Stephen La Rosa indulges us with his no-knead pan pizza
As much as I can appreciate the perfect neapolitan style pizza, there is a place in both my heart and my recipe book for a well-made pan pizza. The dough is wonderfully simple to put together. Requiring only a little bit of foresight, it takes a slow overnight proof to develop flavour and texture in the finished crust.
Makes 2x 11” pizzas
Active time 1 hour
Total time 12-22 hours
For the Dough
480g bread flour
12g table salt
5g instant yeast
Olive oil as needed
For the sauce
400g canned tomato
1 stalk of fresh garlic, sliced
2 bay leaves
Salt and chili flakes to taste
For the topping
1 bulb of fennel, sliced
400g Tuscan sausage (or any mild flavoured sausage)
1 stalk green garlic, sliced
1 sprig rosemary
Parmesan and olive oil to taste
For the Dough
- Begin by combining all of your dough ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until they come together. Cover well and allow to sit at room temperature overnight, up to 20 hours.
- After proving overnight, turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and split into two pieces. Roll each half into a ball and place onto an 11” oven safe pan, lined with a tablespoon of olive oil. Flatten each ball to form a disk.
- Cover and allow to proof for 2 hours.
For the Sauce
- Place a small pot over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the sliced green garlic and the bay leaves. Cook while stirring for 2 minutes. Add ½ a teaspoon of chili flakes and cook for 1 additional minute while stirring.
- Add the can of tomato to the pot and stir to combine.
- Break up any large chunks of tomatoes with a fork and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and reduced, while stirring regularly.
For the Toppings
- Tear your mozzarella and let it sit on paper towels to drain off any excess moisture.
- Place a wide bottomed pan over medium high heat. Remove the casings from the sausage and break the meat into small pieces with your fingers.
- Place into the pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and cook for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the pan once cooked.
- Add your sliced fennel to the hot pan, reserving a few thin slices for garnish.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring only occasionally to remove the fond from the bottom of the pan. Deglaze lightly with water if needed.
- Once nicely browned, add the green garlic and the sprig of rosemary and continue to cook for 2 minutes before removing from the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 280C (or as high as your oven can go).
- Flatten your pizza dough using your fingers to stretch it out across the base of your pan.
- Top lightly with sauce, plenty of the sausage meat and caramelized fennel and finish with grated parmesan. Top with a few shavings of fresh fennel and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
- Cook on the bottom shelf of your oven for 8 minutes and the top shelf of your oven for the following 7 minutes.
- Serve immediately with some chili flakes available at the table, it really rounds out the flavours of the pizza but it’s not everybody’s cup of tea!
For a visual representation of the pizza making process check out @stephen_la_rosa on instagram for a full story highlight. If you’re interested in picking up more cooking tips, techniques and recipes check out www.stephenlarosa.co