NY Style Pizza Crust

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scott in kc

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
Original poster
OTBS Member
Feb 3, 2006
South of KC MO
I've made bad pizza crusts for years. Finally decided I was going to learn to make something better. There dozens of different types of pizza, I wanted to make something like I got at a place in NoCal back in the 80's called Flatt's Pizza Factory. Some research showed that I was after NY style pizza.
NY style pie features a crust which is thin and foldable in the middle, with a rim that puffs high in the oven, that is crispy on the outside and light and airy on the inside.
The other big improvement I wanted to make was getting rid of the pasty flour taste my crusts have always had in the past.
Did pretty good on both accounts. Texture was good, flavor was excellent. Can't wait to try this again.

If you have kitchen scales, use them to weigh the flour and water, the ratio of these 2 ingredient is really important and weighing is the most accurate way to ensure this. I only have wal-mart cheapy scales and they worked great.
Look at your local grocery for a "bread flour". These have a higher gluten content and will greatly improve the finished product. If you can't find any, maybe you can find "vital wheat gluten" (comes in a small jiffy cornbread sized box) to augment all purpose flour. This will be better than AP flour alone, but not as good as the bread flour. I found pilsbury bread flour and Gold Medal "better for bread" (used this one) at Wally Super and my local grocery store, so hopefully you can find it too.

This recipe is a retarded dough (cold rise in fridge for 24 hrs), it's worth the wait.

Ingredients for 2 16" pies (my stone is only 15" and this recipe worked fine)

Flour 25.5 oz (5 3/4 cups)
Water (bottled or filtered if handy) 7.9 oz by weight or 1 3/4 cups volume
Salt (kosher) 1 3/4 tsp
Oil (light olive oil or canola) 1 1/2 tsp
yeast (instant or acitvated dry yeast) 1 tsp
sugar 1 tsp (I used honey instead and really liked the results)

If using ADY (activated dry yeast, std individual pkg yeast) take a 1/4 cup or so of the total water, warm this to ~100* and dissolve yeast in small bowl.
If using IDY (instant dry yeast, fleischmanns from sam's) you can skip the above proofing step.

Put cool (60-65*) water in mixer bowl with dough hook, add about 3/4 of the total flour, mix on stir speed for 2 mins just until it look sorta like smooth pancake batter. Turn off mixer, wait 20 mins. Add yeast, sugar, salt and oil. Set a timer for 10 mins,mix on stir speed, gradually adding flour until you can up the speed without making a mess, then go to speed 2. Mix until timer expires.

NOTE: If like me, you're used to making bread in the KA mixer, this dough is going to look hopelessly wet, it will puddle in the bottom of the bowl, something that would normally cause me to add another 1/4-1/2 cup of flour, DON'T!! It's supposed to be this wet and will be suprisingly sturdy for something this wet due to the high protein flour.
Also, as you work with this stuff, try to add as little bench flour as possible for handling, its a bit sticky like canned biscuit dough but isn't as sticky as it looks.
Check the temp of the dough as you take it off the hook, you're shooting for 75* or so. You start with water cooler than that, as the friction from the mixer will add heat. Mine came out 84* (water too warm) but it worked out fine anyway.

Remove from bowl onto work surface and divide into 2 equal sized parts (using scales if you have them, 20-22oz each). Hand work (as little as possible) into smooth balls, and place in either gallon ziplocs (lightly sprayed inside) or better yet, round rubbermaid type sealable containers (i used 1.5qt no. 3 rubbermaid). When it comes time to make crusts, the already round shape is a great head start. Lightly spray containers and dough balls. Seal in containers and put in fridge overnight.

Remove containers from fridge 2 - 2 1/2 hrs before making pies. When the dough is 65* it's ready. This stuff doesn't really do much in the way of "raising" like one is used to with bread dough, don't worry it's gonna be fine.

If you have a pizza stone, pre-heat it for an hour while the dough warms up, to the max your oven will go (mine goes to 550).
I use a stone, but my OL complained about the cornmeal mess using a peel left in the oven so a few years ago, I started prepping crusts on parchment paper precut to the size of the stone (maybe a touch smaller, and leave a tab to use for handle, kinda like a capital Q) and just sliding parchment, pizza and all directly from a peel, rimless pizza pan or upside down baking sheet onto the stone. No mess, no grief from the Boss!!
If don't have a stone, you can use a pan, although the amount of "oven spring" that produces the airy nature of this crust won't be as good.
4 8" unglazed quarry tiles from Lowe's or Home Depot will work in lieu of a stone just fine, and a lot cheaper than a stone too.

When dough reaches 65* put dough on pan (lightly sprayed) or parchment (lightly floured and dusted off). Gently as possible begin squishing the dough towards the edges of the pan or paper, if necessary lift it a little and allow it to stretch under its own weight around the perimeter (like shuffling your hands on a steering wheel as you make a turn). You want the thinnest area to be the center working gradually toward the thickest area at the edge. You don't need to make a pronounced rim on the raw crust, this will happen on its own in the oven if you leave the edge thicker than the rest of the crust.

Top with sauce, toppings and cheese as you like. Bake until the edges of the crust begin to brown a bit, (mine took maybe 4-6 mins total, but i never time pizza as it varies each time so I just watch it) check the bottom of the crust by lifting with a spatula. If it looks done and the cheese isn't as done as you like, just move the pie to an upper rack, and use the broiler for a bit.

The crust looks burnt, but this scorching is to a pizza maker what bark is to a pitmaster.
Here's a wide shot of pie #2. I handled the dough less and got better voids in the crust rim.
Thanks for sharing Scott. 8)

I can tell already that I'm going to need a peel.
Is it lunch time yet???

Thanks for sharing Scott, I've got some leftover smoked chicken I think I'll use for this recipe; that is if the boys haven't found it! (Note to self: Really need to think about putting a lock on the 'fridge!) :P
Bob, using the parchment trick, you really can get by without a peel. I have 2 that I made myself that I don't use anymore.

Bill, Chicago style crust is a lot less complicated than the NY style. Tell me which place you like and I'll see if I can't come up with a recipe.

Dutch, you'll love the smoked chicken on pizza. The smoke flavor and acidity of the sauce, work very well together. Our 13 yr old grandson lives with us, I can relate to the lock on the fridge
I have to admit, I make pizza dough but I don't measure the flour because of humidity and if it's dry so I do that by feel. I use my kitchen aid mixer with the dough hook. I use bread flour, pinch of salt, 1 tsp of sugar, 1 1/4 cups of warm water and 3 tbs of olive oil. I start out putting the yeast in the warm water with the sugar and let it bloom.. I then add 2 cups of bread flour with the salt and ad the olive oil.
I start the machine on slow with the dough hook attatched. mixing the dough and doing it by feel. I add more flour as needed until the dough is nolonger sticky. I place the ball of dough in a greased bowl <again I use oilive oil> and let it rise.. I had sheet of 1/8" steel cut to the size of my oven rack 18" x 24" at my local hardware. I also use parchment paper, I use to use corn meal but it always burnt so the paper works better for me. You can also spice up your dough by adding garlic or rosemary during the mixing process..


PS Scott, Your pizza looks great.
Scott, I will DEFINITELY try this recipe. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY and now living in GA (almost 20 years) has me yearning for that delectable pizza made with that beautiful, lightly crispy and airy crust! Thanks for sharing it and I'll let you know how it turned out for me.
I love pizza! Make it all the time but I don't measure anything and wouldn't hazard a guess. I just mix it by hand in a big tuperware bowl.

Just wondering has anyone tried making pizza in a smoker? Bet the bread rises nice and tall Sicilian syle.
Even though Scott has returned home, he is still very much a part of the Smoking Meat Forums family. I still continue to add a chunk of cherry to my smokes in honor of his memory. It's nice to see that someone brought this old post to the top of the pile.
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