Author Topic: Jim Lahey "My Pizza" Method  (Read 2052 times)

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Online tinroofrusted

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Jim Lahey "My Pizza" Method
« on: April 08, 2012, 12:24:23 PM »
I have long been a fan of Jim Lahey's "no-knead" bread (and of Chau's "Lazy Man's Bread").  So I was very excited to learn that Lahey would be bringing out a pizza book based on his no-knead method.  "My Pizza" finally arrived at our local library so I checked it out and made some pizzas according to his recipe and method.  The recipe is pretty similar to many others on pizzamaking.com  70% hydration using .5% yeast and 3% salt. He recommends either AP flour or bread flour, stating that there's not much difference between the two (heresy!).  You mix the ingredients and leave it on the counter for 18 hours or until the dough is more than doubled.  Then you form your dough balls and make your pizzas.

Lahey's recommended method for baking the pizzas involves placing a rack with pizza stone about 4 inches from the electric heating element in the oven (8 inches if your broiler is gas), then heating the oven on bake at 500 or 550 for at least half an hour, then when you are ready to bake the pizzas, preheat the stone on broil for 10 minutes. Then you bake your pizza on the superheated stone using the broiler to cook the pizza quickly.  I know this method has been recommended by members of this forum but I've never tried it before.  I have to say that although it didn't work perfectly, my pizzas came out really well and I enjoyed the texture and flavor.  My oven usually takes about 6-8 minutes to bake a pizza; using Lahey's method they took about 2 minutes.  That's a big difference.  As you can see, the tops got really charred, probably too charred, but I do like a bit of char on the top, so with some adjustments I think it will work fine.  The crumb was very moist and tender, which I attribute at least partly to the shorter bake time.  The only problem with this method is that my smoke alarm went off every time I removed a pizza from the oven. I think the residual flour on the stone was getting burned by the broiler, resulting in enough smoke to trip the smoke alarm.  

Overall I think Lahey's book, recipe and methods are very good, and I will plan on using this method in the future. I think I will move the rack down a bit so the pizzas bake just a bit slower without some much charring on top. I've attached some photos for everyone to see how the pizzas looked.  One is plain tomato sauce with mozzarella and white cheddar, the other is Brussels sprouts tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and Korean hot pepper Mmmm good.  
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 12:29:07 PM by tinroofrusted »


parallei

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Re: Jim Lahey "My Pizza" Method
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2012, 12:31:55 PM »
That looks good TRR. I'm a fan of his no-knead pizza bianca.

A couple of questions:

Quote
Lahey's recommended method for baking the pizzas involves placing a rack with pizza stone about 4 inches from the electric heating element in the oven (8 inches if your broiler is gas),

Would that be the bottom element?

It looks like you left the broiler on during the bake.  Is that true?

Thanks,

Paul

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Jim Lahey "My Pizza" Method
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2012, 12:44:11 PM »
Nice job Tin roof.  That cheese pie looks a lot like one of mine.

Online tinroofrusted

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Re: Jim Lahey "My Pizza" Method
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2012, 12:44:37 PM »
That looks good TRR. I'm a fan of his no-knead pizza bianca.

A couple of questions:

Would that be the bottom element?

It looks like you left the broiler on during the bake.  Is that true?

Thanks,

Paul

Hi Paul,

I did leave the broiler on. It stayed on the whole time the pizzas baked.  That's the reason they baked so fast.  My broiler is on the top, so I placed my rack just below the broiler element in the top of the oven.    

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Re: Jim Lahey "My Pizza" Method
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2012, 12:47:22 PM »
Nice job Tin roof.  That cheese pie looks a lot like one of mine.

Thanks Chau. I count that as very high praise!  BTW I baked a loaf LMB to take to Easter dinner at Grandma's. I burned the bottom a bit unfortunately. But I'll cut it off and it should taste good. 

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Jim Lahey "My Pizza" Method
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2012, 01:10:34 PM »
Tinroof, I also thought about you as I made my 2 loaves today for Easter lunch.  I used the Tartine method this time.  Making this rustic country bread for Easter will become a bit of a tradition now.   Anyways Happy Easter.

Chau

Offline Giggliato

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Re: Jim Lahey "My Pizza" Method
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2012, 03:16:51 PM »
That pizza does look good. :pizza: :pizza:

I still think no knead is a misnomer though. Perhaps we should call these pizzas minimally mixed? There is something in the simplicity of nothing. Combining the essentials of a pizza and then allowing the pizza to develop on its own.

I am going to have to try superheating my stone underneath my active broiler the next time I bake. I have thought about doing this but have broken a few stones in my oven and am a bit wary about thermal shock lol.

Offline coffee_cup

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Re: Jim Lahey "My Pizza" Method
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2012, 10:54:22 AM »
Great looking pizza.  When I'm going to be making smoke in the kitchen, I cover all of the hardwired fire alarms in my apartment with plastic grocery bags and rubber band.  Just remember to remove when done.

I recently started experimenting with a similar method.  I preheated the stone with the top broiler, turned it off, put the pie in, and turned it back on in 1.5-2 minutes.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 10:59:06 AM by coffee_cup »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Jim Lahey "My Pizza" Method
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2012, 11:03:49 AM »
Both pies look really good!

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline RobynB

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Re: Jim Lahey "My Pizza" Method
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2012, 11:19:39 AM »
I think your success has more to do with you than the method  ;D  I've seen your pizzas before and you make good ones.  These look great!  Those are some of the most appealing pizzas I've seen come from a home oven ever. 


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Re: Jim Lahey "My Pizza" Method
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2012, 10:35:06 AM »
I whipped up some more Lahey style pizzas last night. I had meant to lower the rack a bit but I forgot to do so.  Next time.  This method seems to produce a really nice pizza but boy you really have to keep an eye on the pizzas.  They cook so quickly! The difference between a nice char and burnt toast is about 15 seconds.  I fixed my smoke alarm problem by covering it with a shower cap. Thanks for the tip Coffee_cup. 

This time I made one cheese and tomato and one Brussels sprouts, fennel and pasilla peppers.  Both tasted great.  I encourage everyone to give this technique a try if you haven't done it before. 

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Jim Lahey "My Pizza" Method
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2012, 10:38:50 AM »
More great looking pies.

Are you a vegetarian?
Pizza is not bread.

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Re: Jim Lahey "My Pizza" Method
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2012, 11:17:27 AM »
More great looking pies.

Are you a vegetarian?

No, I love meat. But I also love Brussels sprouts.  I did another one with meatballs and mozzarella on it but forgot to take a picture. That one was really burned. 

Regards,

Tinroof


 

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