New York pizza. Its’ a classic.
Pizza originates in Italy as you surely know. And since a lot of Italians migrated to the USA there is a strong Italian food culture. Pizza is one of those great street foods that you can grab at any moment and have a delicious meal there and then. In America, the pizzas and consequently pizza slices are large, so you can buy it by the slice.
So, what makes NY pizza an NY pizza? It is a cold proofed dough that packs a lot of flavour. Stretched thin and topped with a thick tomato sauce and lots of cheese. The beauty of it is its simplicity.
There are a couple things we need as home bakers to achieve a great result. The most important being a thick solid base to bake the pizza on. A baking stone would be the best option, but you can use a thick cast iron skillet or a thick metal tray. Of course, you should not feel left out if you do not have either of them. Simply bake the pizza on a tray lined with baking paper. It will not be the ultimate pizza experience, but it will do!
The second thing is a blender. That is if you are making your own sauce which I will show you in the video. We want the sauce to be nice and smooth. Of course, you can simply buy premade sauce if you like, but the best one will be the one you make yourself.
This recipe makes two 24cm (10in) pizzas. If you would like to make more simply multiply the amount of ingredients.
Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.
For the preferment (poolish) –
40g (1.4oz) strong white bread flour
40g (1.4oz) water at room temperature if your kitchen is around 20 – 22C (68-71F) *
Tiny pinch of yeast
*To learn more about temperature control click here.
For the dough –
260g (9.2oz) strong white bread flour
6g (0.2oz) salt
3g (0.1oz) instant dry yeast or 3.6g (0.12oz) active dry yeast or 9g (0.3oz) fresh yeast
30g (1oz) olive oil
150g (5.3oz) cold water. I kept my water in the fridge overnight*
*To learn more about dough temperature when using a preferment click here.
For the sauce –
400g (14.1oz) good quality tinned tomatoes
20g (0.7oz) olive oil
4g (0.14oz) salt
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Pinch of oregano
Pinch of chili flakes
To top the pizza –
- Make the preferment (poolish). Mix the water, pinch of yeast and flour. Make sure there is no dry flour left. Cover and ferment for 10 – 12 hours. The polish should be full of bubbles and have a thick consistency. If it is runny, then it is over fermented, and you can start over!
- Make the dough. In a bowl combine the water, yeast, salt, olive oil and poolish. Mix well to dissolve any large salt crystals and hydrate the yeast. Add the remaining flour and mix to a dough.
- Tip the dough out on your table and knead it for around 6 minutes. If it feels too sticky, then use the stretch & fold method. *Desired dough temperature 23C (73F). If your dough is warmer, then it will ferment more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it will take longer. This is a relatively low final temperature, but that is what we want because the dough will be fermented for a long time.
- Cover and ferment for 30 minutes. This is a relatively short initial proof, but we are only doing it to get the dough started.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Shape them into tight balls.
- Refrigerate for up to 24 hours. You can use them earlier if you like. 12 hours is sufficient. But the longer the proof the better the flavour.
- Make the sauce. In a small pan on medium heat cook the garlic, salt, chili flakes in olive oil until the garlic starts browning. Do not over cook it as it will turn bitter! Add the oregano and tomatoes. Bring it up to a simmer, turn the heat down and cook for 30 minutes. We want to reduce the sauce a little making it thicker and sweeter. Leave on the side to cool down completely.
- One hour before you want to bake the pizza preheat your oven to 240C (465F) with the fan on. Also preheat your baking stone, metal pan or tray if using.
- Shape the dough. If you do not have experience with this, then watch my instructions in the video. Top with a couple of tablespoons of sauce and plenty of mozzarella. *Use the dough straight from the fridge. There is no need to let it warm up.
- Slide the pizza in the oven and bake for around 6 minutes. Make sure the bottom is baked well.
Your oven may be different, so your baking time may vary. Keep an eye on it!
Watch the video here