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New York Style Pizza Dough Recipe

Many believe that true pizza is a giant slice with a crust so thin, that it can be folded in half and eaten like a sandwich. This is the only way to enjoy pizza for many people on the east coast. New York pizza has made its mark on the American pizza scene, and there are quite a few differences between its crust and traditional pizza crust.

How can a dough so light and crisp fold without cracking? How does NY-style pizza infuse so much flavor into their pizza crust? What makes pizza dough from New York so unique? Let’s dive into what makes a perfect New York-style pizza crust so you can make it at home!

Origins of New York-Style Pizza Dough

The Big Apple is home to many original creations. Perhaps their most well-known food is their style of pizza, which is thin, crisp, cheesy, and tangy from a well-seasoned tomato sauce. You can also get as many toppings on your pizza as your heart desires.

New York pizza has not been around forever. It originated in 1905 after the opening of America’s first pizza restaurant, Lombardi’s in the Little Italy neighborhood of Manhattan. Gennaro Lombardi, the owner and originator, made the decision to serve large, round pies with a thin crust.

The pizza chef at Lombardi’s, Antonio Totonno Pero worked full days and served a slice of pizza for only five cents each. He did this until 1924 when he decided to open a rival pizza joint, Totonno’s at Coney Island. From there, tons of NY-style pizza restaurants popped up everywhere. Patsy’s in Harlem, Di Fara Pizza, and others soon opened, making pizza one of the most popular foods in the entire city.

New York City is also famous for having many pizza places with the name Ray. There are Original Ray’s, Famous Original Ray’s, Ray’s Original Pizza, and so on. Many of these restaurants are not related, but, the name Ray has become synonymous with high-quality New York pizza.

It’s In the Water

Countless New Yorkers will swear up and down that the secret to perfect NY pizza dough is in the water. NYC tap water is often regarded as the best water in the country and its flavor contributes to real NY pizza. While this may or may not be true, no one can deny that eating New York pizza in NYC is an experience that everyone should have. Be sure to pay attention to the subtle flavors that may or may not be from NYC tap water in the dough!

How NY Pizza is Enjoyed

All New Yorkers have the perfect technique for eating this thin, crisp pizza. NY is known for being a busy, vibrant city. Everyone is always on the go, walking or cabbing from one end of town to the next. Folks need foods that can be eaten on the go and also while relaxing. That is where the folding technique came from.

You may have seen people fold a perfectly thin slice of pizza in half before taking a bite. This is a New Yorker technique through and through. The dough of NY pizza is very pliable and can easily fold in half without breaking. This way, your slice of pizza can more easily be eaten on the run. No matter your toppings, sauce, or cheese, NY pizza always has a thin crust that can be folded and enjoyed!

Making Your Own NY Pizza Dough

You don’t have to travel all the way to New York City just to enjoy a slice of pizza! It is worth the trip, but you can also make NY-style pizza in the comfort of your own kitchen. Even if you do not have pizza-making experience, no worries! Making your own New York pizza dough is very straightforward. Our specific recipe is created so that you can make the dough and cook your pizza on the same day.

Ingredients

You will need only a few ingredients for this New York Style pizza dough, but each should be of high quality for the dough to have the most flavor.

Ready these ingredients when making this recipe:

  • 735 grams bread flour
  • 480 grams water (75 degrees F) 
  • 44 grams sugar
  • 12 grams salt
  • 5 grams instant yeast
  • 30 grams olive oil

As you can see, there is quite a lot of water called for in this recipe! This will eventually lead to the perfect consistency once baked. Be sure to measure using a kitchen scale for the best results.

Hydratation

You will find a bit more water within this pizza dough recipe that you may have seen in the past. The high water content leads to a more hydrated dough, which is exactly what you want in a perfect New York pizza crust. The more hydrated the dough is, the better foldability it will have when eating. 

A well-hydrated dough will also stretch very thin, which is an imperative characteristic of any NY pizza. Unlike pan pizza from Detroit, or deep-dish pizza from Chicago, New York pizza is rolled and stretched as thin as possible. Oftentimes, the cheese is just as thick as the crust itself!

Proofing

Much like Neapolitan pizza dough, the longer you proof your dough, the more flavorful it becomes. Once your dough ingredients are mixed together, you will need to proof your dough so that it can rise and the yeast can become active. From there, you have two options of how long you will ferment your dough. The longer the ferment, the more flavor your crust will have.

Short Ferment

The shorter ferment time allows your dough to rise properly while still being able to make a same-day pie. Using this method, your dough will proof for about 10 hours. This is enough time to gain a lot of flavor within the NY pizza dough, although, the longer you proof, the better your crust will taste.

Long Ferment

The long ferment time is much like a Neapolitan-style crust because it proofs for 4 hours at room temperature and at least 8 hours overnight in the fridge. A longer proof means that the crust will gain a funky, umami flavor from the cold ferment. The refrigerator is a cool, controlled environment making this method super easy, as long as you have the time.

Let’s Get Cooking!

New York-style pizza dough has been a favorite for many generations. Since its inception in 1905, New Yorkers flock to their local corner pizzeria for a folded slice for any meal of the day. The crispness, the chew, and the thin qualities all make NY pizza one of the most famous types of pizza in the world. Now that we know how to make it, let’s make some pizza!

ny style pizza dough recipe

New York Style Pizza Dough

Our go-to dough recipe for NY-style pizzas can be tailored for same-day or next-day bakes. This 65% hydration recipe creates two 425g dough balls.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Proof: 1 day
Servings: 2 425g dough balls (15″ pizzas)

Ingredients

  • 500 g Bread flour
  • 330 g water (85-95 degrees F)  Heating this amount of water in the microwave for 30 seconds typically results in 85-95F
  • 18 g sugar
  • 8 g salt
  • 3.5 g yeast I highly recommend SAF Instant
  • 15 g olive oil

Instructions

  • Using a stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment, mix together flour, sugar, salt, and oil. Add yeast to warm water and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Slowly pour water into dry ingredients and continue mixing until formed into a smooth ball, about 10 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky, yet stretchy.

Option 1: Short ferment

  • Cover with plastic wrap and bulk ferment for 4 hours.
  • Divide the dough into 2 equal 430g pieces. Hand knead briefly and form into balls. Place in oiled bowl or baking pan, cover with plastic wrap, and set it on counter to continue proofing for 3 hours. Stretch and bake.

Option 2: Overnight cold ferment (preferred)

  • Cover with plastic wrap and bulk ferment at room temperature for 1-2 hours. You should notice a rise but not quite doubling in volume.
  • Divide dough and shape into 2 equal 430g balls. Re-cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight.
  • Remove from refrigerator 3 hours before stretching and baking.

Notes

The cold ferment method results in significantly better flavor; however, we’ve all been there when a craving hits that day and you really want to make a pizza. In this case, the short ferment will definitely do the job!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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