Jim Lahey isn't much for cookbooks.
The famed baker has more of a free-form approach.
It's ironic, considering the baking blitzkrieg launched by his "no-knead" bread recipe, which The New York Times published in 2006. (Tasting Table was the first to publish his "no-knead" pizza dough recipe in 2009; three years later, it is still the most popular recipe in our archive.)
Clearly, there's something to the man's recipes, whether he cares to follow them or not. With that in mind, the pizzaiolos in us are buzzing about Lahey's new book, My Pizza ($27.50), which comes out today (click here to buy).
Hinging on the no-knead dough recipe, the book is broken into sections: red sauce, white sauce and no sauce. My Pizza includes many favorites from his New York pizza spot, Co.
We invited Lahey into our Test Kitchen and, as we made his bird's-nest pizza (click here to see the recipe), we saw him put many of his book's mantras into practice. For example, room-temperature eggs and a hot oven are crucial. And though he riffed a bit--more salt and pepper, more asparagus--his improvisation was inspiring.
Take the book as a starting point and then, like Jim, go wild.