Cookbook:New York City-Style Pizza
|New York City-Style Pizza|
New York City-style pizza originated in New York City in the early 1900s, and may be the American style pizza which most closely resembles that of Naples, Italy. It's characterized by wide, thin, foldable slices. The traditional toppings were limited to tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Additional toppings always included cheese. The slices are often eaten as a street snack while folded in half, as its size and flexibility sometimes makes it unwieldy to eat flat.
The most notable difference between New York style and other American pizzas is its thin hand-tossed crust, made from a high-gluten bread flour and its light coating of pre-cooked tomato sauce. The flavor of the crust has sometimes been attributed to the minerals present in the New York City tap water used to make the dough. Some out-of-state pizza makers even transport the water cross-country for the sake of authenticity.
New York-style pizza is usually sold both by the slice and as whole pies. Slices are taken from a large pie — typically around 18 inches in diameter — and most commonly cut into 8 slices, but other variations do exist. Pizzas to be sold by the slice can be either "plain" (sometimes "regular" — cheese and sauce) or with toppings. While many New York pizzerias also have slices with various toppings ready to serve, they invariably have plain slices ready to go, and can provide slices with toppings by adding them on prior to re-heating.
Pizzas are typically served with condiments such as dried red chili pepper, garlic powder, and grated parmesan cheese, available for the customer to place on the pizza once served. Oregano is also sometimes available.
Square-shaped slices with much thicker dough called Sicilian slices are also sold in New York City, though they often differ considerably from the true pizza of Sicily.
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 (10 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the warm water in a large bowl. Let stand for 1 minute, then stir to dissolve.
- Mix in the flour, salt and olive oil.
- When the dough is too thick to stir, turn out onto a floured surface, and knead for 5 minutes. Knead in a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.
- Place into an oiled bowl, cover, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk.
- Preheat the oven to 550 degrees F or as hot as your oven will go. Authentic New York pizzarias bake pizzas in ovens between 700-1,000 degrees F. If using a pizza stone, preheat it in the oven as well, setting it on the lowest shelf.
- When the dough has risen, flatten it out on a lightly floured surface.
- Roll or stretch out into a 12 inch circle, and place on a baking pan. If you are using a pizza stone, you may place it on a piece of parchment while preheating the stone in the oven.
- Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the dough. Sprinkle with oregano, mozzarella cheese, basil, Romano cheese and red pepper flakes.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bottom of the crust is browned when you lift up the edge a little, and cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Cool for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Notes, Tips, and Variations
You may also want to use additional toppings for your pizza. Well-known suggestions include:
- 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (for an extra cheese pizza)
- 2 to 4 ounces sliced pepperoni
- 8 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled, and cooked
- 2 to 4 ounces sliced Genoa salami
- 1 medium-sized fresh bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 large onion, sliced and lightly sautéed
- 1 can sliced mushrooms or mushroom stems and pieces, drained
- 1 can sliced black olives, drained
- 2 to 4 ounces thickly sliced, diced ham
- 2 to 4 ounces sliced, cooked bacon, cut into pieces
If you want to use more than one topping, you may want to cut down on the amount of each topping used.
If you want to make your pizza more crispy, bake your pizza in the oven at its maximum temperature, usually ranging from 500 to 550 degrees F (260 to 290 degrees C). Bake the pizza for 9 to 12 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly.