I've been making a lot of this NY style pizza dough recipe .... The obsession started a while back, and I've finally found a recipe that I love the best! After years of experiments (and I mean years!), I am now using this recipe based on recommendations from the many fine pizza makers at www.pizzamaking.com and the late great Dough Doctor, Tom Lehmann.
Making Pizza Dough at Home
Making NY style pizza dough is definitely somewhat of an art form. There are so many variables that can be changed aside from the ingredients alone. For example, these variables include:
- oven temperature
- temperature of the water used to make the dough
- proofing methods (room temp vs cold rise)
- order of adding the ingredients (yes, this makes a big difference!)
- mixing time
- use of autolyse
- use of poolish (I don't do this or the one before, although I have in the past)
And then of course, the toppings which can be simple or as complex as you'd like. But don't worry too much about all of this - my method is easy and straightforward. Plus, you will make better dough than 99% of the pizza chains out there. You will not want take out anymore!
My Favorite Pizza Dough: The Big Secret (How You Proof the Dough)
My all-time favorite dough is NY style dough, which really is classic pizza dough that is stretched out into a thin crust pizza. This type of pizza dough contains water, flour, salt, instant yeast, and olive oil (and sugar especially when baking in a home oven, to help browning).
After it is mixed, it is proofed (left to rise/ferment) in the refrigerator for a minimum of 24 hours and up to 72 hours (it can also be frozen) - this is the big secret. I've used the dough up to 5 or 6 days afterwards, so you can essentially prepare dough for the week.
This recipe produces a crisp yet foldable crust that is tender, light, and flavorful and will make enough for four 14-inch pizzas. You can easily double or half the recipe to make 2 or 8 pizzas.
Fourteen Tips for Success
Tip 1: Choosing the flour
Use high-quality flour - I like to use King Arthur's all purpose or bread flour; higher protein (ie, bread) flours work best. However, I prefer all-purpose flour because I like a lighter, airy crust.
Tip 2: Adding the yeast
Do not add instant dry yeast (IDY) directly to cold or cool water - you may shock the yeast (add the IDY to your flour instead) (please note that IDY differs from active dry yeast, which must be activated by adding it to water).
Tip 3: How much yeast?
Use only enough yeast to "get the job done" - yeast eats the sugar in your flour to produce its leavening effects - I find that if you use too much, your dough will be tasteless (this is just my opinion); however, it is a fact, that too much yeast can make your dough taste bad. Most recipes out there, some of them in well known, published books contain too much yeast!
Tip 4: Cold ferment that pizza dough!
Always use your refrigerator. The best NY style doughs "ferment" or "cure" in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours and up to
48 72 hours. This is called a "cold rise" (vs warm rise on your kitchen counter).
The refrigerator is used to retard (or slow) the dough's fermentation, allowing that distinctive flavor to come through (ever wonder why some pizza crust tastes different than others, despite the fact that they are both made from just about the same exact ingredients? - this is a big reason why!)
When your dough rises too quickly, the flavor will not develop optimally. Slow rise = MUCH better flavor.
Tip 5: Weigh those ingredients!
Use a scale to weigh the flour instead of using a measuring cup - it is much more accurate and will yield superior results. I'll admit, I resisted doing this for a loooong time. Just do it. You'll be glad you did and your dough will be more consistent and much improved.
Tip 6: Add oil last
Mix the oil in as the last step, after the flour has all been incorporated. This is important to allow the flour to hydrate properly.
Tip 7: Flour your dough balls
Before tossing or opening your dough balls, flour them *very* well on each side (if you are a beginner) to ensure they do not stick to your counter or pizza peel. I sometimes use a bit more flour after I begin spreading them.
Tip 8: Keeping those rims a bit puffy
Take care not to "degas" the rim of your pizza as you are spreading your dough! Do NOT ever use a rolling pin! There are many different methods to spread/open your dough ball. I hope to add a few pictures someday of this process.
Tip 9: Baking pizza in a home oven
Ensure that your oven is preheated for a sufficient amount of time (about 1 hour) and bake the pizza within 6 to 8 inches of the top of your oven (ie, your broiler) so that the tops browns sufficiently in conjunction with the bottom of the pizza.
Do not place the stone near the bottom of your oven. I made this mistake for too many years.
After your stone has been preheated sufficiently, the heat from the stone will cook the pizza from the bottom and you can switch the broiler on if you find you need more browning on the top (I now use the broiler to bake my pizzas...more on this sometime in the future).
If you find that your cheese is browning well before your rim attains sufficient color, use partially frozen cheese (ie, place shredded cheese in the freezer while the oven is heating up) and cold sauce or you can drizzle just a bit of olive oil on top of cheese.
Tip 10: Use a pizza stone or steel
Use a pizza stone if you have one. The stone with draw moisture out of the dough and produce a beautifully crisp crust. I use a pizza steel because my stones kept breaking.
Tip 11: Use just the right amount of sauce
Do not use too much pizza sauce - it will make your pizza soggy
Tip 12: Find the right kind of cheese
Do not use low fat cheese to top your pizza or pre-shredded cheese (the former will not melt sufficiently and the latter contains additives that prevent the cheese from sticking together and therefore does not melt very well). The best is low-moisture, whole milk mozzarella.
If you must use pre-shredded cheese, I've found that adding the sauce on top of the cheese helps with the melting. Also, do not use too much cheese; apply it sparingly so that you can achieve that mottled NY pizza appearance.
Tip 13: Flour your pizza peel
Use semolina or flour on the bottom of your pizza peel to prevent the pizza dough from sticking but be careful not to overdo it because it will burn.
Tip 14: Learn to launch that pizza
Give the pizza peel a few very small quick jerks to make sure the pizza will easily slide off your pizza peel before attempting to transfer pizza to the oven, and more importantly, rub flour into the peel before placing the dough on top.
How to Stretch the Pizza Dough
A nice video (from The GoodFellas Pizza School of NY), showing how to stretch the dough:
How to Freeze Homemade Pizza Dough
- After mixing dough and dividing into balls, place dough in refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
- Place dough balls on baking sheet lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper, cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze until firm (~ 2 to 3 hours or up to overnight).
- Wrap frozen dough balls individually in plastic and store in zipper-lock bags for up to 4 weeks.
- When ready to bake, transfer unwrapped dough into the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours before making pizza.
- Bring dough to room temperature for 20 to 60 minutes before baking (less time for hot kitchen/summer and more time for cool kitchen)
Questions? Please See My NY Pizza FAQ
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The Best New York Style Pizza Dough
- pizza stone or pizza steel for baking
- Standing mixer optional
1X recipe ingredient below = about 3 Pounds of Dough (Original Recipe for Four 14-Inch Pizzas)
- 6 cups (796 g) all purpose flour or bread flour (28 oz per 6 cups)
- 2 ¼ cups (493 g) water barely cold water (17.4 oz per 2 ¼ cups)
- 1 teaspoon (3.5 g) instant dry yeast
- 2.5 teaspoons (15.6 g) salt
- 2 teaspoons (7.8 g) sugar
- 1 tablespoon (11.8 g) olive oil
1X recipe ingredients below = 1 Pound of Dough (~454 grams)
- 2 ¼ cups (274.5 g) all purpose flour or bread flour
- ¾ cup (170.2 g) water
- ½ teaspoon instant dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
Mixing the Dough
- Place water in mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix salt and yeast (and sugar if using) into flour
- Combine flour/salt/yeast mixture into water and mix until all the flour has been incorporated.
- After flour has been totally incorporated, add oil and knead for about 4 to 5 minutes (see note)
- Test final dough temperature, which should ideally be between high 70s to low 80s (optional)
Dividing and Rising
- Divide dough into 4 equal pieces (using a digital scale if possible; each ball should weigh 11.5 oz [~326 grams]), shape into a ball, and place in greased, sealed quart-sized container or oiled/greased freezer bag and refrigerate overnight or up to 72 hours (After much experimenting, I have concluded that I like 3 days best but day 2 is good too).
Assembly and Baking
- The following day, remove your dough balls within 1 hour or less of baking and allow the dough to come to room temperature. (the dough will tend to blister more if the dough has not been allowed to come to room temperature however, I often bake coldish dough without problems, just some bubbling)
- In the meantime, place your pizza stone in oven and preheat at 550 degrees (depending on thickness of your stone and your oven's power) for at least 1 hour
- Open each dough ball using care not to degas, transfer to a pre-floured pizza peel (or on parchment paper), and top with your favorite sauce, cheese, or other toppings.
- Transfer pizza from peel to oven or slide parchment paper onto preheated pizza pan/stone and bake for 4 to 6 minutes each until browned on top and cheese has melted but not burned.
- Use of weight based measurements is highly recommended instead of US Customary. You will need a kitchen scale.
- METRIC amounts DO NOT correspond exactly to the US Customary amounts because, for example, 796 grams equals 6.4 cups (and most can't measure 0.4 cups or 0.22 cups). Recipe was based on grams.
- Use the 0.5X; 2X; 3X buttons in recipe card.
- If you want to use the dough the next day, knead a little more (slow speed for about 8 to 10 minutes)
- If you have time to let the dough rest for 3 days, knead for 4 to 5 minutes, low speed or hand knead.
- After mixing dough and dividing into balls, place dough in refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
- Then, place on baking sheet lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper, cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze until firm (~ 2 to 3 hours or up to overnight).
- Wrap frozen dough balls individually in plastic and store in zipper-lock bags to store for up to 4 weeks (longer may work, but results might vary).
- Before using, transfer unwrapped dough into the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours before making pizza.
- Bring dough to room temperature for 20 to 60 minutes before baking (less time for hot kitchen/summer and more time for cool kitchen).
- 62% hydration, 0.4% yeast, 2% salt, 1.5% oil, and 1% sugar with a thickness factor of 0.08 using this calculator: http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough-calculator.html or this pizza dough calculator (which is easier to access).
Try these other pizzas and this NY pizza sauce:
Buffalo style (one of my absolute favorites)
White with prosciutto
White with spinach and feta
I have been using this recipe for a very long time now, and have not looked elsewhere since using this recipe! it is amazing.. I am also glad that comments are still being made and answered.. so I have a question for you guys.
one thing I have never done is reballing. I actually only heard about it today.
So from what I understand, one you bring the dough out of the fridge, you "reball" it again by tucking the dough back under itself to create a nice ball again. and then do you leave it for a hour or so before turning into a base?
Also a question about freezing. I have always pulled the dough out of the fridge and straight into the freezer as is.
Would it be better to reball it and then put it into the freezer? whats the best method you all use for this?
Thanks once again!
Hey Ryan! You are correct about your approach to re-balling the dough. I don’t always do it but sometimes I do just as you describe. For freezing, I’d probably opt to reball after it defrosts instead of before (as I feel the dough loses its shape a bit after defrosting)...happy baking!
Michelle Hansen says
Ok.. yes, this is the most amazing pizza dough recipe!!! I let it slow proof in the fridge for 3 days.. ahhhhhh-mazing!! We used our Alfa Ciao wood burning oven and it was serious!! Thank you for sharing this with us! If I could post a pic I would!
Tip 11 says "use the right by about of sauce"
Thanks Bert! I’ll fix that later today ....
Hi,Marie. Thank you very much for this recipe, definately it's a keeper. Can you kindly let me know your sauce to cheese ratio on that gorgeous cheese pie? It looks so NY style legit! ?
I wish I could say exactly! I put a landle full of pizza sauce - the photo in the post maybe will give you an idea of how much cheese but perhaps one of the more important parts is that I'd strongly recommend using "good melting" mozzarella. Polly O and Trader Joes get highest marks according to serious eats
Mary Cosette Davidson says
Love this recipe , just wondering if company unexpected
Decides to drop in. Is there a way to have this crust
The same day?
I've never tried this recipe for a same day rise, but if I were to guess, I would use a quarter of the yeast (ie, 1/4 teaspoon for an 8 to 10 hour rise; maybe 4 hours bulk and then another 4 hours after you form the balls). For a warm rise, I'd use 1/8 teaspoon and leave on counter for 12 to 18 hours. If you try this, please let us know how it turns out. Please allow a few hours of that time for dough balls to rise and rest.
Will give your recipe a try.
So...you say to make a ball and put into a ziplock bag in the fridge. Then you say "open each dough ball". That sounds like you open the ziplock bag and take out the ball and do nothing else but put toppings on.
Q1: What do you mean "open each dough ball". Does that mean to take it out of the bag and then do the normal stretching procedure, ie heavy flour, crust press, stretch, turning by hand etc?
Q2: You told someone else that to get crispier they should "reball" the dough? What does that mean and how do you do it?
Thanks so much. I like the idea of having dough ready to go in an hour from the freezer so I do not have to come home at 4pm to get pizza on the table with the typical 2 hour rise in many recipes.
Good questions! Open the dough ball means to begin shaping it into a pizza and reballing is a great idea to get crispier crust! You just have to have the patience for the dough to relax again so I’d suggest reballing the dough maybe the day before you use it although you can also do this an hour before if you keep the dough at room temperature
Hello, Sweden calling!
Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe
Have just made the dough, and it turned out wonderful!! I used fresh yeast though, we usually do here in the North (12,5 g for this recipe) Planning to bake one pizza tonight, so I'm using the oven as a "fermenting place" (Set the oven to 50*Celsius, turn it of and put in an oiled bowl, the dough and a lid) the rest will slowly rise in the fridge, Pizza week here we go ??‼
I'm so glad to hear it Kristina! I'd love to come to Sweden and enjoy a slice with ya!
I tried to make this the other day and my dough didn’t rise. I made it around 7pm and checked it around 11 am the next morning. How much would it rise in the fridge?
Hi Erica, This needs at least 24 hours to rise/ferment in the fridge. The wait will be worth it:)
Frank Rizzo says
Careful...the pizza mafia might come after you for sharing this really good recipe....haha. but seriously! Haha
I made your dough about three weeks ago using the weights provided and it was as good as advertised.... I came back today to make it again and the rweights are gone due to what looks like a change by the blog format
All set, Chad! Sorry about that...weights and everything back to normal
I've made this recipe before and the dough turned out perfect, I'm just wondering how thick each ball of dough should be stretched out to make the actual pizza?
Does the water have to be warm?? Doesn’t specify?
Luke cold water is what I use
Sorry, but I’ve never heard of luke cold water? I’ve read that the water needs to be between 105-110 degrees. Would you mind explaining this term a bit more? Thanks!
Hi Christine, sure - it means just barely cool. The purpose of using coolish water is so that your dough temperature doesn't get too hot, which would speed up the fermentation and proofing/rising of the dough. This dough is unique in that it is supposed to rise slowly in order to maximize flavor and that's why you don't want to use warm or hot water like most other recipes do 🙂 I hope that helps
Thank you! I’m anxious to try the recipe, as I’ve not had any luck trying 3 others, and have been looking for something that works.
Nirav Savalia says
I have a Kalamazoo outdoor pizza oven (natural gas, stone base). Is this dough suitable for a pizza oven at higher temps or is it better for a regular oven and pizza stone? I just make this for the first time, 72 hour cold rise as you suggested. I found that the crust did not get as crisp as I wanted, when baked at probably 700-800 degrees in the pizza oven
I don’t normally use my pizza oven for this dough. What type of flour did you use? I usually use Caputo 00 for my black stone oven which reaches similar temps that you describe. How long did you bake? Also, for shorter bakes I find that reballing my dough works wonders for crispness. Also for my Neopolitan doughs I usually use a different formulation (00 flour, water (60% or so), salt (2.5 %), and yeast (0.5%))- mix well til windowpane and then let rise for 8 to 12 hours from temp and **reball ** about 2 hours before use.
Can this dough be frozen if I make a double batch? It's a pain to plan this for everytime we want pizza so I was wondering if I freeze it after the 72 hr ferment, will it still be usable? If so, do i need it to proof again or will allowing it to come to room temp be fine?
for those with tempermental ovens, allow the stone to reheat properly between pizzas so that the crust gets properly browned.
Yes you can freeze the dough and don’t have to wait until three days. I sometimes freeze after 1 day
I’m a little confused by this too, it says you can use the dough 5-6 days afterwards but it says only let cold ferment up to 72 hours?
Sorry James. Ideally, the dough is said to be best at day 3 (ie, 72 hours) BUT I have found that it is still good up to 6 days afterwards (just keep in refrigerator for the week) - at some point, it doesn't brown as well after the sugars have been mostly consumed by the yeast.
Comparing your volume measurements to weight measurements, I believe that there are discrepancies. If you use King Arthur AP or Bread flour they are both about 120 gr per cup (see their weight chart: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/ingredient-weight-chart.html. So, 6 cups of flour would be 720 gr.not 796 gr as per the recipe.
The water: 1 cup water weighs 236 gr, so 2 1/4 cps should be 531 gr or ml, not 492 gr or ml
Olive oil should be about 14 1/2 not 11.8
Could you please clarify whether I should try this recipe with the weight that you have listed or should I go with the measurements?
Yes, this always causes some confusion because the recipe was developed based on bakers percentages and so the weight measures as stated, are the most accurate. For those who prefer to use volume measures, I estimated the closest volume measure. Most confusion stems from assuming I used the volume measures to convert to weight but the volume measures were approximated based on weight (and it wouldn’t be helpful to tell someone to use say 3.18 cups of flour, 0.862 teaspoons or something like like if you know what I mean...I hope that helps:)
Thanks for the clarification. Can I then safely make this dough using gram weights listed? The reason that I wanted to try this dough out was, that it looked like real New York pizza. My wife, like you, is an Italian from Philly, but moved to New York in her 20s, and I am a Canadian that used to go to there on business. We now live in South Florida and cannot find thin, oily, New York-style pizza that was available on almost every street corner. Some pizzerias advertise New York pizza, BUT IT ISN'T! I will certainly give this recipe a try.....and hope for the best. The success of this pizza will also depend upon the cheese used.
I have been making homemade pizza for many years, trying different crusts. This is it! I started the dough 3 days ago and made pizza today, my first attempt at this recipe. It was Perfect, very flavorful, crispy crust but still a bit chewy, great texture, no problem eating by hand. Better than any pizza chain, and better than any crust I've ever made. Can't wait to start trying different flavors with this recipe! Thanks for sharing the knowledge, and the love!
Linda Gray says
Thanks for your great advise can't wait to try this .
I’m a cook by trade (or was anyway, for 20 years), and I’ve been making pizza for decades, both at home and at work. I’ve been searching for the perfect pizza dough, and I’m pretty darn sure this is it. I live in Chicago, and have never had a Pizza in New York, and I’m not taking sides in the great NY vs Chi pizza debate. But the combination of crispy outside and slightly chewy interior of this crust makes it a winner in my recipe book. I shall search no further!
Awe thanks! It's comments like this that make my day 🙂
I've been using this recipe, and sometimes the Joe comes out crispy in chewy which I like, but sometimes it comes out just chewy with no crisp. I'm taking care not to use too much sauce or toppings what am I doing wrong in the dough recipe, what can I do to change the texture to a more crispy texture? Appreciate any advice! thank you!
It could be a few different things so it’s hard to say. Is it cooked long enough to get that crisp? If yes, try mixing your dough a little longer or even reballing your dough after 24 hours to add crisp.
ROBERT RUFIN says
THE BEST DOUGH I HAVE MADE!
USED AT 72 HOURS
SUPER EASY TO WORK WITH