Tuesday Tutorials- No Knead Margherita Pizza

I live in what was traditionally Little Italy, an area called Commercial Drive. There are two big pizza places, a divorced couple who hate each other and own two competing, but equally horrible overpriced restaurants across the street from each other. There were a couple cheap slice joints, you those weird ones that put sesame seeds on the crust? Those kinds of cheap slice joints.

Then a couple years ago there was a bit of an outcry that there was no good proper pizza in Vancouver. And then two years ago was the year pizza came to the city. In droves. There is pizza everywhere.

Here’s the thing of it. I love pizza. Good proper Neopolitan pizza is hard to beat. And I eat it all the time.

The best pizza joint in the city is now 3 blocks away from my house. And a totally reasonably good place is 1 block from my house. And it has this lunch special, and I am there all the time. All the time!

And while pizza isn’t expensive, I have decided that this year is the year to not go out for cheapy lunches and to make dinner at home more.

So I’m going to start making pizza at home. Partly to save money, yes, I’ll admit to that, but largely because I can make proper pizza at home. And it’s unbelievably easy.

Heres the thing of it, you don’t knead the dough. And you don’t cook the sauce.

Are you ready to make wonderful pizza at home without kneading the dough or cooking the sauce?

I thought so.

No Knead Margherita Pizza

Adapted from the Sullivan St. Bakery


31/2 cups AP Flour

1tsp Dry Active Yeast

2tsp Kosher Salt

1 1/2 cups lukewarm Water


1cup Strained Tomatoes

A good glug of Olive Oil

Sea Salt

4 balls of Fresh Mozzarella

A Handful of Fresh Basil

1/4 cup Grated Parmesan or Grana Padano

With a wooden spoon mix all the dough ingredients in a large bowl. When it’s all combined cover it with plastic wrap and leave it. Forget about it for 18 hours! This is sort of a loose measure of time, I make mine before I go to bed and it works out beautiful when I make dinner, but I have also been impatient and used the dough and made pizza for lunch and it worked really well too. I’d say 13-20 hours is the range really.

When your ready the dough will make 2 big pizzas.

Preheat your oven as hot as it will go. Mine is 500F. If you have a pizza stone, use it. If not, just take an old baking sheet and put that in your oven and let it get toasty hot. Once the oven is hot enough let it sit at that temperature for at least 15 minutes before you start working on the dough.

The dough will be very soft and sticky so use lots of flour. The first rule of dough is not to roll it. Carefully with your fingers streth the dough out, I find it easiest to hold the dough in the air put your clenched fists under it and gently pull them apart. The dough will get thin, then put it on a well floured surface and use your fingertips to stretch out the edges.

Generously flour a rimless baking sheet or the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet.

Put the dough on top of that.

Use half the strained tomatoes and spread over the dough leaving a half inch of space around the edges for the crust.

Drizzle the olive oil on top and sprinkle with salt (you could mix all the these things ahead of time, but then you’d have to clean another bowl, which is something I avoid like the plague.)

Cut the cheese thinly and put 2 balls worth on each pizza.

Take out your pizza stone or baking sheet. With quick jerking motions slide the pizza off your cold tray and onto the hot one. Immediately put it in the oven.

I have what might possibly be the worst oven of all time. If your oven cooks as unevenly as mine you’ll have to rotate your halfway through cooking, although if you can keep the oven shut that’s the best thing.

After 2 minutes of baking turn the broiler on for 2 minutes. This should help the dough get a bit charred. After 4 minutes your pizza should be done.

Get it out of the oven, sprinkle with parm and torn basil and eat while it is still piping hot!


Restaurants are funny places. You work 12 hour days, you work every night and every weekend and are made to feel terribly guilty if you ever take a holiday. You make absolutly no money and but you become intoxicated by this world. You work for complete sociopaths and thats a good thing. It gives you bragging rights.

So when I was 19 and had big lofty ideas of being a famous pastry chef I worked at a very fine dining Italian restaurant in Vancouver, that shall not be named. It was the sort of place where you were encouraged to do nothing but show up on time and follow orders. The sort of place where he had 10 different ways to do everything, so he could come up to you at any point and tell you you were doing it wrong. The sort of place where recipes were not given to cooks, and cooks were not encouraged to ask questions. It was without question the worst job I have ever had.

I have nearly no recipes from that time but strangely I have one from something he made only once; pizza. It’s not a complicated recipe, but the dough is wonderful, its soft and pliable and it rolls easily and it crisps up beautifully in the oven. He also put a lot of ingriedents on the pizza after it had cooked, like arugala, or proscuitto, or salami. I had never seen that before.

It makes a wonderful very fresh tasting pizza. It’s not greasy, and it’s not heavy, but its very satisfying all the same.


Pizza Dough, recipe folows

Tomato Sauce, recipe follows,

200g Asiago or Parmesano

4 Large bocconcini balls

a big handful of baby arugula and basil

100g super thinly sliced prosciutto

Tomato Sauce

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 can of Tomatoes, try to find a brand without added citric acid.


A good glug of olive oil

In a medium sized pot on medium heat, add the olive oil and the onion, cook for a few minutes then add the garlic. Stir until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.

Add in the tomatoes and cook until it gets thick and saucey, about 15 minutes. Season to taste.

Pizza Dough- Makes 2 Pizzas

51/2 cup Bread Flour

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 1/2 tsp Salt

2 tbsp Sugar

1 1/2 tsp Dry Yeast

1 1/3 cup Warm Water

Mix the water, sugar and yeast together until the yeast gets foamy on top, about 10 minutes.

 In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook mix all the ingredients. You can also do this by hand if you have more patience and arm strength then me.

Mix it until it becomes a smooth elastic dough.

Place dough in a bowl, covered, in a warm place until it’s doubled in size, about an hour and a half.

Preheat oven to 500F or the hottest it will go.

Cut the dough in half and roll out to the size of your pans, the bigger the better.

Top with the sauce, and the cheese, breaking apart the boconccini and grating the asiago. 

bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese is brown and the crust is cooked.

Tear the basil and prosciutto on top and sprinkle the arugula. Eat and be happy!