For starters, I won’t bother you with any stories about my love of pizza. If you want to read that, you can check out my Neapolitan Pizza for Home Ovens post. Instead, for my New York-Style Pizza recipe, I’ll just tell you about a little test I did, which highlights why this recipe (and sourdough baking in general) is so awesome.
NY in a Nutshell
While Neapolitan dough is just flour, water, salt, and yeast (those are the DOP rules), New York-style pizza also has oil and some form of sugar (usually table sugar or honey). One thing that is pretty common among New York-style pizza is a final proof in the fridge.
Since almost every New York slice shop doesn’t use sourdough, they need the slow fermentation to help give the dough extra flavor. For a while, I used the fridge too. Probably because I’d started with instant yeast and hadn’t realized that I might be able to drop the fridge when I switched to using my sourdough starter. Then I realized I needed to test the results to see if I was wasting my time.
To Fridge or Not to Fridge
To test if a cold fermentation made a difference with a sourdough NY-style pizza, I used the exact same recipe for both. The recipe is a modified version of what I’d been using for a while, which was based on the dough recipe at Joe’s Pizza.
The fridge version was mixed on a Wednesday and put in the fridge until Sunday afternoon. While the same day version was mixed on Sunday morning. To keep things super consistent, I went with a cheese pizza for both. I even weighed the sauce and cheese to make sure the ratios were the same.
Once the pies were ready, I had a blind taste-test with three people and also tried both myself. The results were unanimous.
The Judges’ Decision
Across the board, everyone preferred the dough that was mixed that day. Because of the beauty of sourdough, there was no real difference in the taste. The only difference, which was very slight, was the texture of the fridge dough. That dough was a little less chewy because the glutens had been broken down more. Like I said, it wasn’t a major difference, but it played a role in everyone preferring the same-day version.
So, forget about the fridge and stick with the same-day. Which is great, because who wants to wait three-five days for pizza when you can just have it tomorrow? Not me, that’s for sure!
Now it’s recipe time…
New York-Style Pizza Recipe
New York-Style Pizza RecipeCourse: DinnerCuisine: Italian AmericanDifficulty: Simple
This recipe is for two pizzas. If you want to make more pizzas, you can always just add an extra 50 grams of flour and water to your levain and then scale your recipe accordingly. If you want to make one pizza, you can just take 100 grams from your starter the morning you are making the dough.
50 grams of Simple Sourdough Starter
75 grams of bread flour
75 grams of water
- Final Dough
300 grams of bread flour
140 grams of water
20 grams of olive oil
16 grams of honey
8 grams of salt
200 grams of ripe Levain
- Tomato Sauce
28 oz can of high-quality plum tomatoes (e.g., San Marzano)
8 grams of sea salt
Mix of low-moisture whole milk mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, and pecorino
- Recommended Baking Tools
- Using 50 grams of your starter, 75 grams of flour, and 75 grams of water, make your levain.
- Once your levain is ready (about 6-12 hours later), add 300 grams of flour and 8 grams of salt. Then, add 140 grams of water to the 200 grams of levain, stir and then pour the mixture into the food processor. Lastly, add 20 grams of olive oil and 16 grams of honey. (See Notes if mixing by hand.)
- Pulse a the food processor couple times, to mix water and flour a little, and then let it go for about 30-45 seconds. It should be a nice ball with very little dough sticking to the container.
- Dump the dough onto your counter and knead by hand for 15 to 30 seconds, just to make sure it is one mass. It should be firm and satiny. Form into a nice ball and then place into your 6-qt tub to bulk ferment for two hours.
- Carefully remove dough and place on floured counter. Divide dough into two pieces, about 340 grams each. Shape into balls and place into dough tray to proof for 8-10 hours.
- Baking the Pies
- Place your baking steel or stone on the lowest level of your oven and preheat for an hour at 500 degrees. Ten minutes before baking your first pizza, switch the oven to broil.
- Stretch dough and place on parchment paper. Dress the pizza with the sauce and cheese (I like going with cheese first and then adding dollops of sauces). Add any other toppings you like.
- Using the pizza peel, slide the pizza into the oven and cook for about nine minutes. You can check it at 7 or so, and maybe give it a spin even out the browning.
- Take the pizza out. Let it cool for a minute. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
- If mixing by hand, I would add all the ingredients into your 6-Qt tub in the order listed above. Mix them by hand until most of the flour is incorporated and then dump it onto the counter to knead it by hand for a minimum of 10 minutes. If you don’t have a food processor, it takes less time to ask your neighbor to borrow one.
- I’d love to see the pies you make. If you post it on Instagram or Facebook, be sure to tag me. And if you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.