New York Pizza Recipe

Homemade New York style pizza

In this article, I’ve included my recipe for the ultimate homemade New York style pizza. I’ll go through every step in great detail, leaving no stone unturned (or pizza unturned should I say)!

Homemade New York style pizza
Amazing New York pizza is waiting!

Don’t worry, making New York pizza at home isn’t difficult. It takes practice but it’s fun, rewarding, and tastes amazing!

In this article, I’ll first discuss what makes a New York pizza and why it’s so good. Then I’ll discuss the specific methods and ingredients used to achieve the best New York pizza.

To learn more about the New York style of pizza and it’s origins, check out my article on what is New York pizza here.

At the bottom of this page, I’ve included my recipe for the perfect New York style pizza.

What makes NYC pizza so good?

In my view, I think quality ingredients along with the skills of the pizza chef is what makes NYC pizza so good. The quality of the dough is one the most important factors. Making quality dough takes practice, as does shaping pizza by hand, and cooking the pizza to perfection.

NYC pizza toppings
For me, what makes NYC pizza so good is the skilled pizza maker and the use of quality ingredients

The fact that there is a strong tradition of pizza making within New York surely helps. And given that there are so many pizzarias within the city, it probably helps to create some healthy competition.

But the good news is that you can learn to make incredible NYC pizza at home. It really isn’t that difficult, it just takes practise, and attention to detail. But it’s really fun and very rewarding!

Stretching NYC pizza
Here’s one I made earlier – me stretching NYC pizza!

Even better still, homemade pizza tastes incredible!

What is the secret to NYC pizza?

If there’s one secret to NYC pizza that I’ve learned over time, it’s about the fermentation of the dough, or the “prove” as it’s know. This is where the yeast works it’s magic, producing an incredible taste and texture in the dough.

NYC pizza dough
Proper fermentation is arguably the secret to NYC pizza, and any pizza for that matter!

For me, the real “secret” is to prove the dough for longer. The best pizzas use freshly made dough which has been proved for usually at least 8 hours, but usually 24 hours, and sometimes even longer.

The longer the proof, the better the flavour and texture in the dough (up to around 48 hours). It also makes for a more forgiving dough that is easy to work with. This allows the pizza maker (that’s you!) to make the best pizza possible every time.

Shaping NYC pizza dough
Long proved dough is easier to shape, and generally offers more flavour and improved texture

To achieve this slow fermentation, it’s important to use less yeast. This ensures that the dough doesn’t overprove.

Feel free to check out my yeast calculator here if you are interested in devising your own recipes (like some sort of mad scientist)!

Yeast for NYC pizza
You only need to add a pinch of yeast for a long prove!

The ingredients in the dough are also very important, particularly the flour.

Which flour is best for New York style pizza?

Typically, New York pizzerias use a strong white bread flour, which is high in protein. The high protein helps in gluten development, producing a strong and stretchy dough. But not all pizzerias use the same type of flour.

New York style pizza flour
High protein flour, typically at least 13% (or 13g per 100g) is important for New York pizza

While Neapolitan pizza calls for an ultra-fine Italian 00 flour, New York pizza typically uses a slightly coaser flour. This is largely due to the lower temperature that the pizza is cooked at.

Coarser flours (that are also high in protein), tend to produce crispier crusts and more browning at lower temperatures. This is partly due to them having a higher sugar content.

New York style pizza
Coarser, high protein flour, typically produces better pizza when cooked at lower temperatures

For this reason, New York pizzerias tend to favour the coarser Italian type 0 or type 1 flour, or strong white bread flour. In practice, most high protein flours can be used for New York style pizza. They will tend to produce a strong dough which will usually crisp and brown better.

In contrast, 00 flour tends to work better at higher temperatures, such as those used for Neapolitan pizza. It allows for a crispy crust with a soft interior.

Pizza slice
A slice of Neapolitan style pizza I made with this recipe here – using 00 flour

But generally, a high gluten flour is used, since this can produce strong and stretchy dough, perfect for pizza shaping.

To summarise, for New York style pizza, I recommend a strong white bread flour with a protein content of between 13% – 14%. The protein content is usually listed on the packaging. It is usually represented as a quantity of protein per 100g. So 13% – 14% is often listed as 13g or 14g (per 100g).

Another important consideration is the hydration of the dough. Or in other words, the amount of water in the dough. This can have a huge effect on the consistency of the dough.

NY pizza dough hydration

NY pizza dough hydration is typically higher than Italian Neapolitan pizza dough, at around 60% – 65%. This is largely due to the fact that a coarser, and often higher protein, flour is used.

NY pizza dough hydration
The hydration effects the consistency of the dough

The hydration basically refers to how much water is in the dough, measured as a percentage of the flour. For example, if a pizza contained 200g flour and 100g water (300g dough ball), this would be 50% hydration. Check out my article on pizza dough hydration here for more information.

Notice that the actual percentage of water in the dough is 33%. This can be a bit confusing but basically, the water is measured as a percentage of the flour, not the total dough. Therefore the hydration is 50%, not 33%.

Adding water to NY pizza dough
Weighing the water is a good idea – not many people realise that 1g of water is the same as 1ml! Pretty cool hey?!

You can check out my article on pizza dough hydration here if you haven’t already seen it.

Neapolitan pizza is usually somewhere in the 56% – 60% hydration range as opposed to the 60% – 65% hydration range for NY pizza dough. The different flours absorb water differently, with Italian 00 flour requiring less water than say, strong bread flour.

Many people assume that because NY pizza has a higher hydration that it is a wetter dough but this is not necessarliy true. Even though the hydrations are different, the consistencies are quite similar. It is simply the flour which requires different hydrations.

Flours for NY pizza dough
Different flours require different levels of hydration (amounts of water)

For a strong white bread flour, I would recommend starting at 60% hydration. From there, you can adjust the recipe as required, but I typically find this to be close to optimal for most strong bread flours.

There seems to be a trend these days towards high hydration doughs, of around 70% or higher. In my opinion, this should be avoided unless you are an expert. High hydration doughs are difficult to shape and it’s easy to end up with a thick base, which is not typical of the New York style.

Next, let’s look at putting some sugar in the dough!

Should you put sugar in pizza dough?

Sugar is arguably the most common addition to New York style pizza dough. It is almost never added to Italian pizza dough but it is almost always added to NYC dough.

Sugar in New York pizza

A lot of people believe that the addition of sugar is required for the yeast to ferment, but this isn’t true. There are plenty of sugars for the yeast within the flour itself.

The sugar is generally added for sweetness and to encourage browning. The improved browning is particularly important for NYC dough, given that it is cooked at a lower temperature when compared to Neapolitan pizza.

Sugar for fermentation
Contrary to popular belief, sugar is not required for proofing

Whilst adidng sugar will tend to speed up the fermentation, so would adding more yeast. And in general, longer proves are preferable as they tend to lead to a better texture and improved flavour. So really, there’s no need to add sugar for fermentation.

However, sugar does provide some sweetness, which many people believe is beneficial to the New York style. Traditionally, sugar would probably rarely be used but it is increasingly common today.

Mixing sugar in pizza dough
Mixing sugar into the dough is very common with New York style pizza dough

In fact, most people would probably consider sugar to be an essential ingredient in NYC pizza dough.

Aside from the flavour though, the main reason for adding sugar is to encourage browning.

What is the percentage of sugar in pizza dough?

In general, the best New York pizzarias tend to use up to 2% sugar compared to the weight of flour (baker’s percentage). This should be enough to encourage browning and add a little sweetness, without overpowering the dough.

Feel free to check out my article on baker’s percentage here if you want to learn more about percentages.

Weighing sugar for New York pizza dough
I recommend weighing the sugar out with some digital scales to ensure accuracy

At the end of the day, there’s no right answer, so feel free to experiment with your dough to see what you prefer and what works best for your oven. But personally, I would recommend between 1% – 2% sugar. Any less than 2% and it won’t impart much flavour, any more than 3% and it may become too sweet.

Should you add olive oil to New York pizza dough?

Olive oil is often added to New York pizza dough. The main reason for this is to assist with the browning of the crust, the same reason why sugar is added to the dough.

Olive oil in New York pizza
Olive oil is often added to New York pizza dough but rarely added to Italian pizza dough

With Neapolitan pizza in contrast, the olive oil can lead to burning. This is because that style of pizza is cooked at a much higher temperature, and is also cooked with open flames which naturally provide some charring.

What does olive oil do to the pizza base?

Olive oil does provide some flavour to the pizza base but it is only used in very small quantities so the flavour is not significant. The main benefit to using olive oil in the dough is to encourage browning on the pizza base and the crusts, similar to adding sugar.

New York pizza on table
Olive oil encourages browning on the crust and the base of the pizza

The use of olive oil can also help with handling, especially with wetter doughs. Many pizza chefs choose to use olive oil instead of flour to assist in the balling of dough, since it doesn’t dry out the dough.

What kind of olive oil should I use for pizza dough?

In general, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is considered the best oil for pizza dough, due to it’s rich and deep flavour. However, since the oil is cooked in the dough, the flavour difference is not as noticeable as with uncooked oil.

Olive oil for New York pizza
Use good quality olive oil, ideally extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

For this reason, many pizzarias chose to save some money by using regular olive oil in their dough. For making pizza at home, use whichever you prefer. You could even run an experiment to see if you can tell the difference!

How much olive oil to put in pizza dough

As with sugar, the best New York pizzarias tend to use up to around 2% olive oil compared to the weight of flour (baker’s percentage). This should be enough oil to encourage browning and add a little flavour, without overpowering the dough.

You can check out my article on baker’s percentage here to find out more about dough percentages.

Weighing olive oil for New York pizza
Weighing the olive oil is a good idea, especially since it effects the hydration of the dough

But all pizzarias use a different amount and some don’t use any at all. It comes down to personal preference, as well as the oven you are using.

For cooking at low temperatures (around 260C/500F or below) in a home oven, I would recommend adding both sugar and olive oil.

Cooking pizza in home oven
New York style pizza cooks really well in a good home oven

Adding both sugar and oil should help to get some nice browning. If you find you’re getting too much browning, I would then omit the olive oil and just stick to adding sugar.

How to make New York style pizza at home

Below, I’ve included my recipe for the perfect New York style pizza at home. It’s really quite easy to make, it just takes a bit of practice.

Don’t be put off by the long prove in the recipe. Aside from a bit more preperation, this doesn’t take any more work. It tends to lead to a nicer dough which is also more forgiving and easier to work with (especially when shaping).

New York style pizza dough proofing
Once you’ve tried a long prove, you probably won’t use a short prove again (unless time is an issue)!

If you’ve made my Neapolitan pizza recipe before, then you should find this recipe fairly straightforward. The methods used are very similar, the main difference is in the ingredients used.

Also, I recommend checking out my pizza school series here if you haven’t already. There are articles (with videos) explaining practically every method used in pizza making.

New York style pizza
My pizza school series shows you all the techniques you need to know for pizza making

The first part is on mixing the dough by hand. I recommend using your hands as much as possible as this should help to develop your feel for the dough. Kneading by hand is also really easy. But you can use a dough mixer on a low setting for the kneading though if you prefer.

With that being said, let’s get into my recipe for New York style pizza at home!

New York style pizza – The Recipe

How to make the best New York pizza

This recipe makes an authentic New York style pizza which you can cook in your regularNew York pizza recipe home oven. You can also use your pizza oven if you have one.

 

Ingredients

Makes 4 x 12 inch pizzas.

For the dough

Use Strong White Bread Flour (around 13g-14g protein).

For cooking in a regular domestic oven:

  • Flour – 520g (Strong White Bread Flour)
  • Water (room temperature) – 300g
  • Salt (fine) – 13g
  • Sugar – 10g
  • Olive Oil – 10g
  • Yeast (dried or fresh) – around 0.2g to 0.5g (depending on yeast type & room temperature)

For cooking in a pizza oven:

For the toppings

  • Tomatoes – 300g tin of plum tomatoes
  • Salt – 10g fine salt
  • Pepper – 10g crushed black pepper
  • Sugar – 5g
  • Mozzarella – 1 x 250g bag of grated mozzarella
  • Oregano – pinch of dried oregano
  • Garlic – couple of cloves

Utensils Required

Not all the following utensils are required but these are what I use and they tend to make the process easier. I’ve provided Amazon links for you to check the prices of these items if you don’t have them already. They are usually available for reasonable prices.

  • Large mixing bowl
    Any large bowl could be used for mixing the dough but I like using the metal ones since they’re lightweight and easy to clean.

  • Digital weighing scales
    These are pretty much required for weighing the ingredients. Affordable, easy to use, and very precise (accurate to 1g).

  • Accurate digital weighing scales
    These kitchen scales are accurate to 0.01g and are perfect for weighing the tiny amounts of yeast required for long proves.

  • Pizza proofing box
    You can use individual bowls or a chopping board and plastic wrap. Pizza proofing boxes are an excellent investment though, especially if you intend on holding pizza parties at some point!

  • 12″ pizza peel
    A 12 inch peel is ideal for New York style pizza, it makes loading and removing your pizza from the oven easy. If you don’t have one, you could improvise with a chopping board.

Method

For the dough

Tips:

  • This recipe involves a 24 hour prove. I know it sounds like a long time but don’t worry, it’s easy!
  • Simply prepare the dough the night before (24 hours before) you want to make pizza and it will be ready the following evening.
  • Don’t worry about exact timings, a prove of anywhere between 20-28 hours should be fine.
  • Try my pizza dough calculator here to find a more precise amount of yeast required. Usually, this will be between 0.2g – 0.5g depending on yeast type and your room temperature.Balled New York pizza dough
  1. Roughly mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, starting with the water first. I recommend doing this by hand or using a wooden spoon.

  2. Tightly cover the bowl using plastic wrap (or a plastic bag), or a damp cloth (if the cloth is dry the dough itself may dry out).

    Mixed New York pizza dough

    The dough should look something like this when “roughly” mixed

  3. Leave the dough to rest (“autolyse”) for 10 minutes to 1 hour (the longer the better).
  4. Remove the dough and knead for around 5 minutes.

  5. Tightly cover the dough in the bowl again.
  6. Leave the dough to prove for around 20 hours (ball the dough if you like but don’t worry too much about the shape).
    New York pizza dough resting

    You can prove the dough in a bowl or if you have one, a pizza proofing box. I’ve included a link to one of these boxes on Amazon below.

  7. Once proved, split the dough into 4 equal parts (around 250g each) using digital scales and a knife (or dough scraper). This should be done about 4 hours before you intend to cook the pizza (following a roughly 20 hour prove).
    Weighing New York pizza dough

    Digital scales are ideal for weighing the dough. I’ve added a link to some on Amazon below if you want to check them out.

  8. Shape into 4 dough balls using whichever technique you like. Feel free to check out my article (with a video) on balling dough here.

  9. Tightly cover the dough balls. You can use bowls and plastic wrap, tupperware containers, or better still, a pizza proofing box.
    Proofing New York pizza dough

    This is where a pizza proofing box (Amazon link below) comes into it’s own

  10. Leave the shaped dough balls to proof again for about 4-6 hours.
Ooni Fyra

For the tomato sauce

Tips:

  • Use high quality tinned tomatoes for the best results with this simple sauce.
  • Sieve the sauce to thicken it if required (after blending).

Sieving tomatoes for NYC pizza

  1. Blend the tomatoes into a sauce. If you leave the sauce slightly chunky it can be sieved for thickening if required.

    Blending tinned tomatoes for NYC pizza

    Blending the tomatoes is all you need to do, no need for cooking

  2. Sieve the sauce a little if it looks too runny.
  3. Season with salt, pepper, sugar, oregano/basil, and garlic (if using).

    Seasoning New York pizza sauce

    Don’t forget to generously season your sauce

Ooni Karu 16

For the shaping/cooking

Tips:

  • Be sure to shape and cook the pizzas one at a time. If the pizzas are left to sit before cooking, they could stick to the counter and then rip when moved. Speed is key!
    Shaping NYC dough
  • I recommend using a sprinkle of flour on the peel/chopping board to prevent sticking. And again, remember to be quick! Load the pizza into the oven as quickly as possible once it is on the peel. Hopefully these tips should prevent sticking.
Ooni Pizza Ovens

Directions for shaping & cooking:

  1. Make sure your baking stone or pizza steel is inside your oven. Alternatively, you can use an upside down baking tray. There’s a link to a pizza steel on Amazon below. These are often considered to be the best choice for home ovens, they’re incredibly durable.
  2. Ensure your oven is up to the correct temperature. For a regular home oven, this is generally as hot as it will get (around 260 Celsius or 500 Fahrenheit). An infrared thermometer is not required but it’s useful for measuring the temperature of the cooking surface. If you’re using a pizza oven, I would recommend a temperature of around 300C/575F for New York style pizza.
    NYC pizza laser thermometer

    With a regular home oven, it’s probably a good idea to turn the oven to full temperature. I’ve provided a link to a laser thermometer on Amazon below.

  3. Dust a dough ball with plenty of flour to help in removing from the container. A dough scraper or knife may be useful here.

    Removing NYC pizza dough

    A wallpaper scraper is really useful for removing the dough – one that hasn’t been used on wallpaper!

  4. Drop the dough ball into a large bowl which has a generous covering of flour in the bottom of it.
    Flouring New York pizza dough
  5. Start shaping the dough in the bowl. Press down on the dough ball, starting from the middle and going towards the edges, forming a crust. For New York pizza, we don’t really want a large crust though so don’t worry about this too much.
    Coating NYC pizza dough
  6. Keep turning the dough (or the bowl) as you work towards the edges. A small pizza shape should begin to develop.
  7. Turn the dough over in the bowl and repeat the shaping on the other side.
  8. Place the dough on the counter, ensuring there is plenty of flour on the base of the dough.
    Floured bench for pizza shaping
  9. Stretch the dough using whichever method you prefer – I tend to hold the dough down with my left hand, and gently stretch the dough outwards with my right.

  10. Repeat the stretching – keep turning the dough and repeating until your dough is about 11 to 12 inches in diameter. Don’t worry too much about the dough ripping, it’s usually stronger than you think (if everything’s gone to plan).

    Stretching NYC dough carefully

    We’re looking for an even round shape but it doesn’t have to be perfect.

  11. Spread roughly 2-3 soup spoons (dessert spoons) of tomato sauce gently across the base (but not on the crusts). Try not to press down as you spread, this may cause the dough to stick to the counter.
    Spreading tomato sauce on NYC dough
  12. Spread around 1-2 handfuls of grated Mozzarella evenly across the pizza.
  13. Slide the pizza onto a peel (or chopping board if you don’t have one). A sprinkling of flour on the peel/chopping board should prevent the pizza from sticking.
    New York pizza on peel

    A pizza peel is hugely helpful for transferring the pizza to the oven. I’ve provided a link to a 12 inch pizza peel (perfect for this recipe) on Amazon below.

  14. Load onto hot baking stone/tray inside oven.
  15. For a regular home oven, cook for around 6 – 8 minutes. Turn the pizza 180 degrees after around 1 minute, then every couple of minutes as required.
    Pizza stone in oven for NYC pizza

    Using a pizza stone or pizza steel is ideal, such as the one on Amazon below.

  16. If using a pizza oven, cook for around 4-5 minutes. I’d recommend a temperature of around 300C-350C/570F-650F. Turn the pizza regularly.

    Ooni pizza oven

    My Ooni pizza oven cooks Neapolitan style pizza in just 60 – 90 seconds! But for New York pizza, a lower temperature is required. Below is a link to my specific pizza oven – The Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven.

  17. Once cooked, remove the pizza with a pizza peel (if you have one) and place it on a chopping/serving board or plate.
  18. Add some basil or oregano if you like. Also, you can add a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of black pepper if you like.
  19. Leave the pizza to cool a bit and then tuck in!

    New York pizza on board

    Delicious New York pizza!

Notes

  • 0.2g -0.5g of yeast may seem like it isn’t enough because most recipies online  probably require around 7g of yeast. However, that’s for a quick prove of just 1 or 2 hours. For this 24 hour prove, we only need less than 1g of yeast, which typically produces a much nicer dough.

  • I highly recommend getting some inexpensive digital scales with an accuracy of 0.01g like the ones below:
Weighing yeast for NYC pizza dough

These are generally inexpensive and highly accurate. I have provided a link to some on Amazon below.

  • I only use these scales for weighing small amounts of yeast. I use regular digital weighing scales (such as the ones on Amazon below) for everything else.

  • I’ve taken a picture of 0.3g of yeast on a regular teaspoon below. If you don’t have accurate scales, you can use this for reference:

Yeast for NYC pizza on a teaspoon

This is 0.3g of yeast on a regular teaspoon

  • This recipe works great in a regular oven. However, a pizza oven allows you to get a little more charring and a smokey flavour. I use an Ooni pizza oven, like the one below. Click the image to check them out!

New York pizza slice on plate

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Final thoughts on this New York pizza recipe…

I absolutely love New York style pizza, and all pizza for that matter! Most of this website to date has been about Neapolitan style pizza. However, NYC pizza can be equally as delicious!

If you haven’t already, I would urge you to check out my pizza school series. It covers all the techniques you’ll need for making amazing pizza. Although I make Neapolitan pizza in the videos, the techniques are interchangeable.

NYC pizza up close

The good news is that once you know how to make one type of pizza, you should have no problem making the other.

As usual, if you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment below. I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can.

Tom Rothwell from My Pizza Corner eating homemade pizza

About Me

I’m Tom Rothwell and I’m super passionate about all kinds of homemade pizza! In the last few years I've been on a quest to find the perfect pizza. Now I'm sharing what I've found out with the world!

Ooni Karu
Tom Rothwell's Ooni pizza oven

My Pizza Oven

I often get asked what type of oven I use for my pizzas. Well, I use a pizza oven made by a company called Ooni.

The range of pizza ovens that Ooni offers is just brilliant. They cover all bases, and all price points. There's affordable and portable models such as the Fyra 12 Pizza Oven and then there's state-of-the-art models such as the Karu 16 Pizza Oven pictured below.

In all honesty, I would say that the oven makes a huge difference. If you're looking to make authentic Italian pizza, a pizza oven is a must.

Pizza cooked in Ooni pizza oven

By clicking the link below and purchasing from Ooni, you would be supporting this website. I've been using their ovens for a long time now and I wouldn't recommend them if I didn't believe in their products.

Time to make some amazing pizza!

K16 - US
Tom Rothwell from My Pizza Corner eating homemade pizza

About Me

I’m Tom Rothwell and I’m super passionate about all kinds of homemade pizza! In the last few years I've been on a quest to find the perfect pizza. Now I'm sharing what I've found out with the world!

Ooni Fyra