This New York-style pizza is the famous real deal with its homemade dough that makes a thin and crispy edge but a soft and foldable middle, a quick homemade tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese. Toppings are optional. Here’s how to make it at home.
Adapted from Andrew Rea | Binging with Babish | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019
Authentic New York-style pizza isn’t exactly easy to find outside of the city. This recipe, however, exceeds expectations.
The overnight New York pizza dough is easy to make—and stretch!—and turns out crispy edges with the characteristic soft, foldable middle.
The sauce is amazing and so wicked easy to make. Seriously, it took all of a minute to whiz it up in a food processor. No cooking, no simmering, no fuss.
Cheese? Of course, there’s cheese. But none of that fresh coddled artisan mozzarella here. Classic New York-style pizza calls for one cheese and one cheese only: shredded mozz.
You can use store-bought dough if you don’t want to wait overnight to make the dough from scratch.
Why Our Testers Loved This
The testers went wild for this authentic New York pizza for several reasons. They loved that the dough came together “quickly and easily” and that the sauce had a “nice balance of flavors–not too acidic or sweet.”
Greg C. was amazed that it tasted just like the real deal and raved about the “crispy pizza crust, tangy sauce, and well-cooked, bubbly cheese.”
Notes on Ingredients
- Bread flour–The high protein content in bread flour allows it to stretch, which is critical when making a thin-crust pizza. Don’t substitute all-purpose flour, as it will be difficult to stretch the dough.
- Sugar–A little granulated sugar is added to the dough for a few reasons. It helps to activate the yeast and also promotes browning in the crust.
- Active dry yeast–To check if your yeast is active, place a teaspoonful in a cup of warm water with a pinch of sugar. Active yeast will bubble and foam after 5 to 10 minutes.
- Canned tomatoes–The pizza sauce used in this recipe lets the flavor of the tomatoes shine, so I recommend using the best quality tomatoes you can get, preferably San Marzano.
- Red pepper flakes–If you are sensitive to heat, you can omit the pepper flakes or only add a small pinch. If you love a little extra spice, you can use up to 1/2 teaspoon in the sauce.
- Mozzarella cheese–Use a block of low-moisture mozzarella for the pizza. Avoid fresh mozzarella, as it will be too wet, and don’t use pre-shredded cheese, as it does not melt well.
How to Make This Recipe
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a food processor. Pulse until combined.
- Combine the ice water and 1 tablespoon of oil in a liquid measuring cup. With the processor running, pour the water into the feed tube.
- Run the processor until a ball of sticky dough forms.
- Knead the dough until smooth. Plop it into a large bowl, cover it, and refrigerate overnight.
- To make the pizza sauce, combine the tomatoes, garlic, spices, and sugar in the bowl of the food processor.
- Process the pizza sauce until smooth.
- Divvy the dough into two pieces and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour. Place a pizza stone in the oven and heat the oven to 550°F for 1 hour. On a floured surface, use your hands to press the dough into an 8-inch circle.
- Drape the dough over your knuckles and let gravity stretch it to 14 inches in diameter. Place the dough on a peel dusted with semolina flour.
- Top the pizza with 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sauce.
- Scatter half the cheese over the pizza. Transfer to the oven and bake until the cheese is bubbling and browned. Repeat with the remaining pizza dough, sauce, and cheese.
What’s the difference between bread flour and all-purpose flour?
The biggest difference between bread flour and all-purpose flour is simply a matter of protein. White and whole wheat bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose, usually 11 to 13%. The additional protein allows the pizza dough to be stretchier, which is critical in stretching the dough to a very thin round.
How do you eat a slice of New York pizza?
New York-style cheese pizza is known for its large thin slices. To avoid a floppy slice, skip the knife and fork and fold the slice of pizza in half lengthwise before devouring.
What makes this type of pizza different than other types of pizza?
This iconic pizza is known for its thin chewy crust and minimal toppings. It’s typically sold by the slice, and eaten folded in half. Although this recipe calls for mozzarella only, it is often made with a blend of mozzarella and provolone.
What toppings are usually added to this pizza?
Classic NY style pizza is typically topped only with cheese and occasionally pepperoni. But, of course, you can find all types of pizzas in the city. At home, you feel free to add toppings like mushrooms, bell peppers, olives, and onions or swap in a different type of meat like meatballs or sweet or hot Italian sausage.
- If your tomato sauce is watery, strain it through a fine mesh sieve before using.
- If you want to use the dough several days after making it, make sure it’s tightly wrapped. It will continue to expand. Trust me when I say you don’t want escaped dough oozing into the nooks of your fridge.
- The pizza dough and tomato sauce can be frozen separately for up to 3 months. Wrap the dough in plastic and store it in a resealable bag, and keep the tomato sauce in an airtight container. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.
- This recipe is suitable for vegetarian diets.
More great homemade pizza recipes
☞ If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David
New York Style Pizza
For the pizza dough
- 16 ounces bread flour about 3 3/4 cups, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 1/4 cups ice water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil plus more for the work surface and bowl
For the pizza sauce
- One (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes undrained
- 2 medium garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or more, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
For the pizza
- 1/4 cup semolina flour
- All-purpose flour for dusting
- 8 ounces low-moisture whole-milk mozzarella or more, shredded
Make the pizza dough
- In a large food processor, pulse together the bread flour, sugar, salt, and yeast until well combined.
- In a liquid measuring cup, combine the ice water and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and, with the machine running, slowly drizzle the mixture in through the feed tube until a ball of sticky dough forms, 20 to 30 seconds.
- Move to an oiled work surface and knead until smooth, 2 to 4 minutes. Plop into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight before using.
Make the pizza sauce
- In a food processor, combine the tomatoes and their juices, garlic, salt, oregano, red pepper flakes, basil, and sugar. Process until smooth.
☞TESTER TIP: You’ll likely have a lot more pizza sauce than you need. Freeze any remaining sauce for up to 3 months and thaw the next time a pizza craving hits.
Assemble the pizza
- Divide the chilled dough into 2 equal pieces. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
- While the dough is resting, set an oven rack in the second highest position and place a pizza stone on it. Preheat the oven to 550°F (288°C) or the highest setting for 1 hour. Dust a pizza peel with half the semolina flour.
☞TESTER TIP: If you don’t have a pizza peel, an overturned baking sheet will work nicely in its place. If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can assemble and cook the pizza on a heavy rimmed baking sheet.
- Generously dust a work surface with all-purpose flour and place one piece of the dough on top. Pressing gently with your fingertips, push the dough out to form an 8-inch (20-cm) round, leaving the edge slightly thicker.
- Pick up the round of dough and drape it over your knuckles, letting gravity stretch it. Pass the dough hand over hand until you have about a 14-inch (35-cm) round. Transfer the dough to the prepared pizza peel and reshape it into a circle, if necessary, leaving the edge slightly thicker.
- Depending on how saucy you like your pizza, ladle 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the pizza sauce onto the dough and spread until evenly coated, making sure to leave a 1/2-inch (12-mm) border exposed.
- Scatter half the mozzarella over the sauce. Slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone and bake until the crust is well browned and the cheese is bubbling and browned in spots, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Using the pizza peel, move the pie to a large cutting board or pizza pan.
- Repeat with the remaining dough, sauce, and cheese to make a second pizza.
- Slice each pizza into about 8 wedges and devour.
- Strain your sauce–If your tomato sauce is watery, strain it through a fine mesh sieve before using.
- Storing–Wrap the dough tightly if storing it in the fridge for more than overnight to prevent it from breaking through the plastic.
- Freezing–The pizza dough and tomato sauce can be frozen separately for up to 3 months. Wrap the dough in plastic and store it in a resealable bag, and keep the tomato sauce in an airtight container. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using
- Dietary–This recipe is suitable for vegetarian diets.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I don’t know why, but I’m always surprised when a recipe I make comes out just like “store-bought,” and it happened again with this New York style pizza recipe.
The look and taste of this pie was bang-on just like any good slice I’ve had in New York City. (And I’ve had my share over the years!) Crispy crust, tangy sauce, and well-cooked, bubbly cheese.
It’s time-consuming—letting the dough rest overnight—but it’s so worth it if you have the time. I think I just replaced my go-to pizza recipe. Here’s the final proof: Two pizzas, three people: Devoured.
This is a great New York City pizza that includes a recipe for dough and sauce. The dough recipe came together quickly in the food processor. I hadn’t used a food processor to make dough before, but I will going forward.
The dough was well-flavored and easy to stretch. One problem for me is that my pizza peel only measures 12 inches, not 14 inches, as the recipe called for, so it did hang over the sides. The crust bakes up light, airy, and nicely browned.
The sauce recipe was also quick and easy, but a bit too spicy for my taste with 1/2 teaspoon of crushed pepper flakes. I used a can of Cento San Marzano whole tomatoes. Only 1 cup of sauce is needed for the pizzas, so you’ll definitely have leftovers.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
I love making pizza at home, and I’ve struggled to find a dough that I enjoy but is also easy to make. The one I was using tastes pretty good but is very high maintenance, which I don’t find attractive in pizza dough.
This dough, however, comes together quickly and easily. It does need an overnight rest, but otherwise, it’s a snap. The rest period does make it so easy to handle that I can’t imagine skipping it. I loved how relaxed and elastic the dough was; it stretched out to a large, even size without tearing or shrinking up.
As well, the sauce is delicious! I ended up with 3 1/2 cups. I used about half and froze the rest. I’m hoping that it’ll still be as good. It has a nice balance of flavours—not too acidic or sweet.
I made the pizzas in a rectangular shape for two reasons. First, I’m not great at making decent-looking round pizza. I found it was easier to handle the dough this way.
Also, I don’t have a pizza stone, so, instead, I used my large, rectangular cast-iron pan. Essentially, I made a sheet-pan pizza. This worked exceptionally well, and my big, rectangular pizza fit perfectly. The pizzas were bubbly with golden cheese and a crisp, chewy crust.
Even though there wasn’t much left over, the two pieces I reheated this afternoon were still very satisfying. Honestly, aside from the overnight rest, this pizza comes together so quickly and easily that it’s all done before you know it.
We had four servings. However, I didn’t serve it with much else, so it might go further with a side salad.