Pizza time 🍕 🍕 🍕! I’m handing over my paper plate plate, I mean blog to my handsome, Italian husband to bring you his extensively researched, Redhead-Julie-tested, step-by-step tutorial for the perfect “New York City Style Pizza” in your home oven. That’s right folks, you CAN make NYC style, big, chewy sliced pizza in your regular home oven! This “Perfect New York City Pizza Recipe for Home Oven” includes both Rick’s dough recipe, and Rick’s pizza sauce recipe that will make 2 large pizzas. Everything you need including many secrets and tips to make the best pizza you ever had is right here, so be sure to bookmark this post for future use.
Before we get to Rick’s tutorial, I want you to know that we slice both pizzas into quarters, so we get that “big NYC slice” that can be folded while eating it 👌🏻. On the other hand, you would get 8 regular sized slices per pizza, so 16 slices total.
Please note, this is not a “Neopolitan” style pizza with well done crusts, but rather a more dense, chewier crusted pie you’ll find all over NYC. You should also know, our pizzas in the photos may appear somewhat different, but rest assured through all the testing trials we did, the cheese is the only real difference you need to be aware of on your own- and we discuss that later in the tutorial/recipe.
Let me tell you…Rick became quite obsessed 😆 with developing the most perfect “NYC style pizza” he could. I watched him read articles, watch videos, read hard cover books, test everything he was learning, and yes, we ate pizza almost every weekend. He was on a mission, and me and the kids supported every piece of it 😉.
Pizza has always had a special place in my heart growing up in Buffalo, NY where you can also find fantastic pizza. However, the four of us have visited NYC many times, and pizza was always our main food mission while there because we believe it is the best. Say good bye to pizza chains and try this recipe soon.
Special Supplies You May Need to Help Make Rick’s Perfect New York City Pizza
*** Some of the links in this post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. Read full disclosure policy here.
“All Trumps” High Gluten Flour— 600 grams (No political affiliation just happens to be the name of the very specific blending of flour. It’s also very important to use a scale like this one for your measuring.)
FOOD SCALE (This is very important because flour measuring can easily be over/under. We were shocked by how much it can affect the dough.)
1-2 16″ PIZZA SCREENS (If you have a double oven, you can bake 2 pizzas at once, and if you don’t use a screen, your pizza will be soggy.)
FLAT TONGS (So they don’t puncture your crust when you pull it out of the oven.
Rick’s Perfect New York City Pizza Recipe for Home Oven Tutorial
Take it away Rick… 👉🏻 After much research and trial and error, I learned that the secret to making New York City style pizza at home, is all about nuisance. Nuisance, meaning the proper hydration percentage, and using the right high gluten flour is the way to go.
#1 Step Blooming the Yeast
Warm Water (100-105 degrees) — 356 grams (Use a thermometer and scale like this one.)
Dry Active Yeast– 2 teaspoons
Sugar– 2 teaspoons
The first step in making a great pizza dough (almost identical to New York City Pizza) is blooming the yeast. To do this you will need warm water 100-105 degrees F (now is a good time to get out the digital thermometer we added to the supply list above), dry active yeast (be sure it is not expired), and granulated sugar.
Combine the water with the yeast sugar into a bowl and mix gently with your clean fingers to dissolve yeast in the water and wait a few minutes. If the yeast does not bloom, your yeast is expired, and you will have to start over with different yeast. You should notice the yeast bloom after a few minutes. Wait approximately 10-minutes to allow all the yeast to activate completely. Here’s photo of completely bloomed yeast:
#2 Step Making the Pizza Dough
“All Trumps” High Gluten Flour— 600 grams (Absolutely no political affiliation just happens to be the name of the flour I tested & use a scale like this one to make sure you get this exact.)
Olive Oil — 4 grams (Use a scale like the one mentioned above.)
Salt — 2 teaspoons
Next, in a large mixing bowl combine the flour, olive oil, salt, bloomed yeast together. If you have a mixer with a dough (hook) attachment, this is an easy process. If you do not have a mixer, then you will have to mix the dough by hand, which is a bit harder but is by no means impossible.
Electric Mixer Method: Add the flour, bloomed yeast, salt and olive oil together into a bowl and begin mixing. With your mixer, you should mix the ingredients and knead with the dough attachment for at least 10 minutes. This allows the gluten in the flour to develop and makes the dough elastic and easy to stretch properly.
Hand Mixing Method: Mix the dough ingredients together in a bowl by hand. Once the dough is mixed together, knead the dough on your counter by hand for at least 20 minutes. You are looking for the dough to have a smooth and consistent texture that is elastic and will not break apart easily.
#3 Step New York City Pizza Recipe for Home Oven Letting the Dough Rise
Once the dough has been mixed and kneaded as described above, the dough needs to rest and rise, covered in an lightly olive oiled bowl for approximately one hour at room temperature (warm room is better than cold). This is vital to allow the gluten to continue to develop and strengthen. While the dough rises, it’s a great time to make the homemade sauce.
#4 Step Making the Sauce
2 large cans whole Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 teaspoon dry basil (plus fresh to taste)
2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
This is my favorite recipe for pizza sauce and can be made in approximately 25 minutes. First, take the two cans of whole Roma tomatoes and purée them in a food processor, or blender. Add the purée to a sauce pan on medium heat. Finely chop the garlic and add in the remaining ingredients to the sauce and simmer for 15-20 minutes. As the sauce cooks, taste it periodically, and add more salt/sugar/cheese to your taste. I also add fresh basil as we love it in the sauce and on our pizza.
#5 Step Making the Dough Balls for New York City Pizza Recipe
After one hour of rising, remove the dough and make two equally sized dough balls. (Tip: I weigh the dough with a food scale to make sure each dough ball is the same weight. As I have mentioned many times, the food scale is the perfect way to measure all the ingredients to make sure that the dough comes out the same each time you make it.)
To make the dough balls, fold the dough into itself from underneath over and over again and make a ball. On the underside of the dough ball, pinch the dough together along any seams that form to close the dough ball, making one sealed ball of dough. Now place each dough ball in an oiled bowl sealed (glass or plastic) to proof.
#6 Step Proofing (the Final Rise) the Dough Balls
There are two methods to let the dough proof properly. Just pick the one you prefer, but we both agree the first method below makes the crust way more chewy, and crispy.
♥️ 6-8 Hour Room Temperature Proofing: If you plan on using the dough the day it is made, it must proof (or rise again) at room temperature for a minimum of 6 to 8 hours. This means leaving it sit on your counter in a oiled/covered bowl as described above.
Minimum 24 Hour Cold Temperature Proofing: If you do not plan to use the dough the same day you make it, you can place the dough in the refrigerator to cold proof for a minimum of 24 hours.
The dough can remain in the refrigerator to proof for as long as 7 days. However, I have found that 48 hours is about as long as I will let the dough cold proof as the dough seems to become weaker and harder to work with if it remains in the refrigerator beyond that point.
Here’s what the dough should look like after it’s proofed…
#7 Step Making the Pizza(s)
(SEE PHOTOS OF STEPS BELOW)
Preheating the Oven: Once the dough has proofed properly, it is time to make your pizzas 🤭! Preheat your (non-convection) oven for at least one hour to 500 degrees. Properly preheating the oven is one of those vital steps to ensure the pizza has a nice crispy crust after cooking.
Stretching the Pizza: I use a 16 inch pizza screen to bake the pizza in the oven so you need to stretch the pizza to approximately the same size as the screen or pizza pan you use. (TIP: The pizza screen is a must because it really helps to get the perfect crunchy pizza crust by letting air get to it while it’s baking.)
Flour both the top and bottom of the dough ball lightly so the dough does not stick to your working surface. Press the dough with your fingers about a half an inch from the edge all the way around the ball to form a rim. Your goal is to make the dough into a circle with the crust rim evenly formed just like you get when you are in NYC (see photos below).
Next, stretch the dough out by pressing down with the tips of your fingers of both hands, working from the bottom to the top of the dough. Do not stretch the dough too thin or you will tear it. One entire stretch around the outside circumference of the pizza is enough (TIP: If you do tear it, take a little from the outer crust and put a patch on it.)
Pick up the pizza dough off of your working surface and place the pizza over both knuckles and gently stretch the pizza by slowly spreading your hands apart, rotating the pizza as you stretch it.
This should not take you more than two entire rotations of the pizza as you stretch it over your knuckles to about a 16 inch circle (TIP: If you are scared of picking up the pizza, do it slowly, and rest it down if you need to sweat it out a little 😉.)
#8 Step for Perfect New York City Pizza Recipe for Home Oven is Baking the Pizza(s)
Pre-bake the Pizza: To make the perfect pizza crust you will need to pre-bake the pizza crust on the pizza screen with sauce (see photo below for reference on how much sauce) only for 7 minutes, then remove the pizza. If you skip this step, the cheese will burn, and the crust of the pizza will be soggy and uncooked 🤯.
Adding more Sauce: After you pre-bake the pizza, you can now add more sauce if desired (completely recommended by Julie who loves extra sauce), however for a more authentic NYC pizza the photo below shows how thin the layer of sauce should be. The sauce amount is a matter of preference, so this is something you have to try on your own without measurements.
Adding the Cheese: After you have your sauce on the pizza, it is time to add the cheese. We have used 3 different types of cheese: fresh grated Parmesan, fresh whole milk low moisture mozzarella, and part skim low moisture shredded mozzarella. If you scroll up you can see the difference the cheese makes in how the pizza turns out. We found that the best tasting pizza had all 3 cheeses on it.
The cheese amount is also a matter of preference, so this is something you have to try on your own without measurements. Keep in mind this is not a deep dish pizza, and your cheese should be controlled or your crust will be soggy.
Adding the Toppings: Lastly, add your favorite toppings (such as pepperoni, mushrooms -we recommend canned drained mushrooms), and fresh basil pieces.
After adding toppings (photo below shows pizza without toppings, but after the pre-bake), brush olive oil on the outer crust. This will help the crust brown and give you the crunchy/soft consistency New York City pizza is known for. Cook the pizza for and additional 7-8 minutes until the bottom is crunchy, and the cheese is bubbling, but not browned (you don’t want to brown the cheese).