A good New York–style pizza should be thin and crisp yet chewy and flexible. The cheese flavorful and oozy, not rubbery. The sauce can be as simple as crushed tomatoes with salt or a more herby blend. And it’s entirely possible to make at home. Here’s a quick recipe.
New York–style Pizza
- Two hours before you want to cook your first pizza, remove dough from fridge and place in a room-temperature environment (~73ºF/23ºC). Allow it to warm to room temp for ease of stretching.
- T-minus 1.5 hours till first pizza launch, adjust the oven rack to lowest position and either remove upper rack(s) or move them to highest positions possible. Place pizza steel or baking stone on bottom rack, set oven to highest temperature possible. Once oven hits high temperature, preheat steel or stone for 1 hour.
- Sprinkle a light, even layer of semolina or bench flour over a clean, dry wood pizza peel.
- If your dough is in a round plastic container (as advised), open it, and sprinkle some bench flour on top. Also dust your work surface lightly with bench flour. Use your fingertips to gently coax dough out of container along the edges, keeping dough as round as possible.
- Drop your dough onto the floured work surface. Gently press out dough into an 8-inch circle, keeping a 1/2-inch rim around the edge. Using whatever method you are comfortable with, stretch dough to 12–14" circle, keeping it to as uniform a thickness in the middle as you can while also maintaining a thicker 1/2-inch border.
- Transfer dough round to pizza peel, and, working quickly, top with a heaping 3-ounce ladleful of sauce, placing sauce in middle of dough and using ladle bottom to spread it out in a spiral from the center.
- Sprinkle on 1/2 ounce of the grated Romano, Parmesan, or grana padano. Follow that with about 5 ounces of the "New York Blend" mozzarella.
- Shimmy the pizza peel to check if your dough is sticking. (If it's sticking, gently pick up edge of dough near the sticky spot and try throwing bench flour under it, shimmying some more to work the flour under the spot in question.)
- Launch dough onto your pizza steel or baking stone, and cook until cheese is melted with some browned spots and crust is golden brown and puffy.
- Using metal pizza peel, retrieve pizza from oven. Swirl a spiral of olive oil on it, slice (into sixths), and serve.
- Repeat with remaining dough balls, sauce, and cheese, feeling free to experiment with toppings of your choice. I'm not going to give you a recipe for toppings/topping combos here. Just use your commonsense and good judgment, keeping in mind this adage:"When it comes to topping pizza, what looks like too little is often just right, and what looks like enough is often too much." —Adam Kuban