Val asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year…and I said, “to study pizza making in New York City with Jim Lahey.” Jim’s no-knead bread recipe, first published in an article in 2006 in the New York Times brought him widespread recognition as an innovator and artist. In 2009, he applied his unusual style and techniques to pizza making and opened Co. Last year, he published his cookbook My Pizza and divulged his secrets for crisp crusts and amazing toppings.
I love his book and the recipes work, but really, what could be better than studying with the American pizzaiolo and watching him manipulate the dough! Since Jim’s rarely held no-knead pizza class was scheduled to occur on April 28 (my birthday), it seemed like the universe was giving me a message. So we went to his Sullivan Street Bakery, learned a few new techniques and, along with 18 other students from around the country, had a fun group learning experience that was profoundly different from my intensely serious private pizza lessons in Naples.
Pictured here is charming Jim dimpling the dough of his four foot long pizza bianca, telling tales out of school, and showing us how to make two of his amazing creations: his rectangular potato and leek pizza pie, and his twice cooked bird’s nest pie!