Last week I was going to make some calzones since it’s been over six months since I made pizza (a calzone is technically a folded pizza) so I figured it was about time. I was in a hurry and didn’t want to mix up some dough so all I had in the fridge was one small can of Piggly Wiggly biscuits that had been in there a while and needed using up. And since I said Piggly Wiggly for the first time in my blog I’ve got to post this silly video since it actually has a reference to PW in it. If you don’t like Avengers you’ll probably want to skip it. LOL.
So I pressed the biscuit dough thin and used a beef, mushroom, and onion filling for it – it also contained cheese and sour cream. I still had extra filling so I had to use some low carb tortillas for the rest of it. It all turned out well but I got to thinking it would be nice if I had dough mixed up in the fridge for such occasions and I wouldn’t have to use store bought refrigerated dough which has extra preservatives in it and doesn’t taste as good. So enter the following book for no-knead or refrigerated dough…
If you search youtube or the web you can find plenty of recipes for no-knead or refrigerated dough or you can buy the book which is generally pretty cheap. The book has a lot of variations for preparing the dough such as herb bread, butter rolls and such. I don’t get any money if you buy the book from the link so I’m just including it for reference.
So here is a summary of the steps:
You first have to mix the dough and preferably leave in the fridge overnight. The ingredients for the dough I used is – you can double this recipe if you’d like:
1.5 cups lukewarm water (not too hot)
3.25 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons yeast
3 teaspoons salt
2 or 3 teaspoons of cornmeal
- Mix water, yeast, and salt together then add flour together.
- Mix just enough to moisten flour without dry spots. Doesn’t take long and no need to knead the dough.
- Put a lid or plastic wrap on the container where it’s loose but don’t seal it completely.
- Let it rise for 2 hours then put it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Keep in mind that you never want to punch down or flatten this dough if you’re going to make round airy loaves.
- When you take it out of the fridge it’ll look wet and take the form of the container like the photo below.
6. When the dough is chilled and you take it out, use a serrated knife to cut off as much as you need. Maybe an orange size amount or a grapefruit size amount. Note, that the dough is easier to work with if it’s chilled. Dust the wet ball of dough with some flour on top and then stretch the surface below the ball, turning the ball 1/4 turn each time. The goal here is to only stretch the outer layer of the dough and not compress or work the other 95% of the dough. You should wind up with a dough ball like the one on the right. It doesn’t have to look perfect and this stretching process takes less than 60 seconds normally. You don’t want to overwork the dough or it’ll be very dense after cooking.
7. When both surfaces have been pulled and tucked under the ball it’ll look something like below. Not that if you’re going to use a dough paddle like I have here, you’ll want to use it from the beginning to prepare the dough and let it rise as opposed to the wax paper I used here. Sprinkle a little bit of corn meal on the dough paddle before shaping.
8. Cover them with a roomy bowl like so and let them rest for 45 to 90 minutes. During this time they will rise some.
9. During the last 15 to 20 minutes of rising you can go ahead and preheat the oven and stone (if you’re using a stone) as opposed to a pan. I have a cheap baking stone that I bought years ago. Also place an additional empty metal pan (not glass as it’ll shatter) in the oven. You’ll add hot tap water to this after adding the dough to the stone so that it’ll add steam to the cooking process.
10. After the dough rise step is done, drop some flour on top of the dough and score/slice the top of the dough with a serrated knife. Patterns such as 3 slits, a plus sign, or tic tac toe pattern can be used – I used the first two here. The flour should help keep the dough from sticking to the knife. After cooking and the bread has cooled you can shake off excess flour before eating if you’d like.
11. The paddle and the corn meal under the dough makes it easy to slide the dough from the paddle directly to the baking stone. After you transfer the dough to the baking stone or pans if that’s what you used don’t forget to add hot tap water to the empty metal pan so that it can add some steam to the cooking process. The loaves I made here are smaller so I only baked them for 20 to 25 minutes.
12. The finished bread is below. The outer shell was nice and crisp and the inside was airy and fluffy without being too dense. It was excellent sliced and brushed with a little bit of butter. Of course there is a million ways to enjoy this crusty bread such as with sandwiches, soup, or salad.