Low sodium pizza dough

This no-knead overnight pizza dough is crispy and chewy, and slightly sweet and savory thanks to honey and garlic powder. It was first low-sodium yeasted bread I ever made and I've since used it to make pretzels, baguettes, rolls, bagels, and calzones! For a sodium-free whole wheat pizza dough, go here.

Servings: Makes 4 ten-inch round pizzas, or 2 half sheet rectangular pizzas.

Sodium: Trace

Time: About 1 hour active, 12-18 hours inactive.


Ingredients: 500 g bread flour (about 4 cups, all purpose flour works fine, too but bread flour gives you a slightly chewier crust) 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp onion powder 1/4 tsp instant yeast

2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons honey 315 g water (about 1 1/3 cups)


For low sodium sauces and toppings, check out these recipes: low sodium pizza sauce, store bought salt-free marinara sauce, low sodium cheese, low sodium sausage. And here are some pizza ideas: bbq chicken pizza, bruschetta pizza, ricotta asparagus pizza, mushroom pizza, sausage and kale pizza, and pizza Bianca.


1) Mix the dough and give it a long rest: In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and stir to blend, then add the wet ingredients and using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix thoroughly. I usually start with a spoon, and finish mixing by hand to get it combined. The dough is shaggy and sticky. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let the dough rest for 12-18 hours at room temperature until it has doubled. Don't worry if your house is cold at night, this slow rise works well in cooler temperatures and apparently even helps to improve the flavor.

About the timing: After about 10-12 hours, you can throw the dough into the refrigerator for up to 24 hours until you're ready to use it. This is where this slow rise can give you a lot of flexibility. I usually mix my dough at night and bake the following afternoon because this fits in with my kids' bedtime/nap schedules. If you need the dough to be ready in the evening, mix it at night, put it in the refrigerator in the morning, and then take it out and let it sit about half an hour on the counter before you proceed with the recipe.


2) Shape the dough into balls: Turn the dough out on a floured work surface and divide into 2 (to make two half-sheet pan pizzas) or 4 (to make 4 round pizzas, about 10 inches in diameter). I made 3 in the video below for one larger rectangular pizza and two round pies. The dough will be very sticky, so dust the surface with just enough flour so you can handle it. Shape each piece into a round by pulling the top of the dough towards the center, then pulling the left, right, and bottom towards the center one side at a time. Cover the rounds with a dry kitchen towel so they don't dry out, and let them rest seam side down for 30 minutes. See tips below for freezing the dough if you don't want to bake it all.



3) Turn on the oven: While your dough is resting, preheat oven to 475°F.

4) Stretch and shape for a rectangular half sheet pizza: Lightly oil the sheet pan and press and stretch the dough into the pan. I use olive oil on a 12x17 inch pan. Pick up the dough and let it hang and stretch itself out. If the dough shrinks back as you try to stretch it, let it rest for 15 minutes and try again. Add your favorite low sodium toppings and bake for about 10-15 minutes.


If you have a pizza stone or steel, one easy way to shape and bake is to oil a piece of parchment paper and then press the dough out on the oiled parchment paper. Add your toppings, and then put the whole pizza along with the parchment paper onto the pizza stone. Let it bake for about 7-8 minutes and you can just pull the parchment paper out so the crust is now directly on the stone/steel, then bake for another 3-4 minutes. I find this just makes the transfer into the oven and onto the stone easier and you still get the benefit of a crispy center/bottom.


5) Stretch and shape for a round pie: To make round pizzas, stretch and shape the dough to about 10 inches in diameter. To stretch round pies, I prefer to stretch the dough over my knuckles. Dust the dough and your hands with flour and start by holding the dough around the edges and moving it in circles as it hangs and stretches itself out. Then stretch the middle by moving the dough back and forth over your knuckles. Lightly flour your hands whenever you need to, and pinch together any tears. Bake on a parchment lined sheet pan. I use parchment rather than oil with this stretching method because there's more flour on the surface of the dough and I find it works better with parchment paper. Top and bake for 10-15 minutes.



TIPS:


-Use a scale to measure the ingredients whenever possible, especially flour. If you don't have a scale, King Arthur Baking has this great video on how to measure flour accurately.


-Measure out the olive oil before the honey. That way your tablespoon will be oiled and the honey will slide off easily.


-Get the uncooked pizzas in the oven as soon as they're ready, don't stretch and top and let them sit around waiting to go into the oven.

-If topping with vegetables that have a lot of water in them (like zucchini or mushrooms), slice them very thin. Or better yet, slice the veggies and put them in the microwave for a minute or two to dry them out before adding them to your pizza.


-You can freeze all or part of the dough for another day. After shaping the dough (step 2) wrap it in generously oiled plastic wrap and then put in a ziplock bag and freeze. To use, defrost overnight in the refrigerator in the plastic wrap and ziplock bag. Once you're ready to use it, lightly flour your work surface, take the dough out of the plastic wrap and shape it again into a ball. Let it rest at least 30 minutes (up to an hour) and then proceed with stretching, topping and baking. The dough should be soft and easy to handle. If it's hard to stretch or cold to the touch, let it rest a bit longer.


-Par-bake the dough by baking it for about 4-5 minutes, until the dough is just cooked but not browned (see picture below). Refrigerate par-baked crusts for 3-4 days, or freeze for up to a month. When you're ready to use the par-baked crust, simply top and bake straight out of the fridge or freeze. For a refrigerated crust, it will take anywhere from 10-13 minutes, for a frozen crust add about 2-3 minutes to the baking time. The baking time will depend on how cold and frozen your crust is, your selection of toppings, and personal preference so keep checking.




-The easiest way to clean dough off your bowls and spoons is to let them dry out for a few hours and scrape off the dry dough before you wash so you don't have as much of the soggy dough at the bottom of your sink.


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