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My Pizza: The Easy No-Knead Way to Make Spectacular Pizza at Home Hardcover – March 20, 2012
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From the Publisher
Rosa Pie MAKES ONE 10- TO 12-INCH PIZZA
With my Rosa pizza, I boost that basic Tomato Pie on page 37 with garlic and chili along with some fresh oregano (if it’s available). And, with just those small additional touches, something quite distinct is created. You get more bite, more complexity. The Rosa is terriﬁc for entertaining because it’s surprisingly satisfying and extremely easy-allowing you to expend most of your energy on a subsequent pie or two requiring greater concentration.
1. Put the pizza stone on a rack in a gas oven about 8 inches from the broiler. Preheat the oven on bake at 500°F for 30 minutes. Switch to broil for 10 minutes. (For an electric variation, see page 18.)
2. With the dough on the peel, spoon the tomato sauce over the surface and spread it evenly, leaving about an inch of the rim untouched. Sprinkle with salt and chili ﬂakes. Distribute the garlic evenly over the pie. Drizzle with oil.
3. With quick, jerking motions, slide the pie onto the stone. Broil for 3 minutes under gas (somewhat longer with an electric oven; see page 18), until the top is bubbling and the crust is nicely charred but not burnt.
4. Using the peel, transfer the pizza to a tray or serving platter. Sprinkle with the oregano, if using. Slice and serve immediately.
- 1 ball of Pizza Dough, shaped and waiting on a ﬂoured peel (page 26)
- 70 grams (¼ cup) Basic Tomato Sauce (page 34)
- Generous pinch of ﬁne sea salt
- Pinch of chili ﬂakes
- 1 medium garlic clove, thinly slivered
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 4 or 5 fresh oregano leaves, chopped (optional)
“Jim Lahey’s book gives everyone—and I mean everyone—the tools to make incredible, crisp-crusted, crackling pizza at home. His recipes and instructions are simple to follow but leave nothing to chance; aspiring pizza makers of all levels are in good hands. You might never call for pizza delivery again!”
“I have known Jim Lahey for many years and have always thought him to be the best baker in town. His bread brings back memories of the rustic French country loaves of my childhood. Jim’s new pizza book allows everyone to be a pizza chef at home with easy-to-follow recipes, both classic and innovative.”
“The most crucial element of a good pizza is the crust. Finding and using the best mozzarella and finest of tomatoes is essential to a good pizza, but any determined potential pizzaiolo can track down good ingredients. The key is that crust and Jim Lahey is a master. His pizzas are so good I could scrape off all the toppings and still savor his magnificent pies. Jim’s book My Pizza should be required reading for anyone serious about making pizza at home.”
Additional praise for Jim Lahey/Co.:
“The frequently mobbed and fervently discussed new restaurant Co. — pronounced “company” — was born of a worship of dough. That’s why the pizzas at the center of its menu are as good as they are.” – Frank Bruni, New York Times
“(Jim Lahey is) New York’s king of dough.” – Gourmet Magazine
“Jim Lahey is one of the country’s elite bread bakers, so when he decided to open a pizza place, it was huge news.” – Food & Wine Magazine
“Who needs Naples when the world’s greatest pizza is currently baked at Co., on a windswept corner in Chelsea? Here, Jim Lahey, the fanatic behind Sullivan St Bakery, turns out jagged, faintly tangy, artfully blistered pies perfectly engineered to support their toppings without being soggy or bready or overly chewy—a feat that usually eludes even Italy’s best pizzaioli.” – Travel & Leisure
“In the world of pizza, debates over crust can resemble sectarian disputes. There are the ascetics, who demand pies as thin and brittle as Communion wafers, versus the libertines, who prefer something they can sink their teeth into. If anyone can persuade the quarrellers to break bread, it’s surely Jim Lahey, of Co.” – New Yorker
Co., Named one of the top 10 pies in United States. (#8) – GQ Magazine
About the Author
Jim Lahey opened the Sullivan Street Bakery in 1994, and Co., a pizza restaurant, in 2009 in New York City. Lahey and his businesses have been featured in Vogue, Saveur, and the New York Times, and he has appeared on the Martha Stewart Show and NBC’s Today show. His innovative no-knead bread recipe, first published in an article by Mark Bittman in the New York Times in 2006, became the basis of Lahey’s cookbook My Bread, which was a Gourmet Cookbook Club selection. In 2015, Lahey became the first recipient of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Baker. Jim Lahey studied sculpture before learning the art of bread baking in Italy.
Rick Flaste, the first editor of the Dining Section of the New York Times, has collaborated on several books.
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Top customer reviews
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But what really makes this book fantastic are the flavor combinations on the pizzas in the chapters following the crust. The book has three chapters of pizza--red sauce, white sauce, and no sauce. I cooked from this book with a group of friends and we made pizzas from each chapter and there wasn't a bad one in the bunch. From a simple margherita made with fresh hand crushed tomato sauce (again, a super simple recipe), to ham and cheese pie with prosciutto, to a stellar caramelized onion pie with lardons, the flavor combinations were all stellar. The book also includes a salad and dessert section, although these almost feel like an afterthought compared to the detail and attention in the pizza chapters.
All in all this is a winner. I would definitely recommend it to pizza fans!
The only criticism I have is he seems to have left out a MAJOR (last step) to the dough preparation (the book is so great though, that I will not budge from 5 star rating). I noticed this because it differs from most online versions of his dough making process. His "Step 3" stops where the individual balls are formed. Then "Step 4" only talks about how to preserve the dough in the fridge and bringing it back to room temp when ready. For pizza making on the same day, the book neglects to tell you to proof the rounds in a plastic wrapped pan for an additional hour before using. This is an unfortunate CRITICAL oversight. The dough will NOT handle and stretch properly without the final proofing step. ( The book goes straight from flouring the rounds seam side down to either "preserving for 3 days in fridge", or to 'shaping the disk'... ) If you are making pizza on the same day, after page 26 "step 3", proof the dough for another hour at room temp (~75*F) for one more hour before moving to page 29 'shaping the disk'.
What's great about Jim's method is you can literally make the dough in 5 minutes, then let it rise at room temperature for at least 18 hours and it's ready. Takes time, yes, but very little work. Sometimes I throw it together before bed at night and it's ready by 4 pm the next day. I can remember watching Mario Batali on TV and he added sugar, olive oil, and white wine, and then he kneaded for 20 minutes with a rest or two. That's unnecessary, and the crust isn't as good. I watched many pizza makers on Martha Stewart doing similar things, but none worked as well as Jim's method. The most important things are the 18 to 36 hour rise at room temperature and using a pizza stone under a broiler. Just make the dough the day before and follow Jim's instructions. But I do recommend using King Arthur bread flour (blue bag) or a 50/50 blend of King Arthur and Antimo Caputo OO flour, the latter if you like a finer crust texture. Make sure you're not using old flour.
I do deviate from Jim's instructions a bit because my wife and I like a slightly thicker crust. I do one minute of kneading before the bowl, two minutes of kneading once out of the bowl, and then I don't stretch it as thin when I shape it. I make sure to keep the rim fatter, and then I do a second rise for 1.5 to 2 hours prior to adding the toppings and baking/broiling in our electric oven on a preheated pizza stone (see the pictures I've posted here). Do keep on eye on it because, with the pizza just 4 inches from the electric broiler, it goes fast -- in about 5 minutes.
Jim has a lot of good choices for recipes, but we have our own favorite: Sizzle up a little garlic and fresh chopped basil leaves in quality olive oil (careful not to burn) and use that for a sauce. Next, top the pizza dough with fresh mozzerella cheese and the best quality tomatoes you can get (but not too many pieces), add a good amount of fresh chopped basil leaves (more than you'd think), and then top everything with fresh goat cheese. I grate it on after it's been in the freezer for 40 minutes, but you can also just break off pieces of it. Finish with a little dry fine herbs or oregano flakes. Bake/broil. And when the pizza comes out of the oven, let cool for 4 or 5 minutes and then finish with drizzled olive oil and gourmet sea salt before serving. We have found this pizza unbeatable. And here's a tip: don't use too much cheese or too many tomato pieces. You can get away with more basil than you'd think, but the secret to great pizza flavor is to keep it balanced.
NOTE: Some people add basil leaves when the pizza comes out of the oven, but it tastes much better with the chopped fresh basil leaves baked in. Also, if using an electric oven, the broiler will likely shut off after the oven reaches 500 degrees (not hot enough). But you can foil this feature by opening the door a few inches for 20 seconds, and then closing it again. The broiler will then go back on. Even though the oven heat drops, the stone will stay hot. I usually have to do this twice during the 5 minute baking period, and Jim explains this on page 18 of his book. In any case, get this book and you'll soon be making great pizzas. I told some friends about this book and they had never made pizza before. They achieved great success on their second try, and then successfully made calzones after that. It's really that easy!
NOTE: I'm adding a photo of a slice, showing the 50/50 blend of bread flour and 00 flour, with a short prebake (to set the rise and get air in the crust), prior to adding toppings and the final baking under broiler. This is the result -- great crust that's slightly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.