New York-Style Pizza – A Complete Guide

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Pizza was invented in Italy. However, new York city makes the best-known pizza. The technique used to make the pizza is simple, but its simplicity in the making gives rise to its complexity in the fresh York pizza’s structure and flavor.  

New York-style pizza is made in two different ways; one that is very big, maybe bigger than your face’s size.

And is usually folded into a half and is easy to fold because, mostly at the center, the crust is soft and thin, making it flexible to fold.

Using a napkin comes in handy because of the grease. The other size is a small one and usually pocket friendly as it’s only a dollar hence anyone can afford and thus the reason for its popularity over the years.

New York-style resembles the Neapolitan from the making and the structure; however, a few noticeable differences are illustrated below.

You may be interested in some other style of pizza below.

Background history

Italy is the home that gave birth to pizza in Nepal’s province with the help of queen margarita’s influence. In Italy, pizza was always eaten using forks and knives.

In the 20th century, pizza was brought to New York; however, the American people did not have the money or time to afford a whole pie; hence they sliced it to make it convenient for everyone to buy.

New York pizza

Gennaro Lombardy is the co-founder of the New York-style pizza in early 1905. He started from a humble beginning selling it from his grocery situated at spring street in Manhattan’s more extensive Italian residency.

The New York-style pizza initially resembled the Naples pizza has been modified and adapted to suit the local’s ingredient and cooking method, thus giving it unique features and style distinct from the Naples pizza.

To date, Lombardy’s legacy on pizza still exists and sells it is considered one of the bestselling pizzas.

The exciting bit is that no other chefs have created similar or better pizza than the New York pizza style because it has a unique crust and texture only found in New York City.

Research has been done, and roomers have it that because of the water with minerals,  originally from New York City, people worldwide travel or invest in colossal cash to get the water from New York used to make the dough.

Difference between New York-style pizza and Neapolitan

At a glance, you find that the two pizzas share similarities. It is right to note that the two pizza are similar from the ingredients to the shape, and they are both undeniably sweet;

however, there is a lot of difference between the two, if you can recall, Italy before it was taken to New York and made unique.

1. The difference in how the pizza is consumed

Neapolitan is generally a 12 to 13-inch sized pizza hence usually sweet-able for one person.

Further, you use a fork and a knife to eat the pizza, while for New York-style pizza, it is cut into slices, and you only need to use your hands to pick using the eating method you are comfortable with and direct it in your mouth.

The New York-style pizza is made to be shared by many people.

2. Difference in the crust

The New York-style pizza has a thin crust, but as you approach the edges, it is thick and crispy while thin towards the center and a bit soft to allow it to fold into half.

The Neapolitan crust is thin; the dough protrudes outside, making it have an airy look. Its crust has dark charred spots and a pillow-like chilly texture.

3. Difference in size

Neapolitan pizza is 12 inches in size, usually served for one person as to its considered small size pizza while New York-style pizza is large always 18 inches and cut into slices to be shared among people.

The 18-inch pizza is cut into eight triangular wedge slices.

4. Difference in cheese

New York-style pizza uses more cheese compared to Neapolitan pizza. You place a generous amount of cheese such that it covers the entire pie.

It uses a mixture of low moisture whole milk and skims mozzarella; for New York, the cheese forms the pizza base; therefore, it has to be done correctly.

The Neapolitan pizza uses fresh mozzarella cheese, and basically, two types are recommended the one made from cow’s milk and the other from water buffalo. Hence fresh mozzarella is used lightly to prevent the pizza from becoming soggy.

5. The difference in the sauce

The Neapolitan pizza is made from tomato sauce originally from Italy, grown in the volcanic plains. It is one of the major requirements by Vera Pizza Napoletana(VPN) to use tomato sauce only made from Italy, and the sauce contains tomatoes and salt.

On the other hand, The New York-style pizza further enhances the tomato sauce using other ingredients like oregano, red pepper, sugar chopped garlic.

This blend adds flavor to the sauce, making it have a more complex taste compared to the Neapolitan.

6. The difference in social status and popularity

The low-ranking peasants first used the Neapolitan pizza in Italy.

However, Queen Margherita went beyond bonds to taste the peasants’ flatbread despite mockery and objection from the royals, eventually influencing it to make it a highly professional food and Margherita pizza’s onset.

New York-style pizza was introduced to America by immigrants from Italy who could not sell it as a whole pie to the American people.

The target population was workers who neither have the time money or money to buy this pizza; hence to suit their needs, the immigrant cut the pizza into slices and sold the pizza at a low price. Eventually, the pizza gained popularity.

New York-style pizza recipe

Ingredients needed for the dough:

  1. You need two and 1/4 cup of warm water.
  2. 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast (3.5 grams), or remember when you use instant dry yeast, you have to mix it with the floor directly and not in your warm water as do with your actively dry yeast.
  3. 6 cups of flour 796 grams preferably all-purpose flour, especially if you like a light, airy crust.
  4. 2 teaspoons granulated sugar 7.8 grams,
  5.  2.5 teaspoon salt (15.6 grams) and  
  6. 1 tablespoon olive oil (11.8 ml).

Tips:

  1. Use floor which is of high quality, either all-purpose flour or thinks of flour which is rich in proteins like the king Arthur all-purpose or bread flour this is my all-time favorite and you should use it never disappoints.
  2. Do not use too much yeast because the yeast will consume all the sugar in your flour, affecting your dough’s general taste, which becomes tasteless; therefore, it is essential to use just enough to make the dough proof.
  3. After you are done making the dough for better fermentation, store it in the refrigerator for at least two days or a day to slow down the fermentation rate, which eventually gives that unique and incredibly delightful flavor that defers from other crusts.
  4. Instead of using measuring cups, I would recommend for accuracy sake then use weighing scale, which is exact hence yield excellent results. If you haven’t tried this before, make an effort to do so, and you will see the difference each time you make your pizza dough.
  5. The olive oil should be added last after mixing all the other ingredients to give the dough time to hydrate at a slow pace and correctly.
  6. Before you start rolling the balls, flour them so that they may not stick on the counter. Remember to put less flour to avoid making the dough hard.
  7. Or you can use oil to prevent sticking, which is far much better as it also an added advantage to making your crust crispy. You can spread a little oil on the surface and rub a small amount on your hands.
  8. Please do not use a rolling pin to spread your dough; instead, use your hands to stretch the door and continuously keep an eye on the pizza to ensure it stretches evenly; for a beginner, this may seemingly be hard but have it in mind you aren’t looking for perfection.
  9. Before you place the toppings, make sure to shake the crust, which is now on your pizza peel or parchment paper to make sure it doesn’t stick.
  10. You can also use flour; you place it under Neath the crust before placing it on the pizza peel. This curbs the pizza from being sticky but do not put too much flour
  11. For the tomato sauce, use enough so that your pizza does not become soggy.
  12. Use the right kind of cheese, keeping in mind that the cheese is the base of the New York-style pizza, and it’s what distinguishes it from the Neapolitan pizza; hence use the low moisture whole milk mozzarella cheese and put it generously.
  13. If you want to achieve a hundred percent crispily, I recommend using the pizza stone as it withdraws the moisture in your pizza, making the crust pizza; you can also use pizza steel for durability’s sake.
  14. Preheat your oven before placing the pizza inside, preferably one hour. Also, do not place your pizza stone near the bottom of your pizza. You want your pizza to cook evenly; hence placing tit 6-8 inches from the oven top is quite a good idea.
  15. Before placing the pizza in your oven, make sure the oven is thoroughly clean. Especially if you are cooking different types of pizza, it is worth noting that the burnt particles of other foods will stick around your crust; hence, it may affect the flavor of your New York-style pizza; hence keep the oven clean from other food particles.

Recipe for New York-style pizza

The toppings can include meats such as pepperoni sausages, vegetables, and maybe other additional cheese on top of the typical low moisture mozzarella cheese.

The sauce is a mixture of tomatoes, chopped garlic, sugar, and herbs like oregano, basil, and crushed red pepper.

Steps:

Getting the dough ready

  1. You should prepare and gather all the ingredients and set them on the counter.
  2. Mix the warm water with the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in a medium-sized bowl and leave until all the flour is incorporated.
  3. Add olive oil and mix until it forms a light dough.
  4. Sprinkle flour on the surface and Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on the surface.
  5. Knead the dough lightly  while adding  flour bit by bit, being careful not to put a lot of flour
  6. Roll the dough into a ball and apply some oil to it to prevent dehydration.

Storing the dough

  1. Before you store the dough, first cover it and place it where there is enough heat then leave it to proof for about 2hrs
  2. Take the dough, cut it into four pieces, make each four pieces into a separate ball, place the dough in an airtight container or freezer bag, and store it in the refrigerator, preferably 2 to 3 days.

Adding toppings to your pizza

  1. Once you are ready, remove the dough from the refrigerator and defrost it to room temperature.
  2. Take your dough to prepare your working area by sprinkling oil or floor to avoid sticking and place the dough and start stretching using your hands. do not use a rolling pin; instead, use your hand and finger to make the pizza crust.
  3. Do the same to the rest of the balls, making sure that the center is thinner than the edges meaning you stretch from the inside going out.
  4. In the meantime, heat your oven together with the pizza stone for at least an hour.
  5. Carefully move your stretched pizza into a pizza peel or parchment paper, then check to establish if it is evenly distributed and has the perfect shape.
  6. Take your favorite toppings, sauce, and cheese and carefully place them on the prepared crust. This should at least take a maximum of 3to 5 minutes on each pizza crust.

Baking and serving your pizza

  1. Once you placed the pizza toppings, you can transfer the pizza into the already heated pizza stone. If you used a pizza peel, then jiggle it for a while but if you used parchment paper, then just put it inside the oven. Leave the pizza to cook between 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Once the pizza has attained the crispy you want, and all the cheese has melted, remove it from the oven and serve it.

Is New York pizza the best? And reasons?

The oven

The New York-style pizza use deck oven is considered a technology for decades, which cooks the pizza at high temperatures.

The ovens are said to have the ability to absorb the vapor produced from the cheese, and the toppings making the crust crispy and also add flavor to the pizza.

Quality ingredients and technique

New York-style pizza uses quality and fresh ingredients mostly imported from Italy like the Roma tomatoes, which form the sauce’s primary component mixed with the herbs like oregano, red paper, and basil.

New York-style pizza uses yeast as an ingredient. The yeast produces alcohol during fermentation. Thus it adds a rich and valuable taste to the crust.

The technique used to flatten the dough also influences its taste since using your hands to stretch the dough into a pizza crust makes it reserve the bubbles that make the crust look organized.

Minerals in the water

Researchers say the water in New York City has fatty chemicals like fluoride and other minerals.

When blended with the pizza ingredients, it gives a distinct unique test from other pizza like Neapolitan.

The other chefs worldwide invest so much into buying this water from  New York to make a similar pizza or one that is way better than the New York-style pizza.

Hence the water forms the base of the pizza’s unique flavor. It also enhances the ease in stretching of the dough since you don’t use the rolling pin.

A lot of pizzerias bringing Competition

In New York, there are tons of pizza joints. Imagine walking after every 5 feet, and you find a pizza restaurant, and each individual making pizza strives to make the best of their pizza.

Besides, this pizza-making practice is a tradition passed from one generation to another, perfecting their Knowledge and skills on pizza making.

Since the pizza restaurants are near each other and lots of them, hence there is immense Competition. Hence the New York pizza is just amazing, and the quality and flavors are worth craving.

My take:

New York-style pizza is a fantastic kind of pizza. It is of good quality. It is unique, and the sauce has additional flavors that give it a bountiful feeling of garden freshness and of Couse the crust I love the well set thin, chewy and crispy crust of the New York-style pizza.

It is also affordable, and you can always order for family or gatherings because there are big sizes for that and the individual ones.  Any time you stop by New York, visit the many pizza joints for a taste of your own.

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