A few months ago I was lucky enough to be invited to what is by far my favorite bakery in New York City—Sullivan Street Bakery—to make pizza with the owner and bread guru, Jim Lahey. Sullivan Street Bakery (which is actually located on W. 47th Street) is my happy place. When I moved out of the city last September—leaving the island for the last time with my children in the back seat, my husband at the wheel, and tears in my eyes—it was my final stop before hitting Lincoln Tunnel. A bag of the bakery’s bread and sandwiches made things a little bit better and they were my last souvenir from over a decade of urban life. I love the place for the authentic Italian breads, the ridiculously delicious sandwiches (eating their version of a cubano will change your life) and their little bomboloni (custard-filled donuts), but my heart completely belongs to the roman-style pizzas, which this video will show you how to make with the master himself…
The pizzas are terrific not only because they are so flavorful (with a crispy perfect crust that doesn’t need piles of cheese), but because they are very simple to make. You can also get the indispensable book Jim published last year called My Bread, which includes his famous technique for no-knead bread, as well as all of the bakery recipes. I’ve included the recipe for the pizza below, and enjoy the video (my food-friend/former devilandegg co-blogger/fellow Glamour-editor, Leslie Robarge, joined me for the fun; and thanks to our wonderful producer David Sartorius, and our cameraman David Etzold).
Recipe for Roman Pizza from:
My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method
by Jim Lahey, founder of Sullivan Street Bakery, with Rick Flaste
Published by W.W. Norton 2009
3 3/4 cups of bread flour
2 1/2 tsp of instant or other active dry yeast
3/4 tsp table salt
3/4 tsp plus a pinch of sugar
1 1/3 cups of room temperature water
extra virgin olive oil for pans
1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until blended, at least 30 seconds. The dough is a bit stiffer than most, not as wet and sticky. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the dough has more than doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
2. Oil two 13-by-18 inch rimmed baking sheets. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape half of the dough onto an oiled pan in one piece. Gently pull and stretch the dough across the surface of the pan, and use your hands to press it evenly out to the edges. If the dough sticks to your fingers lightly dust it with flour or coast your hands with oil. Pinch any holes together. Repeat with the second piece. The dough is ready to top as you like (see following recipes):
can of your favorite diced tomatoes in juice, drained (a 14 1/2 oz can)
juice of the canned tomatoes reserved
1 1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp of table salt
1. Preheat oven to 500 F with rack in the center
2. Use a blender, food processor, or immersion blender to pulse together the tomatoes with the reserved juice, the olive oil, and salt until they are chunky. The mixture will be very liquid.
3. With a ladle or large spoon, spread the tomato sauce evenly over the dough, going all the way to the edges. Don’t let the sauce pool in the middle or in any other spot; actually, you want the sauce to be a bit thicker everywhere but the middle because the edges tend to cook and brown more quickly.
4. Bake for 25 minutes, until the edges are slightly charred and the crust is pulling away from the sides of the pan. Serve the pizza hot or at room temperature.
2 1/2 pounds of trimmed zucchini (about 3 large)
1 1/2 tsp of table salt
2 cups of grated gruyere
1/2 of basic dough recipe
2 to 2 1/2 tsp of bread crumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 500 F, with a rack in the center.
2. Use a food processor with a grater attachment or a box grater to grate the zucchini. In a medium bowl, toss together the zucchini and salt. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes, until the zucchini had wilted and released its water.
3. Drain the zucchini in a colander, then use your hands to squeeze out as much water as possible, then pat dry. In a medium bowl, toss together the zucchini and cheese, breaking up any clumps of zucchini, until well mixed.
4. Spread the zucchini mixture over the dough, going all the way to the the edges of the pan; put a bit more of the topping around the edges of the pie, as the outside tends to cook and brown more quickly. Sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs.
5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the topping is starting to turn golden brown and the crust is pulling away from the sides of the pan. Serve the pizza hot or at room temperature.