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New York City Style Pizza Crust Recipe
Nom Nom! Pizza
What's your experience with this dough?
Have you tried this recipe? What are your results?
Making your own pizza
There is nothing like the homemade tradition of pizza on a day that ends with "Y"
When I was growing up we left it to the professionals at the pizzeria. Later on, my dad's idea of homemade pizza was Boboli.
I will be the first to admit that it's been YEARS since I made anything with yeast. Don't ask me why but yeast has always scared me.
Sounds silly but any time I attempted a yeast recipe it was a big F.A.I.L.
The ever-optimist, I would give up for a few years and ultimately try again.
I finally came upon a pizza crust recipe that worked! A few adjustments later I was able to make a consistent dough that I feel confident enough to share. I hope you enjoy!
What you need
- 1 large bowl for mixing
- 1 small bowl to hold your flour
-this will also be used to proof your dough
- Whisk or Fork
- Rolling Pin
- if you're not a professional pizza dough tosser
- a wine bottle works too. Just saying.
- Pastry Brush
- nice to have but a paper towel or your hands will suffice
- A little time & some elbow grease
I would love one of these...
- 2 1/4 tsp. Fleischmann's Active Yeast, (or one pre-packaged packet)
- 1 1/2 tsp. Sugar
- 2/3 cup Warm Water (110-115°F)
- 2+ cups total All Purpose Flour, (1 cup to activate yeast, 1+ cups in small bowl)
- 1 cup Semolina
- 3 TBSP Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 tsp. Table Salt
Extra & Optional Ingredients
- flour for kneading. You know what? Just keep the bag of flour next to you.
OPTIONAL but highly recommended
- 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1/4 tsp. Basil
- 1/4 tsp. Oregano
- pinch of Parsley
- 1 tsp. Grated Parmesan/Roman Cheese
- 2-4 fresh Basil leaves finely chopped
For crisp, gourmet pizza
I am all about getting hands-on and being as economical as possible however, if you have it in your budget to invest in a baking stone you will not regret it.
They are great for crisp, gourmet, professional quality pizza.
There is something about the distribution of heat when pizza dough or bread bakes on a stone that gives your creation a little extra oomph.
If you don't have one - fear not!
For home-cooked pizza a cookie sheet will suffice.
Side Note on Yeast:
I've tried store brand and cheaper active yeast. Maybe I'm a little paranoid but they never activated for me. I decided to spend a little extra and went with the Fleischmann's Active Yeast and it worked!
Keep active yeast stored in the refrigerator.
...or one of these!
Put the 1 1/2 remaining cups of flour in the small bowl.
You can dump the entire contents but you may work harder.
I definitely recommend pouring a little at a time into the mix but remember, you've already measured out the flour so you should be okay.
Instructions: Activating the Yeast
1. In a large bowl combine:
2 1/2 tsp. active yeast
(= one packet)
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cup flour
2/3 cup warm* water
* make sure it's warm between 110 - 115°F
2. With your whisk or fork,
mix the ingredients well.
3. Let it sit in a warm spot
(room temperature is okay) for about 20 to 25 minutes.
The yeast will interact with the sugar, water and flour and begin to bubble. It's going to look a little foamy but there are definitely bubbles. You will also notice the smell of yeast permeating the air. (see picture)
If you find that the dough is too dry after kneading it for a few minutes add a teaspoon of olive oil.
4. In the large bowl
add your other ingredients
- 3 TBSP Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1 cup Flour
- 1 cup Semolina
- Add optional & highly recommended spices
5. Knead & Work it
As you knead the dough it will be sticky.
Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup flour until the dough seems a little dry. You may not need all of the flour - don't worry!
Keep working it until it's not so crumbly then take it out of the bowl and knead it on a lightly floured flat surface.
You're going to get a little bit of a workout because you want to knead it for about 8 minutes. The dry-ish dough is going to get more pliable.
The consistency of the dough is going to feel a little elastic. That's good!
6. Take the small bowl and lightly grease it with olive oil.
7. Place dough in bowl & brush olive oil on it
This is to keep it from getting dry.
8. Cover with clean towel and place the bowl in a warm area.
9. Allow the dough to rise (approximately 1.5 - 2 hours)
It should blow up like a balloon and double in size.
For small personal pizzas simply cut the dough into 2 or 4 pieces and work them flat individually.
This is great when you have kids over and want to do a home pizza party. Everyone gets to make their own.
Tossing the dough
Experiment a little & have fun!
I've tried the dough tossing & turning thing. It takes practice!
I tend to roll it with the rolling pin and when it's wide enough to blanket my fists I always try to toss & turn it.
It's harder than it looks and I'm not nearly brave enough to really throw & turn it! I waited nearly 2 hours to get this far to drop it on the floor.
You will have some really thin areas - as long as it's not a hole you're fine. The dough tends to snap back and fill in. You can "thicken" it or help it snap back once it's on the pan.
Preheat your oven to 425°
10. Punch the dough down and knead it a little more.
11. 45 minutes in the refrigerator. Recommended but optional.
12. On the lightly floured surface use the heels of your hands to flatten and spread the dough.
13. Flip it over & work it some more.
14. Throw down a little more flour if you find that it's sticking to your hands or table surface.
15. Once it's flat enough use the rolling pin go ahead and start rolling, flipping the dough and rolling again.
Here ends the recipe
Okay - so this is your first attempt at a homemade pizza. Now what?
If you don't have a baking stone then take a flat pan or cookie sheet and sprinkle a little semolina on it. You can also use cornmeal on the bottom of your pan.
Take your flattened and hopefully ROUND dough and shape it a little more on the pan.
I use pie tins for individual pizzas.
For Sicilian Pizza, don't roll the dough too thin! Let the dough rise a little in the pan, add toppings and bake.
Add your toppings!
This recipe is for pizza crust however here are some of my favorite easy-peasy ideas.
For your pizza sauce, if all you have on hand is a jar of store bought spaghetti sauce, throw it in a bowl, add a little garlic powder & oregano - maybe a pinch of sugar and mix. Using a ladle drop the sauce in the middle of your dough and swirl it until it's about a half inch from the edge. A little goes a long way!
Sprinkle on your mozzarella cheese. If you are adding toppings I always recommend pan cooking them first then adding it to your pizza before you throw it in the oven. This is so you don't burn the cheese while waiting for your extra toppings to cook!
Bake in the oven for about 15 - 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.