blade attachment and measure in the flour, salt, yeast, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the warm water.
Process the mixture briefly until the dough forms around the blade.
Process for a further 30 seconds. Next take your large baking sheet and pour on 50ml olive oil and spread it over the tray. Don’t panic, this does look like quite a bit of oil, but this will help your pizza to have a crispy, golden bottom without a whiff of sogginess.
Remove your dough from the machine and gather it into a ball. Roll the ball in the oil on the tray then fashion into a small rectangle, the same shape as your tray. It will not fill the tray at this stage.
Cover the whole tray in cling film and leave for 2 to 3 hours in which time the dough will rise and expand.
While this happens, make your spicy tomato sauce. Take a good sized frying pan and add two tablespoons of olive oil. Heat over a medium flame then add your finely chopped garlic, dried oregano and chilli flakes.
Cook for a minute until the garlic starts to turn golden then tip in the 2 cans of whole tomatoes and their juice along with the teaspoon of sugar.
Stir well and break up the tomatoes with my favourite new toy, my pastry cutter, or a potato masher then bring up to the simmer.
Cook for 15 minutes until the sauce is rich and unctuous. Taste, then season with salt and pepper.
Pop to one side. Once your rising time is up, remove the cling film. Very gently, so as not to knock out all the air, press and push the dough until it covers the whole of your baking tray.
Leave the dough for 30 minutes to rest. At this point, pre heat your oven to its highest setting (mine’s 240 degrees) and place the oven shelf near to the bottom. And due to the slightly mucky nature of my oven, this then filled the kitchen with smoke.
Right you’re now ready to top your pizza. Start, unusually but bear with me on this, cover the base with your mozzarella slices.
Cover the cheese with a light layer of your spicy tomato sauce. Don’t drown your pizza, you’ll have some spare sauce for another day which you can freeze if you like.
Now lay on your pepperoni or crumbled sausage, or whatever you’ve chosen, then finish off with half your grated parmesan or pecorino.
What an absolute beauty. Pop this into your ferociously hot oven for 10 to 12 minutes. This doesn’t seem like long, but, you’ll have to trust me on this again. After 10 minutes carefully lift up the corner of your pizza and see if the bottom is golden and crisp.
If it isn’t, give the pizza another couple of minutes, covering the top with foil if it’s getting too brown.
Sprinkle on the last of the grated cheese then cut, with a pizza cutter, into smaller squares for a crowd or bloody great big slabs for your family.
Crisp pizza, lightly spiced sauce, a lot of cheese and not a flabby bottom in sight. I have tried a lot of pizza recipes, and in my humble opinion, this is thus far, the best. I have the waistline to verify this statement.
No Knead Sheet Pan Pizza recipe
Serves a hungry family/crowd (or the 3 of us)
You will need a food processor (you can make in a stand mixer or by hand, see below) and a large baking sheet, mines about 13 inches x 18 inches
No Knead Dough
500g white bread flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons active dried yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 50ml for the pan
325ml warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 to 1 teaspoons dried chilli flakes, to taste
2 x 400g tins whole plum tomatoes
1 teaspoon caster sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
Or use a pre made pizza sauce
400g sausage meat, fried off with 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds until just cooked and golden
2 x 250g sliced mozzarella
100g parmesan or pecorino, grated
Or feel free to use pepperoni slices, or any of your favourite toppings
Make a start by taking your large baking sheet and pouring on the 50ml of olive oil. Spread the oil out over the whole tray.
In your food processor fitted with the blade, measure in the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and water. Process until the dough collects around the blade. Process again for 30 seconds more. You will have a soft ball of dough.
Turn the dough out onto the oiled sheet and turn the dough over in the oil to coat. Press the dough into a small rectangle the same shape as the tray. It won’t fill the tray at this stage. Cover the tray with cling film and leave to rise for 2 to 3 hours (mine was nearer 3).
While the dough is rising, make the pizza sauce. Take a large frying pan and add the two tablespoons of olive oil. Heat over a medium flame then add your chopped garlic, chilli flakes and oregano and cook for a minute or so. Tip in the tinned tomatoes, with their juice, and add the teaspoon of sugar. Stir well and bring up to the simmer. Mush the tomatoes up so they break down, I used a pastry blender, but you could use a potato masher or just a spoon.
Cook the sauce for around 15 minutes or until thickening. Taste then season well with salt and pepper. Leave to cool.
If you’re using my sausage topping, fry off the sausage meat in a hot pan with the crushed fennel seeds for around 5 minutes or until just cooked through and starting to brown. Drain off any excess fat.
When the rising time is up, remove the cling film from the dough. Lightly, using your hands, press and push the dough, gently making sure you don’t knock out all the air, until it reaches the edges of the pan. Leave to rest for another 30 minutes. At this point pre heat your oven to its highest temperature, mine was 240 degrees fan assisted. Position your shelf near to the bottom of the oven.
When the final 30 minutes is up assemble your pizza. First, cover the base with the mozzarella slices. Next, cover the cheese with a light covering of your sauce, you will have some spare for next time (freeze if need be). Then cover the sauce in the crumbled, cooked sausage (or pepperoni, or your other toppings). Sprinkle over half the grated parmesan then put the pizza on the lowest shelf of your hot oven.
Cook the pizza for 10 to 12 minutes. Check after 10 minutes to see if the base is golden, if not, continue to cook until the pizza base is golden and the toppings are crisp. If the toppings are getting too cooked, cover the top in foil. Don’t overcook, or the pizza will be dry.
Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the rest of the parmesan and serve in large wedges, cut with a pizza wheel.
Any leftovers are amazing cold for breakfast, in our house anyway.
To make the dough with a stand mixer with a dough hook
Add the flour, salt, yeast and olive oil to the bowl of your mixer and switch onto low. Mix, then pour in the water, turn up the speed and mix for around 6 minutes. The dough will stick to the bottom of the bowl but come away from the sides. Continue as above by putting the dough onto the oiled tray to rise.
To make the dough by hand
Mix the flour, salt and yeast. Pour on the olive oil and water and mix together until no flour is visible and you have a soft dough. Cover the dough in a bowl tightly with cling film and leave for 12 to 24 hours. Continue as above by putting the dough onto the oiled tray to rise.