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DIY Pie

Want to try your hand at turning out new-school pizza at home? This surprisingly simple recipe from Co.’s Jim Lahey is designed to give you the best possible result short of installing a $40,000 Italian wood-burning oven in your apartment.

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Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Pizza Margherita

FOR DOUGH
(yields 3 10-inch crusts):
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 tsp. instant yeast
11/2 tsp. salt
11/4 cups water

FOR SAUCE:
1 vine-ripened or heirloom tomato (about 5 oz.)
1 pinch salt
1/4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

FOR EACH PIZZA:
5 tbs. tomato purée
2 oz. buffalo mozzarella (about 1/4 ball)
basil leaves
1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

To make dough: In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast, and salt. Add water and stir until blended (the dough will be very sticky). Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 12 to 24 hours in a warm spot, about 70 degrees.

Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle the top with flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rest for 15 minutes.

Shape the dough into 3 or 4 balls, depending on how thick you want the crust. Generously sprinkle a clean cotton towel with flour and cover the dough with it. Let the dough rise for 2 hours.

To make sauce: Blanch tomato for 5 seconds in boiling water and quickly remove. Allow to cool to the touch. Peel the skin with your hands and quarter the tomato. Remove the jelly and seeds, and reserve in a strainer or fine sieve. Strain the jelly to remove seeds, and combine resulting liquid in a bowl with the flesh of the tomatoes. Proceed to crush the tomatoes with your hands. Add salt and olive oil and stir.

To make pizza: Place pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat on high broil. Stretch or toss the dough into a disk approximately 10 inches in diameter. Pull rack out of oven and place the dough on top of the preheated pizza stone. Drizzle 5 generous tablespoons of sauce over the dough, and spread evenly. Try to keep the sauce about ˝ inch away from the perimeter of the dough. Break apart or slice the buffalo mozzarella and arrange over the dough. Return rack and pizza stone to the middle of the oven and broil for approximately 6 minutes. Remove and top with basil, olive oil, and salt.


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