Pizza is liked by the whole world but most probably in New York City. Italian-American pizza is well known here. The best place you can enjoy an excellent pizza is in New York City, but if you can’t manage to have it here, below, I’ll show you how to make at the comfort of your home.
- 22 ½ ounces (approximately 4 ½ cups) bread flour, add more for dusting
- 35 ounces kosher salt (about 3 teaspoons)
- Two teaspoons instant yeast
- One batch New York Style Pizza sauce
- 15 ounces lukewarm water
- Three tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound full grated- fat dry mozzarella cheese (around 4 cups), placed in a freezer for not less than 15 minutes
- 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1. Mix flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a food processor bowl. Pulse for about 3 to 4 times until they mix thoroughly. Add water and olive oil. Process it until the mixture forms ball-like structures that roll around the bowl for about 15 minutes around the blade. Continue to process for 15 more seconds.
2. Transfer the dough ball to a surface that has some flour and kneads them severally by hand until they become smooth. It’s supposed to pass the windowpane test. Divide dough equally into three parts and each covered in a quart-sized deli container or a zipped freezer bag. Allow it to rise by placing in a refrigerator for at least a day, and up to 5 days.
3. Remove dough from the refrigerator two hours before baking and shape back into balls. Place each floured ball in a separate mixing bowl. Allow rising by covering with plastic wrap tightly at warm temperature until it’s about to double in volume.
4. Adjust oven rack to middle position with a pizza stone, 1 hour before baking and preheat the oven to 500°F. Remove single dough ball onto a floured surface. Press dough out gently into 8- inch circle, and leave the outer 1 inch more than the rest. Stretch dough gently by draping knuckles into rings of 13 to 15 inch about ¼ -inch thick and transfer to the pizza peel.
5. Spread about two third cup of sauce over surface of crust evenly, leaving 1/2 to 1-inch edge along the border. Spread 1/3 cheese over sauce evenly. Put the pizza in a baking stone and bake with some brown spots until cheese melts while crust turns golden brown, a total of 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a chopping board, slice and immediately serve. With the remaining dough balls, cheese and sauce, repeat the process.
Tips for success:
- Use a high-quality flour, for example, King Arthur’s flour which contains high protein which works best. Mostly I prefer using all-purpose flour as its airy crust and lighter.
- Only use enough yeast to work best- for the yeast to work by producing its leavening effects it eats the sugar in your flour. Avoid the use of too much of yeast; the dough becomes tasteless.
- Use your refrigerator always. Best New York Style doughs are achieved by refrigerating for about 24 to 72 hours, and this is what we call the “cold rise.” The function of the refrigerator is to slow the dough’s fermentation to get the distinctive flavor.
- To weigh the flour, use the scale instead of a measuring cup- it will produce great results, and it’s much more accurate. Just have a try, and you will be amazed making your dough more improved and consistent.
- Mix the oil as stated in the last step, after a thorough mixture of the flour. It’s important as it makes the flour to hydrate well.
- Before you open the dough balls or tossing them, sprinkle some flour evenly on each side that is if you are doing it for the first time for it not to stick to your pizza peel or counter. You can even use some more flour before you spread them.
- If you have a pizza stone, use it to draw moisture out of the dough and produce a well crisp crust. In case you lose your stone use also pizza steel, it works just fine.
- To avoid your pizza dough from sticking use flour or semolina at the bottom of your pizza. Avoid overdoing it because it will burn.
- For the pizza to slide easily off your pizza peel, give it a small quick jerk before you try to transfer the pizza to the oven and remember to spread some flour into the peel before you place the dough.