I love all kinds of pizza, and I find this style of dough incredibly usable and accessible for most home cooks who wants a seriously great pizza, but don’t own a dedicated pizza oven.
When looking at the New York style pizza dough, it is very clear that it’s grandparent is the Neapolitan pizza; it has a thin, crispy crust, airy cornicione (the rim), and a slightly chewy interior.
The major difference is hydration, baking time, and temperature. Hydration is the water to flour ratio. This ratio is always calculated from the ammount of flour (which is always 100 %). So 60% hydration, for example, means that you use 600g water to 1000g flour, eg. 60 % of 1000 gram is 600 gram.
A Neapolitan pizza oven burns at at least 400C/752F, and if using too high hydration for a Neapolitan pizza, the dough is too wet too cook in time, and you end up with scorched outside and raw inside.
The New York style dough cooks at around 300C/572F, so you can increase hydration to get a super soft and airy interior, yet fully cooked through. You could even get a very passable result cooking as low as 240C/464F, which most home ovens can do, especially if you have a baking stone, or better yet, a baking steel.
This is exactly how I bake my NY style crust
- My home oven is a Gaggenau 400 that goes to 300C/572F
- I use a Baking Steel Modernist Cuisine SE, 10 mm thick
- The Baking Steel is on the second lowest rack
- I use convection, but not grill
- I preheat the oven for a total of 40 minutes to get the steel hot
- I par-bake with the sauce until the crust is just starting to get hints of brown
- I take the pizza out of the oven, add the remaining toppings, then bake until perfect.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool and retain optimal crispness.
The par-baking means I can crank out seveal pizzas in a matter of minutes instead of having to wait until each pizza is fully baked. And by then the first pizza is already cold.
This recipe is for three 12″ pizzas, and the hydration level is 72 %.
If you don’t have a sourdough starter, simply add 50g extra flour, and 50g extra water, and add 3 grams dry yeast if using overnight cold fermentation, or 11 grams if using same day fermentation.
- 550 g Caputo Pizzeria*
- 380 g cold water
- 18 g salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 100 g sourdough starter (100 % hydration)
*I often use 30g finely milled whole wheat and 520g Caputo Pizzeria
Weigh all ingredients into your baking bowl, then quickly mix things together to a reasonably lump free, sticky dough. Put a lid on, and let it rest for 15 minutes or more – whatever suits your schedule. This important rest will let the gluten relax and develop, and fully hydrate the dough.
How to perform the stretch and fold:
- Wet your dominant hand
- Gently take hold of the edge of the dough pointing away from you.
- Lift it up, stretching the dough, then fold the flap over and towards you.
- If you are a right-hander, turn your baking bowl a quarter with the clock (otherwise against the clock)
Repeat these steps until you come full circle, or until the dough starts to tighten up – it will tell you when it’s had enough. You can usually go 5-7 stretches and folds the first time, but as you develop a stronger and stronger gluten structure, 4 stretches and folds is usually the most you can do.
For a killer dough, repeat this entire process 4 times, with minimum 20 minutes rest in between for the gluten to relax.
When done, you should have an amazingly smooth dough with incredible gluten structure.
If using sourdough, ferment the dough as you normally do; all starters are unique to their origin environment.
If using dry yeast and cold fermentation, set in the fridge with lid on overnight.
If using same day fermentation, make sure your gluten rests in between the stretches and folds are no more than 20 minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge 2 hours before baking. Shape them into three or four balls, cover with a bowl and rest on the bench for 2 hours.
Shaping the New York style pizza correctly has a huge impact on the end result. It is similar to shaping a Neapolitan pizza, but have some specific differences still. Below is a very instructive video, and I highly recommend watching it:
If using a home oven, bake at 300C, or as hot as your oven will go, ideally using a preheated baking stone or steel.
Do you love pizza? Here are even more kick-ass pizza recipes from the guy who was in the Norwegian Pizza Championship once.