How to Hack Homemade Pizza Without Losing Your Mind
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A certain kind of FOMO sets in when looking at Instagrammed photos of New-York-based restaurant, Pizza Loves Emily. Whether it’s of the blistery edged, thin crust pies from the original Brooklyn outpost or the rectangular, deep-dish Detroit pizzas found in the Manhattan location in West Village, we’ve seriously considered cashing in frequent flier miles to fly east. But you can now do one better and skip the lines snaking down the block. EMILY: The Cookbook ($30) is out and co-written by the founding owners, Emily and chef Matthew Hyland.
This book will up your pizza game by 1000 percent. Case in point: Hyland’s deep dive on how to make, stretch, and bake pizza covers no less than eight pages. With photographer Evan Sung’s helpful photographs, this is the cookbook you’ve been waiting for to finally make their popular (and highly Instagrammed) pizza at home.
It includes many pro tips for becoming a pizza boss in your own kitchen. Matthew Hyland’s reminds us to “Cut with confidence! Down and through,” something he shares with all new pizzaiolos joining his team. This isn’t a traditional ‘za book though. Many of the toppings will keep you guessing. Cheddar cheese curds (in The Camp Randall), pecans and maple (in The North Maple), and Havarti, honey, truffles, and pistachios (in The Emily) give you an idea of the wonderful weirdness. BTW, every pizza has a name that ties back to the restaurant, whether it’s a person or in reference to a story.
But the cookbook isn’t all pizza all the time (though if that’s your dietary preference, you’re covered there). Instead, you’ll find their famous burger recipe, dripping with Emmy secret sauce (not so secret anymore) and everything you need to make this beast of a burger (along with a recipe to make the pretzel buns that Hyland insists as a burger necessity). We’ve dog-eared the Nguyen’s Wings recipe for our game day feasts and are jonesing to try the miso queso as quickly as we can stir together a pitcher of margaritas.
But back to the pizza in question. We were torn over whether to try The Classic (can you ever go wrong with good tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and dried oregano?) or The Colony, a tango of pickled jalapeños, thick-cut pepperoni, two kinds of cheese (Pecorino Romano and fresh mozzarella), and drizzled honey. Come pizza night, we knew exactly what we would be making… The Classic, with a few adaptations.
One day, we will attempt the pizza crust outlined in the book. After going to two stores that didn’t stock the requisite rye flour, we ditched the cookbook’s dough recipe and opted for pre-made grocery store pizza dough. *But* we did pick up a pizza stone as outlined in the book. Armed with the recipe, ingredients, tools, and a preheated 525°F oven, we got cookin’.
Could we approximate a swoon-worthy pizza at home? Yes! We loved the flexibility of using store-bought dough. Any night can now easily become pizza night. We still reference the steps outlined in shaping, stretching, and baking the pizza. It’s like Matthew Hyland is there in the kitchen, feeding you directions and advice. His cues are spot on. The Classic came out so tasty that we may have decided it has become our new all-time favorite pizza.
(Serves 1 (12-inch pizza); 6 slices)
This is a minimalist pizza, with just sauce and fresh mozzarella. Enjoy it in its beautiful simplicity, or use it as a canvas for your favorite toppings.
- 1 ball Classic Round Pie Dough (We used store-bought.)
- 1/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced and torn into 12 thin pieces
1. At least 45 minutes before baking, place a baking steel or stone in the top third of the oven and preheat the oven to 525°F.
2. Let the pizza dough stand at room temperature, covered, for about 30 to 45 minutes to lose its chill. Stretch the dough into a 12-inch round. Slide the round onto a very lightly floured pizza peel and adjust the shape of the round as needed.
3. Using the back of a large spoon, spread the tomatoes on the dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Crumble and sprinkle the oregano over the crushed tomatoes. Arrange the mozzarella over the tomatoes.
3. Slide the pizza onto the steel or stone and bake until the crust is deeply browned, about 8 minutes. If you wish, during the last minute or so, change the setting to Broil/High to brown the pizza more.
4. Using the peel, transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Using a pizza cutter, cut the pizza into sixths.
5. Using a wide metal spatula, slide the pizza onto a pizza pan lined with a round pizza screen, or a serving platter. Serve immediately.
Do you have a favorite pizza we need to try? Tell us @BritandCo!
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(Excerpt from EMILY: THE COOKBOOK Pizza, Burgers, and More by Emily Hyland and Matthew Hyland, copyright © 2018 by Emily Hyland and Matthew Hyland. Used by permission of Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.)