I made my own pizza again lest night. It’s not something I do on a regular basis but it’s not something novel either. Pizza is close to being a favourite – a status it achieved through almost a month exploring Italy about 7 years ago.
I decided to try something different last night – I turned to Jim Lahey’s – yep, the same one who invented No Knead Bread – for pizza advice. The results were stunning:
There were several things I learned from this recipe and it’s approach which challenged my past experiences making pizza:
- He does not use a pizza stone – a baking tray will do.
- No need for cornmeal or flour at the bottom of your cooking tray either, line it with olive oil.
- No rolling pins, no tossing. Hand stretch it in your pan.This created a few tears which were patched up – I worried these would cause the pizza to stick to the pan but that was a non issue with the oil.
- The sauce is extremely liquid. In fact it is a can of plum tomatoes (14.5 ounces of tomatoes and 2/4 cup of the juice) and some olive oil. This flys in the face of commercial pizza “paste” and what I thought made sense. The liquid sauce keeps things moist and does not reduce to to the sweeter side of things.
- Avoid saucing the middle of your pizza. This I realized previously but this recipe took this to new heights. I “kissed” the middle with sauce and want heavy on the outside as it tends to cook first. Common sense but this had alluded me previously.
- Cook it hot and long. Hot I knew – but I did not expect my Pizza to survive at 500 degrees for almost 30 minutes. The instructions were to wait for the edges to pull back from the pan and become slightly charred. I thought this effect was only produced in a pizza oven.
The crust was thin and crispy on the outside as it gave way to a wonderfully soft and chewy crust in the middle.
Any tricks out there from other pizza lovers? We’d love to hear them.