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 is a technique I learned about when making homemade baguettes. Refrigerating the dough overnight gives yeast time to work and lets gluten develop. Gluten is what makes the dough come out crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. In this Instructable I will show you how to make simple pizza dough and a delicious homemade pizza sauce.
Step 1: Start the Dough
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
I've left this poolish starter in the fridge for 1-2 weeks and it still makes delicious pizza. If you leave it in the fridge, the dough will just have more of a sour dough bread taste.
Step 2: Dough Preparation
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!
Step 3: Homemade Pizza Sauce
Homemade tomato sauce is incredibly easy to make and tastes a whole lot better than any store bought stuff. I always start with the same base sauce and add additional seasonings and fresh herbs based on what I have on hand.
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. Bonus points if you fry up a few slices of bacon for the pizza and use some bacon drippings for sauteing! Once the onions and peppers are soft, I throw in a whole diced fresh 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 while I'm attending to the dough and make 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 Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 TB Sugar
2 tsp Oregano
2 Bay Leaves
Fresh Herbs - Parsley, Thyme, Basil, etc
Step 4: The Cook
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 a final 30 minutes. After the sauce has been simmered I place the pot in the refrigerator to cool down. Preheat the oven to 495F.
When the final 30 minute rise is finished, flour the counter top and begin to shape the dough. I like to use pizza stones or pizza screens for cooking pizza because they provide superior heat distribution to the pizza. For this Instructable I've chosen to use a pizza screen. Place the dough on the screen, top with your cooled pizza sauce, cheese, 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! Bon Appetit!