Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tony D’s New York City Pizza

Without a doubt there is no pizza on earth like New York City Pizza. Just ask me and I’ll tell you. And I don’t mean the hole in the wall joints all over Rochester with the falling down banners that tout “New York Style” pizza. I’ve tried them all and they are all nothing more than a loaf of bread with ketchup and cheese whiz slopped on it. I mean pizza made and eaten in the city so great, they named it twice. Pizza with a crust so thin you can fold it and the crust is brown to black.

I should know. I grew up, worked and sweated in one at 698 Fulton Street, Brooklyn New York. I’ve eaten so much pizza pie, I have tomato sauce in my veins. It’s hard to replicate the ingredients such as a 2000 degree oven, hard Brooklyn water, Italian deli mozzarella and straight off the boat olive oil but here it is, as close, as you can get in your home kitchen.

THE DOUGH:

Makes enough dough for two thin crust 10-12 inch pizzas.

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cups warm water (105°F-115°F)
1 teaspoon of active dry yeast
2 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar

In a small bowl, put the yeast, sugar and water and stir until mixed. Place the mixture in a warm place for 10 minutes until a froth forms. Dump the flour in a large mixing bowl, add the salt and olive oil. When the yeast mixture is ready pour it on top of the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until a ball forms. Turn out on to a floured cutting board. Coat your hands with flour and knead the dough until it forms a ball with a firm consistency. Add flour as needed, a little bit at a time.

Place ball of dough in a bowl that has been coated lightly with olive oil. Turn the dough around in the bowl so that it gets coated with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm place (75-85°F) until it doubles in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If you don't have a warm spot in the house, put it in the microwave oven and place a note on the door not to turn it on while it’s in there. At this point, if you want to make it ahead, you can refrigerate the dough for tomorrow. Just take it out a few hours before you need it.


When it is ready, knead again, separate into two balls and flatten into two pizza crusts. Exact size and shape aren’t important. Do the best that you can and place the dough into a pan. I have found that the ones with the holes in them work the best if you aren’t using a pizza stone.

THE PIZZA:

Olive oil
Tomato sauce
Garlic powder
Oregano
Basil
Grated parmesan cheese
Shredded whole milk mozzarella
Sliced pepperoni

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees. Pour a little olive oil on the crust and using the back of a tablespoon spread over crust. Pour a thin layer of tomato sauce on pizza and using the spoon cover crust. Sprinkle garlic, oregano and basil and then the parmesan cheese over sauce. Top with mozzarella and pepperoni then place on middle shelf of oven. Set timer for ten minutes. When time is up, open oven, rotate pan and re set timer for 5 minutes. The time isn’t set in stone as all ovens cook different so keep checking pie and pay attention to the smell. You’ll know when it’s done by that alone. When your crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted it’s time to take it out.

Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing, put some Jerry Vale on the stereo and open a bottle of Chianti. And don’t forget the red checkered table cloth!

Below is a great video. Enjoy!




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