Any time of the day is a good time for pizza, and it’s not an arduous task to create something simple. The only real work is preparing the dough. Other than that, though, it’s a simple question of dicing toppings, sprinkling cheese and opening wide. Where a pizza truly makes or breaks your approval of it is in the crust. So we recommend spending an inordinate amount of time considering different dough recipes. Here are some of our favorites.
If you’re not already familiar with what “New York Style” refers to, then we’ll tell you. NY pizza is thin-crust, easy to handle, and not utterly rigid (i.e. foldable). The best thing about NY pizza that you find in late night spots is its price and mouth-watering value. The best New York style dough calls for a pack of instant yeast, two teaspoons of salt, 3 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, half tablespoon of sugar and a cup of water (warm water—this is important). First you have to combine the sugar, yeast,water and half the flour to get things started. 15 minutes later you can add the rest, and knead until it’s good and expandable, but not overly sticky.
As you read through this you’ll start to realize that recipes differ only slightly, but enough to merit a different title, so pay attention. The Chicago-style pizza is deep-dish, with a high-walled, tough crust that can withstand the weight of the sauce, cheese and toppings. To make it, you’ll need 2.25 teaspoons of yeast, a cup and then some of warm water, half a cup of corn oil, 3 cups flour, 2 teaspoons white sugar and 2 of salt. Mix the yeast, sugar and water and let it stand before adding the rest. Knead the dough until it is uniform but retains a bit of its stickiness. Then you fit it into your pizza mold, which will need high walls if you really want to tackle this deep dish delicacy.
Traditional homemade pizza dough
This is just the basic pizza dough recipe that you can add on to however you like. If it’s the toppings that you want to experiment with, then refer to this recipe to create your canvas. It’s pretty simple, really, and not all that different from the recipes above. Gather 3 and a half to 4 cups of all-purpose flour. For those who prefer crispier crusts, use bread flour. You’ll combine a teaspoon of sugar,2 of salt, one pack of dry yeast and two big tablespoons of olive oil. Mix in about a cup and a half of warm water, and knead the mix until it’s ripe for molding.
Pizza dough is not that varied; where one recipe is only a little bit different from another the result can regardless seem otherworldly. Where recipes tend to vary is in the amounts of yeast versus sugar, or of flour versus water. It also depends on the kind of salt you use (kosher, sea, fine-grain, etc.), the type of sugar (raw, white), and the quality of your oil and flour. In any case, you’re on the right track. You should be cooking pizza.