This New York style pizza is the famous real deal with its homemade dough that makes a thin and crispy crust, a quick homemade tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese. Toppings 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 style pizza dough is easy to make—and stretch!—and the sigh-inducingly thin, crisp crust, perfectly simple tomato sauce and modest smattering of mozzarella cheese meld to create far more than the sum of its parts. Truly the real deal. And you can always use store-bought dough if you don’t have the time (or ingredients) to make the dough from scratch. If you want to pretend you’re a true New Yorker, fold the slice in half lengthwise as you pick it up and eat it.–Angie Zoobkoff
New York Style Pizza FAQs
What’s the difference between bread flour and all-purpose flour?
Folks, to achieve the best results in your New York style pizza dough, you really can’t substitute any other type of flour for bread flour. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it is really simple to find bread flour these days. And you won’t mind purchasing a bag of it because you’ll want to make this recipe again and again and again. Mostly, 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 11-13%.
How do you eat a slice of New York pizza?
New York style 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 before devouring.
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
- 1 (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 New York style 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 New York style pizza craving hits.
Assemble the New York style 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.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Originally published March 27, 2020
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 New York style pizza. 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 so worth it if you have the time. I think I just replaced my go-to pizza recipe. The recipe was not difficult but I disagree with the food processor method of making the dough. My food processor is on the small side and didn’t work very well. I think it would come out just as good using traditional methods. I’ve made a lot of dough and never used the food processor so I might be biased. When I dumped the dough out of the food processor, it had a bunch of thick clumps of flour that I had to work out as best I could. Fortunately it didn’t impact the end result. Often pizza dough tears when you’re stretching it but this one didn’t, which was great. It was challenging because it kept wanting to shrink back together but persistence paid off.
Here’s the final proof: Two pizzas, three people: Devoured.
The method suggested for stretching the dough did work although it took persistence because the dough kept shrinking back.
I got about 3 cups of delicious sauce. Total time was about 16 minutes. It’s that easy.
This is a very good pizza that included a recipe for dough and for 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 have leftovers.
I ran into trouble with the recommendation to bake the pizza on the upper shelf of my oven.
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 to make pizza at home and I’ve struggled to find a dough that I enjoy but that’s also easy to make. The one I’m currently using tastes pretty good but is very high maintenance, which is something 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 really good! I ended up with 3 1/2 cups. I used about half of that 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 actually ended up making the pizzas in a rectangular shape for 2 reasons. First, I’m not great with making a decent looking round pizza dough. I found it was easier to handle this way but it’s just because I’m rather clumsy. As well, I don’t have a pizza stone so instead I used my large, rectangular cast iron sheet pan. This worked exceptionally well and my big, rectangular pizza fit perfectly. They were bubbly and golden cheese with a crisp, chewy crust.
I really enjoyed testing this recipe. The process was easy and the results were delicious. And even though there wasn’t much left over, the 2 pieces I reheated this afternoon were still very satisfying. The sauce took 5 minutes to make and the hands on time for the dough, in total, was 20 minutes. 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 4 servings with a little left over. I didn’t serve it with much else, though, so it might go farther with a side salad. However, we were only interested in the pizza.