Making New York-style pizza at home

Making New York-style pizza at home

For 10 years, I’ve been trying to make real New York-style pizza at home, and I think that I’ve gotten as close as I’m ever going to get. At the very least, this is a damn good pizza, authentic or not. For the dough, start with a teaspoon of yeast, a teaspoon of sugar, and a quarter cup of warm water, and wait five minutes. I have heard that blooming the yeast like this is not really necessary, but I like to do it, just to make sure that my yeast is still alive before I spend two days waiting for a dough to rise that never will. Then, put in two more cups of warm water, a tablespoon more sugar, and a tablespoon of salt, and then a glug of olive oil. That’s like a quarter cup at most. Then, bread flour — high-protein flour. Five cups to start with, and then kneed in the mixer with the dough hook attachment. Wait until it comes together into a reasonably smooth, solid mass, and then you’ve got to poke it. It should be only slightly sticky. If it’s really sticky, add more flour. 5 cups is conservative. You’ll know that you’ve kneaded the dough enough when you can stretch out a little chunk of it so thin that you can see light through it. Now, this recipe makes four pizzas of the maximum size that I can safely bake in my oven, which is 12 to 13 inches in diameter, so I rip the dough into four chunks, and then I role each of those chunks into a smooth, even ball. Their shape really matters, which is why I rise each ball in its own oiled container. Toss the ball around in the oil and then use it to grease up the sides of the bowl, and then use it to grease up the sides of the bowl,
or the Tupperware, or the Tupperware, or whatever it is that you’re using that will allow the ball to rise in an even, round shape. Cover them up, and put them in the refrigerator. A long, slow rise in the fridge is what gets you the best flavor and texture. 24 hours is the bare minimum. Now, when I mix my dough is when I make my sauce. You need a 28-ounce can of whole plum tomatoes. I really prefer San Marzanos, that’s the expensive kind from Italy, because they are really acidic. They’re very bright. But no matter what kind you get, they will be packed in some kind of liquid. I think the liquid is usually ground-up, lesser-quality tomatoes that tend to taste pretty bitter, so I fish the whole tomatoes out into a bowl and I throw away the liquid. You could just squish them with your hand, but I like a smooth texture, so I use my stick blender. Then I put in a pinch of sugar, a glug of olive oil. That really improves the flavor, the olive oil. And then I put in a lot of dried oregano, which I think is the defining herb of New York-style pizza. Finally, I put two or three tablespoons of tomato paste in. Without the tomato paste, the sauce is never intense enough, though if you put in too much, it spoils that fresh, raw tomato taste that you get from the plum tomatoes. Tomato paste is, of course, just heavily cooked and reduced tomato sauce. So, I stir it up and then I add more tomato paste until it looks just thick enough to me. That is enough for four pizzas. Then I put this in the refrigerator with the dough, because I think it tastes better after it sits around for a few days. Like I said, you’ve got to age the dough 24 hours at least. This has been in for 48 hours, which I really prefer, though sometimes I age it a whole week. It almost tastes like sourdough when you age it that long. This is my pizza stone. You really need one of these, and you should get the biggest one that’ll fit in your oven. In my oven, I get the best results on an upper-middle rack position, though that took some experimenting. Every oven is different. If you have a convection setting, use that, it’ll help with the browning of the cheese. Preheat to the highest temperature that your oven’s got. No matter how fast it comes up to temperature, let it sit and preheat for one, full hour, because this it not just about heating the oven. It’s about heating the stone. The stone has to get rocket hot, and it’s very dense, so it takes a while. Preheat for a full hour. Time to think about cheese, and yes, I use string cheese. It is ridiculous, but where I live, this is the only form in which I can get whole-milk, low-moisture mozzarella. If it’s part-skim, it won’t taste right. If it’s not low-moisture, the pizza will be soggy. You can probably buy a block of whole-milk, low-moisture mozzarella in your city. I have to make do with these stupid sticks. But it’s not so bad. Six of them is the perfect amount. Six ounces for a 12-inch pizza. That’s perfect. Then I also grate up some parmesan or pecorino to put under the mozzarella layer, which I think is traditional in the higher-quality New York-style places. When the oven is ready, get your pizza peel. Yeah, you really need one of these, too. And then you have to dust it with something so that the pizza won’t stick. Semolina or cornmeal would be traditional, I think. But I have found that coarse-ground, whole-wheat flour works best. It does the job without adding any gritty texture. Get out your dough ball. That smooth top is going to be the bottom of the pizza, because it’s more likely to slide off of the peel cleanly. This rough underside will be the top, because it’ll better adhere to the sauce and the cheese. I start by just going around and forming the cornice. That’s the fluffy outer ring of crust. Never smash it down, otherwise it’ll never fluff up. Then I just stretch out the dough out with my hands. You could toss it in the air like a boss, but that takes skill, it’s risky, it’s messy, and it really only saves you meaningful amounts of time when you’re making a hundred pizzas a day. For one pizza, hand-stretching is fine. You’ll know that you’ve got it thin enough when, again, you can see light through it. Once you lay it down on your peel, you have to work fast, otherwise the dough will bond to the wood and you’ll never be able to slide it off into the oven. Put your sauce on. I like lots of sauce. Then the parmesan layer. This really improves the flavor of the pizza. It makes it much more rich. Then put on your mozzarella, and really take pains to get it on evenly all over, otherwise it won’t melt or brown correctly. When you’re done, pick up the peel and shake it back and forth to make sure that the pizza is going to release when you take it to the oven. You’ve got to be able to do this with some confidence, like flipping an egg. This should only take five or six minutes to bake. The trick is waiting for the cheese to brown, but not so long that the cheese overheats and starts to separate, and you get a lot of that orange grease layer oozing out. Some separation is inevitable, but you can minimize it by not leaving the pizza in there for too long. Rather than use the peel, I like to pull the pizza out with a pair of tongs right onto a cooling rack. Resting the pizza on the rack helps keep it crispy, but also when I’ve tried resting a hot pizza on my plastic cutting boards, the crust tends to take on the flavor of the dishwasher, which is gross. When it’s eating temperature, you’re safe to transfer to a cutting board. Now this pizza is only like 12 inches wide, which is way smaller than traditional New York pizza, because we just have a normal, little home oven, right? But to me, a defining feature of New York pizza is big, foldable slices, so I just cut this pizza into quarters. That’s a nice big slice. Look how brown the bottom is too, by the way. That’s what you get from heating the stone for a long time. So, there you go, I really think this gets me very close to my favorite New York-style pizzas. If you think you know a better way, seriously, please tell me. I am sure that I will be working on this for a further 10 years. Hey, here’s a bonus. “Daddy, what are you cooking?” “Just cook.” “With me.” “What are we gonna make?” “Uh, pizza bread!” Every time I make pizza, I make a loaf of what my son here calls “pizza bread.” It is his favorite food and grown-ups like it, too. I take one of these dough balls that I’ve aged in a wide container so that it can spread out nice and flat. When you turn it around, you see this spongy, bubbly surface. This is going to get very crispy in the oven. So, I just gently stretch it out into a big oval, and then the bottom becomes the top. I smear lots of olive oil onto that porous surface. Then I put on pepper, coarse salt, and garlic powder. Bake in the oven just like the pizza. It’s ready when the top is just starting to color. Garlic powder burns easily, so very light brown is enough. There, that spongy surface crisped up really nice. I cut this into little strips. You could do bigger chunks, but these are just right for Freddie, here.

100 thoughts on “Making New York-style pizza at home

  1. Some updates since I made this video: 1) I have been going with a wetter dough lately. Wet doughs, counterintuitively, seem to get crispier. I figure that's because they're more pliable, which allows more steam to escape during cooking. If you want a precise recipe with weights, look elsewhere. I don't like getting out my scale unless I have to. I can judge hydration pretty well by feel, and I reckon you can too with a little practice. I still think 2 and 1/4 cups water + 5 cups flour is a good starting place. Add more flour until it reaches a stickiness that you can handle. The only downside to extra hydration is that the dough becomes sticker and harder to work with. Part of the reason I went with a pretty dry dough when making this video is that I was worried about the pizza sticking to the peel while I got all the shots I needed. 2) I have started not only taking my tomatoes out of their packing liquid, but also washing them off under running water in a sieve. It's crazy, but that really makes a difference in a raw tomato sauce like this. The packing liquid is just so bitter. And I've been experimenting with different tomato brands. With really good tomatoes, I don't need the tomato paste. I would rather not use paste. 3) Many commenters have mentioned some affordable home pizza ovens that intrigue me. I think I'm going to give the Uuni a try and report back. Ultimately, my pizza still lacks the very distinctive flavor you get from baking at a thousand degrees. 4) If you have thoughtful, constructive, evidence-based advice for how I could improve my recipe, please give it to me. But if you're going to tell me I'm doing it wrong simply because you've always done it another way without interrogating why, please keep it to yourself.

  2. *Watches how to make NY pizza, at night: Can't wait to try this tomorrow!

    *Gets to supermarket: Total price of ingredients + making time = Take out

  3. Hey Adam! This isn’t my recipe, and I’m not sure if you can even make this in your home oven, but I felt like you might wanna see this. Credit for this recipe goes to redditor u/erictheocartman.

    I will update this if I find any errors or if I forgot any details.

    Dough [63% Hydration á ~500g/15inch (thickness factor = 0.1)]

    Ingredients |Baker's-% |Weight per ball (g)
    Flour (Caputo Pizzeria) |100 |295
    Water |63 |186
    Salt |3 |8,85
    Oil |2 |5,9
    Fresh Yeast |0,75 |2,21
    Sugar |1 |2,95
    Active Rye Malt Flour* |2 |5,9 *Rye or wheat grain gets watered and left until it starts to spruce. Then it gets dried again and milled into a flour. Brewers usually use malted barley for brewing beer.

    I used Tom Lehmann's Dough Calculator

    Tomato Sauce (Leftover from last bake)

    I totally forgot about the tomato sauce. So after I shaped the dough into a pizza I recognized that I forgot about the sauce. I quickly blitzed whole canned tomatoes with EVOO, salt, sugar, granulated onions, granulated garlic and tomato paste (triple concentrated). Surprisingly it was quite good. But yea, shame on me.


    I used pre-grated cheese since I can't get low-moisture mozzarella in blocks where I live (Germany). Pre-grated mozzarella is coated with cornstarch to prevent the cheese from sticking to each other and forming a big chunk. Therefore I washed the mozzarella. I wish I would have known about this earlier. The melting was much better.


    1. ⁠Mix Flour with rye malt (powder).
    2. ⁠Dissolve the fresh yeast and sugar in the water.
    3. ⁠Add 10% of the flour to the water and mix.
    4. ⁠Now add the salt and mix until it's almost dissolved.
    5. ⁠Add slowly the rest of the flour whilst mixing the dough.
    6. ⁠Knead the dough for 2 minutes and add the oil.
    7. ⁠Knead for another 2 minutes.
    8. ⁠Let the dough rest for 20 minutes, stretch and fold the dough and then ball it. Repeat this step two more times every 20 minutes. (The dough temperature never rose above 22°C/71°F)
    9. ⁠Brush the dough with oil and let it rest in the fridge (~8°C/46°F) for 24 to 72 hours. (I let it rest for 48 hours)
    10. ⁠Let the dough come to room temperature (2-3 hours).
    11. ⁠Preheat the oven (at least 1 hour) with the baking stone/steel to around 270°C/520°F. (I used a stone and pizza screen. Might get a baking steel one day.)
    12. ⁠Bake pizza with top and lower heat element for 7 minutes then turn on broiler for 1 to 2 minutes.


    I also brushed the dough with garlic and herbal infused oil before adding the sauce. Also, I sprinkled just a bit of fine sea salt over the cheese. It turned out great!

    The pizza stone was on the lowest rack in my oven, 27 cm away from the broiler.

    This time I used the broiler just for the last 1 minute.

    Used a 15inch pizza screen this time (on stone)

    I only changed the hydration from 62% to 63% and increased the salt from 2,8 to 3,0%.

  4. You can buy low-moisture whole milk mozzarella at Walmart under their Great Value brand. Surprisingly good cheese. Also Polly-O is widely available in GA (not sure if it's low moisture or not?) Either way, low moisture whole milk mozzarella is easy to find and you don't have to use the overpriced sticks.

  5. Looks great. All it's missing are the anchovies and bell peppers. Take one over to Bayonne and have a real Italian taste it for you.

  6. This is almost exactly how i make my pizzas at home minus the string cheese and I only rise the dough for an hour

  7. Oooo Adam I found something out recently from a chef friend!! If you’re struggling to find good low moisture mozzarella try pressing some Neapolitan mozzarella for like 20-30 minutes and you’ll get amazingly high quality, quite dry mozz. Also really good if you wanna emulate oaxacan cheese!

    Si nosotros, miramos recetas de pizza, y no las hacemos,porqué no podemos comer gluten, yo le recomiendo La pupusa pizza y ya estaremos satisfechos , haga la prueba 🙏

  9. If you don’t wanna get the expensive whole tomatoes I recommend crushed instead of sauce. Seems to get less watery and nicer texture.

  10. I like that you choose high acidity tomatoes but leave it in the fridge a few days for a better flavour but you know all your doing is lowering the acidity by doing that.

  11. Wet Dough yes i was going to suggest that! As an owner of 6 pizzerias in Philadelphia and Scottsdale AZ i wanted to tell you your Pizzas are amazing for doing them @ home keep up the good work!

  12. i live in australia, I was looking to get some newyork style pizza sauce. i found Delgrasso ut im not sure if thats any good. i know i can make my own, but ive never been to US and i havent got a flavor to compare my sauce too. is delgrasso similar, if so i'll but it, if not, which manufacturer supplies the authentic ny sauce flavor?

  13. WOW! Ten years eh? That's a long time. I thought i was waiting a long time for this video to get over but yeah, ten years is crazy long. It;s cool sometimes to watch videos made by the mentally challenged. Your care giver should have helped edit out the ridiculousness and lies. super weird that you have this many views being such a amateur. did you know that people actually make and show you how to make things ON you tube? YUP! you could do this for real if you wanted to try a little bit harder. what you made here is "Failed Pizza Hut Pizza"

  14. its 2 am and im watching this cuz i cant sleep,
    knowing im never going to use this recipe….

    thanks for the entertainment 👍

  15. The biggest difference between New York/New Jersey pizza and everywhere else is the cheese. I've only been to ONE place in Michigan that is even close.

  16. I am from a Neapolitan/Aeolian family and have been doing my own pizza for half a century.  This is a pretty good way to do the job.  We have some minor differences, but it is very accurate.  I use basil a lot as well as Oregano in the sauce and make my sauce completely out of paste, though canned tomatoes are normal in Italy.  I just have that Sicilian branch of the family to urge the paste on me. Very good job.

  17. My pizza stone snapped in half, anyone know why? I used it three times highest tempature my oven could go, I did wash it with warmish hot water and dish soup.

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