Sunday, May 6, 2012

My Pizza

My Pizza: The Easy No-Knead Way to Make Spectacular Pizza at Home
Written by Jim Lahey
With Rick Flaste
Photographs by Squire Fox

ISBN 13: 9780307886156
ISBN 10: 0307886158
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Hardcover: 192 Pages

This cookbook has been getting so much buzz, I knew I had to get myself a copy. Especially when Bon Appétit featured Jim Lahey's pizza on the cover of their March 2012 issue. Since then, I've been thinking about making pizza at home.

The recipe for his famous no-knead dough is available online, so you must wonder, what else does the cookbook provide? There is only one dough recipe and the rest of the book is dedicated to red sauce pizzas, white sauce pizzas, no sauce pizzas, toppings, toasts, soups, salads, and a small section of desserts. So really, once you have the basic dough down, you can do whatever you like. That's the beauty of pizza right? You can customize with any toppings you wish.

However, inspiration and ideas are sometimes hard to come by, so the cookbook offers great topping combinations. Like his bird's nest pie. I would have never thought of it! Or the honshimeji and guanciale pie. It looks so tasty! The spicy eggplant pie makes my mouth water too!

When I saw Lottie + Doof's post on Friday, I knew I would be making pizza the next day. I'm so glad I read his experience first. Because the dough did get crusty and felt a little dry to me. I made the dough on Friday night for it to be ready for Saturday's lunch. In the morning, I was ecstatic to see that the dough did rise (why I was doubting it?)!

I divided the dough into four balls and did my best to stretch each one out into a pie shape. They are personal sized, which is nice for a group of 3-4. Taking Lottie + Doof's advice, I went with the simpler pizza for the first one. I didn't have a pizza stone (we used to ... but gave it away), but a baking sheet works just as well (according to Jim). The oven was cranked to the highest we've ever set it to. This is how it turned out:
Not bad right?? The first pizza we made is an all time favourite pizza of mine. When I have a pizza craving, the simple margherita is so satisfying. Tomato, mozzarella, and basil.
If you prefer, add the basil after, but I like the basil nice and crisp. Yum, I'm craving pizza again while writing this post.
Howard's pizza is just loaded with goodness. Tomato, mozzarella, three kinds of mushroom, proscuitto, and more mozzarella.
Howard made another one, you didn't expect him to be full after one, did you?! This one has tomato, mozzarella, and three kinds of mushroom. After the oven time, we placed thinly sliced proscuitto on top with arugula. Absolutely delicious.
The last one we made for my parents. I asked my mom what she wanted and she took out a Vietnamese sausage and started slicing it. We also topped it with three kinds of mushroom. Then we added basil after it came out of the oven. My dad loved it.
Make yourself an appetizer to go with the pizzas. This one's not from the book, but inspired from one of our favourite pizza places in Toronto. Here, we kept it simple by assembling some arugula on a plate. Covered a thin slice of toast with goat brie and sprinkled diced green apple all over the plate. Lastly, drizzled on some honey.
If you have time, make your own crostini, if not, use Grissol Melba toast like us.
I'd say if you're a pizza beginner like us, My Pizza is a great introduction. It covers equipment, ingredients, adjusting to oven types, and even serving strategies. Overall a simple and thorough foundation for delicious pizza. Try it and you'll never want to go back to frozen pizza again!

6 comments:

  1. Looks fantastic and very Italian with the sparse topics of a margherita pizza, my favourite! I love making my own pizza so I can try new combinations and even strive to make it as close to my memory of great Italian pizza I had in Rome. I always have at least one dough in the freezer for when unexpected guests come over or when I'm in the mood for a good movie, pizza and wine.

    The Wanderfull Traveler

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  2. Murissa Shalapata - Thank you!! I'm glad to see that you also like the simplicity of the margherita pizza. Wish I could visit Rome and try all of their amazing food too! =)

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  3. I'm from Toronto too :) Personally I LOVE libretto but I'd like to hear some of your favs, too!

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  4. All the pizzas look beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

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