Monday, July 9, 2012

NYC Pizza In Your Own Home!

NYC Pizza

Life has been a bit hectic of late, so I apologize profusely for the huge length of time between posts.  Here is the ever promised NYC pizza in your own home- You'll never go back to your local pizza joint because this is just too easy and yummy not to make yourself.

First we should discuss tools:

1.  Pizza stone
2.  Oven hot enough to go to 500 degrees F
3.  Pizza peel
4.  Pizza cutter
5.  Food Processor

Here are my suggestions if you don't know which of the seemingly endless options of the above listed tools:

2. No suggestions here- my apartment came with one and that's all I know

I got all of the above on Amazon and if you have Amazon Prime you get free 2 day shipping!  

OK, now that we got the tools list out of the way, here are some of the important things you need to know about making pizza:

Pizza Dough
You need to have a dough that is stretchy enough not to rip when stretching thin.  It should pass the "Windowpane Test" where you stretch it so thin that you can see through it, and the dough still doesn't tear.  Here is the recipe that I found that works great- it's unique in that it uses a food processor instead of a Kitchen-aid mixer to blend the dough  (**note- you must make this one day in advance so it can rise overnight).

Mozzarella Cheese
Funny enough, using the block of Polly-o that you can find in your local supermarket is the mozzarella of choice.  You should use the block and shred it yourself, as the pre-shredded packages of cheese are laced with desiccant which makes the cheese not melt as nicely.  Using fresh wet mozzarella is yummy, but not in the NYC tradition.  You should use the dry mozzarella instead.  If you prefer your mozzarella a bit more salty, you can use the Trader Joe's brand instead of Polly-o.

Tomato Sauce
The key to good sauce is getting the acidity and sweet balance you prefer.  Everyone has their preferred pizza sauce of choice, and usually it is dependent on these two features of the tomato sauce.  Here is one that is delicious with a hint of spice- Try to get REAL San Marzano canned tomatoes as opposed to "Italian Style" or "San Marzano" tomatoes made in California and not Italy. 

Pizza Assembly
First pre-heat your pizza stone and oven for one hour at 500 degrees F.

To put the pizza together, lightly flour your countertop, and stretch the dough by pushing down on the round disc with your fingertips and gently turning it repeatedly until it is about 6 - 8 inches wide.  You can also hold the disc by the "crust" and let it stretch in the air instead.  Grab the crust, hold it and let the dough hang perpendicular to the counter.  Keep turning the dough and let it hang and stretch for a second or two in the thicker areas.  Also, you can lay the dough disc on your fists and gently stretch and turn.  Once the dough reaches about 12 inches in diameter, it is ready to be sauced and cheesed!

Spoon about 1/2 cup of sauce on the disc, trying to put more to the sides and less in the middle of the pie, as the middle is where the sauce and cheese tend to pool while cooking.

Sprinkle about a cup of shredded dry mozzarella on the pie, again trying to concentrate the cheese on the sides and not so much in the middle.

Put any toppings on you desire.

When the pizza stone is ready after one hour, turn the oven down to 450 degrees F.  

Use the pizza peel to scoop your raw pizza off the counter and put it on the stone.  If you are using the pizza peel I recommended above, this will be a breeze once you get the hang of it.  The trick is to push the peel under the pizza with a forward motion as you pull the cloth towards you.  Here is a great video from their site on how to do it:

Cook the pizza for 12 minutes at 450 degrees F.  

When the crust is golden brown, remove the pizza using the same pizza peel but WITHOUT the cloth!

Cut and enjoy!  Notice the crust is super thin, and the crust bends in half without cracking in the middle like a true NYC pizza slice should.  

If you like white pizza (no red sauce and lots of garlic and ricotta), continue on!  I have a GREAT white pizza recipe below.

White Pizza

1/3 of a dough recipe from above
6 teaspoons of seasoned ricotta (recipe below)
8 oz fresh wet mozzarella
4 cloves minced garlic
1/8 cup olive oil
1.5 teaspoons chopped basil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

You will need to make the dough the exactly same way as above, but you don't need any tomato sauce.  You should preheat the oven for an hour at 500 degrees F just like the regular NYC pizza.

Brush about 1/8 cup of olive oil on the stretched dough disc.  Put two minced garlic cloves on the pie.  Then spoon a teaspoon of fresh diced basil (I use the jarred kind that is in liquid for ease and it works great).  Then place FRESH WET mozzarella discs on the pie.  Spoon about 5 teaspoons of some seasoned ricotta (recipe below) in a circle and then one in the middle of the pie for a total of 6 teaspoons.  Put another teaspoon of minced garlic (another 1-2 minced cloves), some more basil (about 1/2 tsp) and some freshly ground black pepper (about 1/8 tsp).  Sprinkle about a teaspoon of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on the top and then in the oven it goes at 450 degrees F for about 12 minutes.

Cut and enjoy!

Seasoned Ricotta:

Mix 8 oz of fresh ricotta with 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper, a 1/4 tsp salt,  a teaspoon of minced garlic (2 cloves) and a 1/2 teaspoon chopped basil.  Refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Pin It


  1. Hi Sharon,
    So glad you found a few minutes to share this fabulous pizza. I have been begging my husband to build me a pizza oven for years, I think I should just read the book and build it myself, huh. He He. I've never hear NY pizza, but have only heard good things about it, when I get a bit more unpacked, pizza with white sauce is calling me. Hope you have a great week.

    1. OOOhhhh I would love a brick oven! The white pizza is the best one so far- make sure to heap on the garlic! :)

      Hope your move is going smoothly. I have moved 10 times, and am now at the point of not unpacking boxes for yrs so it's easier to move the next time. Faulty logic- really we should be throwing them out if we don't need the stuff for years, sheesh!