NOVEMBER 14 2012


PIZZA PARTY! One of my favorite things is pizza and I love inviting friends over and trying fun, new topping combinations. The hardest part has always been the crust, though. Over the years, I've tried a bunch of recipes but had yet to find one that makes really airy, bubbly, "artisan" crust. I had one that made pretty darn good crust but it took kneading and multiple rises and two or three days in the fridge to make it work. Based on these past experiences with pizza crust recipes, I had a feeling that Mr. O's pizza dough would be fine, but not epic. And I want EPIC! So I chose to follow a "no knead" recipe instead... and man am I glad I did!

This crust is amazing... and so easy! I used "Jim Lahey's No Knead Pizza Dough" recipe from Serious Eats for fantastic results. I would say it's a bit of a stretch (pun intended) to make 4 pizzas from this recipe. They end up rather small. So, I would amend this recipe to say it makes 4 small or 3 medium pizzas.

"no-knead" dough. amazing!

I did stick with Mr. O's recipe for the toppings, which are a bit unusual. Eggs? Sumac? Za'atar? All very interesting! Luckily I have spent many an hour browsing Barbur World Foods and have, at one time or another, purchased both sumac and za'atar due to pure foodie curiosity.

za'atar & sumac

Sumac is a purple-red powder, very tart and resin-y, used often in Middle Eastern cuisine. I love sprinkling it on lamb kebabs or stirring into grain salads. Za'atar also comes from the Middle East and is a pungent spice mix featuring dried herbs and sesame seeds. I often stir it into hot, cooked rice and it really amps up fresh sliced tomatoes.

Once the spinach is wilted and cooled, I squeeze as much liquid out as possible then start building the pizza. Look at me! I'm a pro... spinning the dough in the air to gently stretch it to size! Yippee! Now layer with grated cheese and cooked spinach and carefully nestle the raw eggs into the greenery. A liberal dusting of sumac and za'atar then into the screaming hot oven.

ready for the oven

The oven has been pre-heating as high as possible for about an hour now, with the pizza stone already on the rack. Once I slide the pizza onto the stone, I switch the oven to broil and let it rip for about 8 minutes, until the crust is charred and the eggs are set. Lookin' good!

WOW! So tasty! I love the rich, gooey egg with a punch of sour sumac balanced nicely by the herby za'atar. And the crust is totally authentic. Big bubbles. Good chew. Full of flavor. I'm a no-knead convert! This pizza will happen again, for sure.

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