Oh My, New York Style Pizza Pie!

9 Mar

I love pizza. Whether it’s thin, thick or deep dish – I’m on board. And thanks to Covid – and writing this blog – I’ve been perfecting my pizza-making skills. Fortunately, my husband – aka my sous chef – has mastered rolling and shaping of just about any type of dough. I create the dough. He rolls it out and we top it together. FYI, it helps to have the tools the professionals’ use – namely a pizza stone and a pizza peel. Today’s recipe is for New York style pizza. I found it in a cookbook aptly titled Pizza by James McNair (1987). I wish I knew how this book came to be in my cookbook collection. I got excited when I discovered a personal note written on the title page – until I realized I don’t know any of the folks mentioned. Here’s that inscription:

Christmas 1989

Merry Christmas to Gove

May this spurr your creativity and love for the delicious!

Love Andrew and Lesly

(It certainly has worked for us.)

In any case, it’s helped with MY creativity and I’m glad I ended up with this slim volume of pizza recipes. Do speak up if you know any of these folks! And do NOT be intimidated by the length of this recipe. Honest. Tomato sauce can be made in advance. And the dough comes together in minutes and rolls out seamlessly. The crust is wonderfully chewy but sturdy enough to hold all your favorite toppings.

New York Style Pizza

Pizza Dough

1 envelope (¼ ounce) active dry yeast

1 cup warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water

3¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir gently until it dissolves, about 1 minute. When yeast is mixed with the water at the proper temperature, a smooth, beige-colored mixture results. Let stand in a warm spot until a thin layer of foam covers the surface, about 5 minutes, indicating that the yeast is effective. To mix and knead the dough in a heavy-duty electric stand mixer, combine 3 cups of the flour, the salt and yeast mixture in the large mixer bowl. Attach the flat beater, gradually turn on the machine to medium speed, and beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Replace the beater with the dough hook and knead at medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic about 5 minutes (my dough came together in 2 minutes!). Pinch off a piece of dough and feel it. If it is sticky, continue kneading while gradually adding just enough of the remaining ¼ cup flour for the dough to lose its stickiness. Shape into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning to coat completely on all sides with oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap to prevent moisture loss and let it rise in a draft-free warm place for about 45 minutes for quick-rising yeast or 1 to 1½ hours for regular yeast.

Knead dough about 1 minute. Lightly flour the work surface. Shape the dough into a flat disk about 1-inch thick and lightly flour both sides. Starting from the center of the dough, press it out quickly with the heels of your hands, working around the dough to create a circle, until the dough is about ½-inch thick. Dust with flour to prevent sticking. Stop stretching before you reach the outer edge of the dough, which will form the rim of the pizza. Push on dough to create a rim all the way around dough.

Tomato Sauce

1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes

2 tablespoon tomato paste

1 or 2 garlic cloves minced or pressed.

1 teaspoon dried basil or oregano

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

To make tomato sauce, seed the tomatoes if desired, and crush them with your hands or a fork in a heavy nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, basil or oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture just to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, until thick and flavorful, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the heat.

Pizza Assembly

Cornmeal

½ cup (about) olive oil

3 cups (about 12 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

Tomato sauce

Toppings, choose one or a combination: cooked and crumbled sweet Italian sausage, anchovy fillets, sauteed sliced mushrooms, sliced pepperoni, sliced green nor red sweet pepper, sliced red or yellow sweet onion, ripe olives

1½ teaspoons dried oregano

⅓ cup (about 1½ ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Place the dough on a pizza peel generously sprinkled with cornmeal (or assemble pizza on a sheet of parchment paper). Brush dough all over with olive oil, the add the mozzarella cheese, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges. Top with garlic and cover with the tomato sauce. Add one or more of the toppings, and sprinkle with the oregano and parmesan cheese. Drizzle evenly with olive oil.

Transfer the pizza to the preheated baking surface (e.g., pizza pan, large cookie sheet or pizza stone) and bake until the crust is golden brown and puffy, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven to a cutting tray or board and lightly brush the crust (optional) with olive oil. Slice and serve immediately.

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