Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pizza Dough!

Being a native Brooklynite I am QUITE passionate about my pizza.   Pizza has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  When I was a kid I would walk home from school and get a slice and a soda at Smiling Pizza in Brooklyn.   When I was in high school L&B's Spumoni Garden was the place to be and BTW has the BEST square slice of pizza in Brooklyn.   If anyone feels differently about L&B's I got one thing to say...  However, I will bite my tongue because this blog is classier than what I got to say.

When I was in college I would drive to Howard Beach to go to NEW PARK Pizza and grab a plain slice.  NEW PARK's plain slices are pretty amazing.  If you disagree with this read what I said about people who disagree with my opinion on L&B's....

So one might ask the question... "Why haven't you really tried to tackle pizza on your food blog?"   The answer is quite simple...There is no pretty good pizza.   There is GREAT pizza, regular pizza, and fake pizza like Dominos, Imos, and the pizza casserole known as CHICAGO PIZZA.   Now I don't want to start a fight so I will leave Chicago Pizza for another post but come on chitown it is a pizza casserole not a pizza.

Since i <3 pizza and am proud of my cooking, I have NOT tried to really make my own.   Trying to build a good pizza is like trying to climb mount everest.   If you don't have a sherpa, you aint making it up.    Since I don't have a pizza sherpa I have always avoided trying to make a true BROOKLYN pizza pie.

Well I still dont have a sherpa but the time has come to give pizza making a try.  I am now officially trying to work on building my pizza skills.   It will take me years to develop proper pizza skills but the mission has begun.

I am starting to feel comfortable sharing the progress of this work so here goes....

My first new york pizza I am willing to share is a basic pepperoni pizza.  Here is a the shot of it:

The pizza dough was the starting point for me.   Brooklyn pizza is what it is because of the dough.   I need to start my journey with a base recipe so I am going to use the recipe I found.   While this is a recipe that I doubt will turn out the way I want it, it is a good start.   So here it is:

New York Pizza Dough Recipe from


  • 2 1/4 teaspoon (1 package) instant dry active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (not hot!)
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour, or as needed
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Add the water, yeast, sugar, and a 1/2 cup of the flour into a mixing bowl. Stir well and let sit for 20 minutes. It will get bubbly.
  2. Add olive oil, salt, and 2 cups of the flour, and mix with a wooden spoon until it's together enough to turn out on to a lightly floured work surface to knead.
  3. Knead for about 10 minutes, while adding more flour a little at a time, to produce a soft, elastic and slightly sticky dough. Do not add too much flour, just enough to keep it from sticking to the work surface as you knead.
  4. Form the dough into a ball and place in a large oiled bowl. Drizzle a few drops of oil and coat the top of dough to prevent the surface from becoming dry.
  5. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot for 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
  6. Punch down the dough and divide into 2 balls and place in large zip lock plastic bags and refrigerate overnight.
  7. When ready to use, remove from fridge, and let the dough come up to room temperature before using. 

This recipe was ok.   A few things I did not like:

  1. I didn't think the consistency of the dough was all that right.   
  2. The flavor was a little eh and needed some salt
  3. Texturally it needed a lighter internal texture and a crunchier crust
  4. It needed more than just bread flour
  5. I did not let it sit long enough to rise.  TIME IS YOUR FRIEND
  6. I dont have a pizza oven so it doesn't cook quick enough
As per the marinara sauce I used my basic marinara sauce:

2 large can of crushed tomatoes
red pepper flakes
4-6 cloves of garlic
1 sweet onion
1 large shallot
olive oil
herbs (basil, oregano and italian parsley)
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese

The trick to a good marinara is time time time...  TAKE YOUR TIME and go low and slow on the cooking.   Just sweat the garlic, onions and shallots.   Hit it with salt and pepper and add the red pepper flakes.   Put in the crushed tomatoes, stir it, add in the herbs and go low and slow.   Stir in the cheee and let it melt then season it to your liking. 


Anywho...  I need to invest my time in working on the dough.  I will give it a go once a month and see how my pizza making progresses.   The pizza I made was delicious and in time I will figure out how to make a great Brooklyn pizza.

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