There’s pizza and then there in New York style pizza. What makes the difference in pizza styles you ask? Typically its the dough that sets each style apart (sometimes the toppings make the difference…Chicago, I’m looking at you). Today I am sharing a perfect New York style pizza dough that will change the way you look at making pizza. This recipe is actually based off of many years of trial and error and I finally found a stand out recipe from Marie B. at Feeling Foodish. I changed a couple of things but this recipe is based on hers.
Pizza dough is a great activity to do with your family and also a great way to know exactly what is in your food. I love making homemade food with only a few whole ingredients, no additives no unpronounceable words…AND you can make a bunch of dough to keep in the freezer! Winning! Ok so lets get into it.
What is New York Style Pizza?
Traditionally New York Pizza is made with high gluten flour, sugar, olive oil, yeast and water. Traditional Italian crust skips the sugar and oil. Depending on who you ask the dough is either proofed room temperature for a short amount of time or proofed slowly in the refrigerator over a few days. The dough is hand tossed and cooked at a high temperature. NY dough is crisp yet light and airy and can be folded (you have to eat it folded if you are calling it NY style).
What makes New York Style Pizza different?
The simple answer is the dough. The complicated answer is
- the oven you use
- temperature of said oven
- water temperature
- New York water (obviously you can’t use NY water if you don’t live in NY 🤷♀️)
- how you proof the dough
- how long you proof the dough
- yeast type
- order in which you add your ingredients
- mixing time
You get the point, there are a lot of variables. However, what we will focus on is how we proof the dough to get the NY style crust we are looking for.
Here are a few tips for making quality pizza dough
Tip 1 – Use a good quality flour. I typically use organic unbleached all-purposed flour. You can also use a high quality bread flour, but they can be pricey. I don’t always have bread flour on hand so for ease, this recipe is made with all-purpose flour.
Tip 2 – The kind of yeast you use matters. Make sure its not too old and check what kind of yeast you are using. There are different methods for each type of yeast. In this recipe I use active dry yeast, however you can also use instant dry yeast. For active dry yeast you must activate the yeast in warm water first while instant dry yeast can be added directly to your flour.
Tip 3 – We are using the refrigerator to ferment the yeast as a result we can use less yeast due to the slow rise of the dough. This method allows for fermentation which provides a much more flavorful dough than a warm rise (on your counter). I allow my dough to ferment for at least 2 days but 3-4 days is best.
Tip 4 – Always use a scale to measure your flour, trust me, this is important. You can get really serious and weigh everything, but don’t skip the weighing of the flour, it makes all the difference.
Tip 5 – Preheat your oven for at least 30 minutes. Use a pizza stone or pizza steel, this will make your crust perfectly crisp. Make sure you heat your stone or steel along with the oven. DO NOT put your stone/steel into a hot oven.
Tip 6 – Try your best to hand toss your pizza. Do Not use a rolling pin….mmmmkkkk!! It doesn’t have to be a perfect circle, who cares, especially since it tastes so good.
Tip 7 – Use a low moisture whole milk Mozzarella, this is not the time to count calories. Don’t buy the pre-shredded kind, it just doesn’t melt right.
Tip 8 – Use a small amount of good pizza sauce. Here is a super simple homemade pizza sauce recipe that I like to use.
New York Style Pizza Dough
- 6 cups Unbleached all-purpose Flour (organic preferred)
- 2 1/4 cups Warm water 110°-115° (only worry about the temperature if you are using active dry yeast)
- 1 1/2 tsp Active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 tsp Sugar (don't skip this)
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Mixing the dough
For Active dry yeast. Place warm water in mixing bowl. Add yeast and sugar, let sit for 5-10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour and salt.
Add Flour mixture to yeast mixture and mix until flour is incorporated, add oil. Knead for 5 minutes on low or hand knead.
Proceed to step 3
For Instant dry Yeast. Place water in mixing bowl.
In separate bowl mix flour, yeast, sugar and salt.
Add flour mixture to watering mix until all the water has been absorbed. Add oil and knead for 5 minutes on low or hand knead.
Dividing the dough and letting it rise
Dive the dough into 4 equal pieces. If you use a scale, each pice should be ablaut 11.5 ounces. Shape into a ball and place into a greased quart sized bag. Refrigerate for 24-72 hours
Baking the pizzas
Remove your dough from the refrigerator and plastic bag. Sprinkle your counter with flour and place the dough on the flour. Cover with a tea bowl or paper towels and let come to room temperature for about an hour.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees (see note). If you have a pizza stone or pizza steel, place in the oven before you preheat, you want the stone to preheat with the oven. Preheat for one hour. Place the pizza stone on the top rack in the oven.
Place dough on a well floured pizza peel or parchment paper. Stretch dough until you have a circle. You can flip and toss but most of us aren't very good at that. Try to keep the edges of the dough from being flattened. In other words, stretch your dough working from the inside out. Add light sauce and your choice of toppings.
Transfer from pizza peel or parchment paper to your stone or steel. *If you don't have a stone or steel, don't fret. I have had great success with using a simple cookie sheet. Make sure your cookie sheet is large enough and lightly floured. Bake at the bottom of the oven instead of the top.
Cook for about 7-8 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is browned. If you are using a cookie sheet you will need to add a few minutes.
Weigh your flour. I know its an extra step, I know some of you may not have a scale. But the differences in flour weight varies significantly, weighing your flour will prevent using too much or too little.
Decide what kind of yeast you will use. If you already have one over the other, then use it. Just make sure you follow the correct directions.
*I like to preheat my oven to 450°, however you can also cook at a much higher heat at 550°. I find the difference to be minimal. 450° take a few minutes longer to cook but is a friendlier temperature if you are using a pizza pan vs. pizza stone or pizza steel. If you have a pizza stone and have made pizza before, try 550° and see if you like it.
Freezing your dough - If you need to freeze your dough. Let your dough ferment for 24-72 hours. Remove from freezer and let unthaw on the counter top until the dough comes to room temperature. Start at the baking your pizzas step.