The dough for this pizza is too moist to knead by hand, so this recipe lets a standing mixer do the work. The process was devised by a renowned pizza bianca maker of Campo de Fiore in Rome. He handed it down to Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City, who taught it to food critic Jeffrey Steingarten, whose writing on it inspired our food editorial director, Lucinda Scala Quinn, to create this variation. You should use a 14-inch pizza stone and wooden peel. (You can use the back of a rimmed baking sheet instead of the peel.)
No special skills or tools are required to make this stunning bread in the shape of a sheaf of wheat. Use it as a centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table and let your guests enjoy it warm from the oven: It may seem too pretty to eat -- but is too delectable not to.
For the most tender pizza crust, use "00" flour, a finely ground style popular in Italy for making pizza and pasta. Use this dough to make Christian Petroni's Tenderoni Pizza, Margherita Pizza, and White Pizza. Martha and Christian Petroni prepared these recipes on episode 503 of Martha Bakes.
This recipe can be used to make not
only baguettes and rolls, but also boules.
To make boules, divide the dough in
half, and follow the instructions for the
Multigrain Boule, beginning with step 7. Decrease the baking
time to 35 to 40 minutes.
Robertson describes a starter-a mixture of flour, water, wild yeasts, and bacteria-as a baker's fingerprint. Making one is simple, but it does require a commitment: Count on feeding and caring for the mixture for three weeks before you start baking. For something closer to immediate gratification, begin using the starter after five to seven days, or order a fresh starter at kingarthurflour.com. (Keep in mind, the flavor won't be as complex.) Another secret to baking like a pro: Weigh all the ingredients-even the water-using a kitchen scale that includes metric measurements.