Step 1: Master the Dough
This dough is chewy, bubbly, and better than what you’ll get at most pizza places. It bakes wonderfully in a home oven, on a pizza stone, or a baking sheet. And thanks to the brilliant no-knead method of Jim Lahey—owner of New York’s Sullivan Street Bakery and pizza spot Co.—it’s easy to prepare, deriving its character from overnight fermentation, not laborious kneading.
Step 2: Top That
There are a few things to keep in mind when building your toppings bar for your party: Variety counts. Balance classics, like fresh mozzarella, with a few things you won’t find at the pizzeria down the street. Prep toppings before guests arrive. When it’s time to assemble, you don’t need a recipe. Start with a drizzle of olive oil on the dough; end with salt and pepper, and get creative in between.
To make a classic pie, spread crushed tomatoes almost to the edges of the pie and scatter hand-torn pieces of mozzarella over. It doesn’t need to be neat—it’ll all melt together beautifully. You can lose the tomatoes, swap the cheese, add a few ingredients, but the principles are the same. Here are some of our favorite toppings:
Forget the sauce; using your hands, crush canned Italian plum tomatoes with their juices, or puree in a blender.
Pick two soft varieties, like fresh mozzarella, stracciatella, ricotta, or Robiola. Offer one hard cheese, like Parmesan.
Lamb Meatballs(click for recipe)
Roll them small so they won’t overpower the pie.
We swear they improve just about everything.
Slice thinly and use them to lend bite.
Cut strips of bacon crosswise into 1/2” pieces. Render them on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven until almost crisp (they’ll cook more on the pizza).
Shave them with a knife or mandoline.
Add this traditional pizza herb just before serving.
For a fresh hit, scatter some over the pie when it comes out of the oven.
Don’t forget… Thinly sliced garlic, red pepper flakes, and sea salt can make a good pizza great.
Salmon with Snap Peas, Yellow Peppers, and Dill-Pistachio Pistou
makes 15 rolls