This simple technique by Jim Lahey of Co. pizza restaurant and Sullivan Street Bakery in New York is based on his famous no-knead bread. It makes for a very sticky, loose dough that seems as if it won't be easy to work with, but it's very forgiving and performs well with the broiler method featured in the related pizza recipes.
Make Ahead: After the dough rests, it can be refrigerated or frozen. Let it come to room temperature before dividing it into balls and letting it rise, then baking. Or the balls can be transferred to individual freezer-safe plastic food storage bags along with a drizzle of olive oil; refrigerate for several days or freeze for several months. Defrost at room temperature and let it rise before baking.
- 3 cups bread flour, plus more as needed and for the work surface
- 1/4 teaspoon instant (dry) yeast, such as SAF brand
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add the water and stir until blended. The dough will be very sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours in a warm spot (about 70 degrees).
Lightly flour a work surface. Place the dough on it; sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice, using a dough scraper if necessary and sprinkling with more flour if needed, then cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces (about 4 ounces each). Shape each one into a ball, again sprinkling with flour as needed. Generously sprinkle a clean cotton towel with flour and cover the dough balls with it. Let them rise for 2 hours before stretching or tossing into shape, topping and baking.
Adapted from a recipe by baker Jim Lahey.
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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