Photo from Amazon.
So much is written on bread, the staff of life. It has a similar construction to our own bodies, and really is a whole food when made properly. I know for a fact that I probably could live on bread alone, as I'm sure many people in the past have for periods of time. I've been content the past couple of years to rely on my stored dough technique that Artisan Bread in Five allows, (and I'm not demeaning it, since it is taste worthy and easy above all) but that doesn't leave much for experimentation in the bread realms of Rcakewalk...
I didn't know that I would be making any of Lahey's recipes today, but figured since I didn't pull anything from the freezer, and didn't have any idea what to make for supper without leaving the snowdrifted driveway, I figured it was a prime chance to make one of his pizzas. (I can officially say: Mom and Dad, listen up - this is the pizza that you both will seriously love. It's cracker thin, ultratasty, and only takes minimal mess and effort to produce. Not to mention the fraction of clean up time, compared to when I drag the pizza stone out at your house!)
I have long been an advocate of the pizza stone, which renders me hot and busy for pizza parties, but this pizza is baked at 500 on a sheet pan. I could make 2 at once, prevent the overheating of myself and others, be the "hostess with the mostess", and still present a stellar product. Oh, Mr. Lahey, where have you been all my life?
Look at that gluten!
I opted to use the weight versions in the book, since he gives both metric weights and volume measurements. At first, I was suspicious that my scale was not as accurate as I assume, since the dough was decidedly stiff. I kept to the recipe, indeed to the gram, and am happy to report that it turned out perfectly.
The sheet pan is greased with olive oil, and the dough is coaxed to as large and thin as it can be coaxed. I made his simple Pomodoro pizza, by weighing out 14 oz of my home-canned tomatoes and mixing a glug of olive oil and a heavy pinch of salt in. When I weigh home-canned tomatoes, which are quart jars, I set a strainer over a bowl and zero out my scale. Then, I feel like I'm approximating the texture of "diced" supermarket canned tomatoes. I added in about 2 T. of the reserved juice, and found it was a perfect amount for a sheet pan sized pizza.
I used my knife skills to shave off incredibly thin slices of yellow onion, about a 1/4 c. and scattered these over the sauce, and also heavily scattered on the crushed red chile peppers. The Roman style of these pizzas dictate the absence of cheese, I believe. But since we are here in Wisconsin, I had to add some... but not until the pizza had baked about 15 minutes, and looked like it had only about 5 more minutes to go.
It is unfortunate that the sun was down, and there was no natural light to be had... you'll have to suffer through the dim incandescent lighting pics, and use your imaginations. Better yet, get some bread flour, and give it a go!
I know I keep saying that one of these days, I'm actually going to purchase the items in my Amazon cart. I think it's going to be very soon, my friends. Some books I just have to have due to their incredible photography and inspiration, not to mention recipes of simplicity and pure perfection. Jim Lahey has made the cut, and you can bet a smiley-faced box will be on the way to me soon. Meanwhile, there are many links to the Lahey Pizza, but I haven't noticed in the several I perused that they are the exact published version. The recipe I used included a small amount of sugar, salt, yeast and bread flour. I'll leave you to seek it out, since I'm certain that you'll be glad I did.