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Make ahead pizza dough versatile for lunch, appetizers

Every cook needs a good pizza dough recipe and it’s a bonus if it makes a big batch. The long fermentation of this dough is the reason no kneading is required. The gluten becomes fully hydrated and strong over the 12 to 18 hours that it rests. The longer fermentation also develops a rich flavour almost like a sourdough.

This dough freezes well. For a quick meal, pat it into a 10-inch (25 cm) round before freezing. Then pull it out and top with your favourite fillings and bake.

The dough can also be made into calzones, which are like pizza pockets. Cook up a batch and freeze them for grab and go lunches.

You can also make stromboli, a rectangle of dough filled with your favourite grated cheeses, cured meats and spinach. Roll it into a savoury jelly roll, bake and serve by cutting into slices.

Both of these are delicious served with a marinara sauce for dipping.

Add this baked spaghetti squash that mimics a quattro formaggi pasta and a fresh salad for a complete and healthy meal.

The spaghetti squash bakes at the same temperature as the pull apart pizza bread and can be put in the oven at the same time.

No-Knead Pizza Dough

  • 7 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 1.875 L
  • plus more for shaping >dough
  • 4 tsp. fine sea salt 20 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast 2 mL
  • 3 c. water 750 mL

Whisk flour, salt and yeast in a medium bowl. While stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually add three cups (750 mL) water. Stir until well incorporated. Mix dough gently with your hands to bring it together and form into a rough ball. Transfer to a large clean bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature in a draft-free area until surface is covered with tiny bubbles and dough has more than doubled in size, about 18 hours. Time will vary depending on the temperature in the room.
Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Gently shape into a rough rectangle. Divide into six equal portions. Working with one portion at a time, gather four corners to centre to create four folds.
Turn seam side down and mould gently into a ball. Dust dough with flour and set aside on work surface or a floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining portions.
Let dough rest, covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, until soft and pliable, about one hour.
This can be made three days ahead. Wrap each dough ball separately in plastic wrap and chill. Unwrap and let rest at room temperature on a lightly floured work surface, covered with plastic wrap, for two to three hours before shaping.
Makes six 10 to 12 inch (25-30 cm) pizzas. Source: Adapted from Jim Lahey of The Sullivan Street Bakery.

Pull Apart Pizza Bread

  • unbleached all-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 lb. room temperature pizza dough 500 g
  • 8 oz. thinly sliced pepperoni or other cured meat such as prosciutto 250 g
  • 8 oz. whole-milk mozzarella, sliced into rectangles about 1/4 inch thick 250 g

Heat oven to 400 F (200 C).
Dust countertop lightly with flour. Shape dough into two 11-inch (27 cm) baguettes. Place without touching each other on a parchment-lined baking sheet. An inch from one end of each, snip a deep, 1 1/2-inch-wide (3.7 cm) horizontal pocket with kitchen shears. Nestle a slice each of pepperoni and mozzarella inside. Repeat cutting and stuffing at one-inch (2.5 cm) intervals, stopping one inch from other end. Let stand, covered loosely with plastic in a warm place until they double in size, about 30 minutes.
Bake until cheese is melted and dough is puffed, about 35 minutes. Serve warm. Makes two loaves.

Four Cheese Baked Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1/2 c. water 125 mL
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube, crumbled
  • 1 c. heavy cream 250 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. four Italian white cheeses blend 375 mL
  • fresh thyme
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • parsley or chives or green onions, finely chopped

Heat oven to 400 F (200 C). Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place both halves on a baking sheet, each on a small foil ring to keep it stable. Sprinkle pepper over each half.
In a large bowl, combine minced garlic, heavy cream with 1/2 cup (125 mL) water, crumbled bouillon cube, crumbled bacon chives and fresh thyme. Mix well.
Sprinkle a first layer of grated cheese in the cavities of squash halves. Divide the cream mixture on top of cheese in each half, then top with additional cheese.
Roast in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until the flesh of the spaghetti squash is tender when poked with a fork. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Sarah Galvin is a home economist, teacher and farmers’ market vendor at Swift Current, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. She writes a blog at allourfingersinthepie.blogspot.ca. Contact: team@producer.com.

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