How to make the perfect New York slice…..something we have been attempting for awhile now. Making pizza at home often results in something bland where you utilize dough that tastes like flour and sauce from a can. It does not taste like take out pizza in any way. We are after that thin crust that gets thicker, like a gradual slope as you reach the edge, that has a millimetre of crisp on the bottom and is soft on the top, that folds in half with no problems with little cracking from underneath.
Here are our secrets to modifying recipes!
1. Use homemade tomato sauce.
2. Your dough recipe should include good amounts of sugar, salt, and oil. This is where the flavour comes from, and helps transform that dough from tasting like flour.
3. Do not add water to the yeast and let it sit. Add the dry yeast to the dry flour, along with the other dry ingredients and blend. Then add the wet ingredients.
4. Use bread flour. The high gluten content is needed for the desired texture, and responds well to lots of kneading.
5. Knead it for a long time, a good 10 minutes without stopping. It should pass the “window pane test”- take a piece and stretch it paper thin, and it shouldn’t break. If it does, keep kneading.
6. We portioned it into 4 balls for a standard dough recipe. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate immediately for a bare minimum of 24 hours, up to 72 hours. This allows the ingredients, especially the yeast, to “ferment”. Ferment=flavour! Note, the 4th ball isn’t in the photo, it was being formed when I took the picture.
7. Gently start spreading each piece of dough on a floured surface to get a small circle, and then hand toss the dough. Do not cheat! Hand tossing is extremely important! We looked up a how-to on the internet to get a step by step tutorial. It was worth it.
8. Not too much cheese. It will look like zero cheese, but trust me. This is all. Use only mozzarella, and do not mess around with toppings- pepperoni might work and we might try that, but just cheese is a good starting point. There aren’t many topping on a typical NY style slice.
9. Preheat your oven to at least 500F, which is as hot as ours would go. Make it hotter if that is an option. It only needs a fews minutes to cook at that temperature, and the fast cooking at a high temperature is what gives it that millimetre of crisp crust, that is soft on top. Leave your pizza stone in the oven as it preheats. Preheat for 1 hour. We skipped this step and our first pizza sucked because it wasn’t hot enough. Our past pizza was a work of art- it had the hottest oven and hottest pizza stone.
10. Use a pizza peel, or in our case, a make-shift one, to slide the pizza onto the hot stone. We used a cast iron flat griddle. The pizza stone should never leave the oven. And don’t forget to top the pizza while it is sitting on the peel, you will never get it on afterwards (we made that mistake only once haha!)
11. Do not skip any of the above, or try to cheat! This is the most important thing to remember! It was fun to make, and we did it together with the radio playing. We always have great talks while cooking together, and it made 4 large sized pizzas! Enough for us to have several meals from it. We will not be going back to any other method ;)
AND HERE IS THE FINAL PRODUCT!
This pairs well with the following salad:
- iceberg lettuce (we added a little green leaf lettuce too)
- oil, vinegar, and herb dressing (we used Newman’s Own Oil and Vinegar)
- thinly sliced red onions
- lots of pickled pepperoncinis, and a slash of the juices
- black pepper
- a few croutons
Do not skip the pepperoncinis! They are SO important! A bite of pepperoncini with every bite of salad. And use your hand to coat the lettuce with the dressing, black, pepper, and parm all at once.
We wash and spin all our lettuce at once, so while the leftover pizza is warming, the salad is ready in just a few minutes!
Best. Meal. Ever.