Serves 4 to 6 (Makes two 13-inch pizzas)
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS If you long for a pizza parlor–quality pie that’s zingy and cheesy, with a thin, firm, and chewy crust that’s pliable enough to fold slices in half in true New York style, look no further. We mixed the dough in the food processor, kneaded it by hand, and then refrigerated it for at least 24 hours. Besides slowing carbon dioxide production (which creates air bubbles that make the dough puffy), chilling the dough slowed down gluten development so that the dough stayed looser, making it easier to stretch and better able to hold its shape without snapping back, making for a thin, chewy crust rather than a puffy, bready crust. Adding a little oil to the dough helped with crispness, and adding a touch of sugar encouraged slightly deeper browning in the oven. But the kicker was baking the pizza on a preheated baking stone near the top of the oven, rather than the usual home-oven approach of placing it near the bottom; this meant that high heat of the oven reflected from the hot baking stone off the ceiling of the oven and back onto the top of the pie, browning the toppings before the crust overcooked. It is important to use ice water in the dough to prevent it from overheating in the food processor. Note that the dough needs to be refrigerated for at least 24 hours before baking. If you don’t have a pizza peel, use a rimless or overturned baking sheet to slide the pizzas onto the baking stone. You can shape the second dough round while the first pizza bakes, but don’t add the toppings until just before baking. Semolina flour is ideal for dusting the peel; use it in place of bread flour if you have it.
3 cups (16½ ounces) bread flour
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1⅓ cups ice water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1½ teaspoons table salt
Sauce and Toppings
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained with juice reserved
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated fine (½ cup)
8 ounces whole-milk mozzarella, shredded (2 cups)
1 For the dough Pulse flour, sugar, and yeast in food processor until combined, about 5 pulses. With processor running, slowly add ice water; process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
2 Add oil and salt to dough and process until dough forms satiny, sticky ball that clears sides of bowl, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer dough to lightly oiled counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 30 seconds. Place dough seam side down in lightly greased large bowl or container, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 3 days.
3 For the sauce and toppings Process tomatoes, oil, garlic, vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper in clean, dry workbowl until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to 2-cup liquid measuring cup and add reserved tomato juice until sauce measures 2 cups. Reserve 1 cup sauce; set aside remaining sauce for another use.
4 One hour before baking, adjust oven rack 4 inches from broiler element, set baking stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Press down on dough to deflate. Transfer dough to clean counter, divide in half, and cover loosely with greased plastic. Pat 1 piece of dough (keep remaining piece covered) into 4-inch round. Working around circumference of dough, fold edges toward center until ball forms. Flip ball seam side down and, using your cupped hands, drag in small circles on counter until dough feels taut and round and all seams are secured on underside. (If dough sticks to your hands, lightly dust top of dough with flour.) Repeat with remaining piece of dough. Space dough balls 3 inches apart, cover loosely with greased plastic, and let rest for 1 hour.
5 Heat broiler for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coat 1 dough ball generously with flour and place on well-floured counter. Using your fingertips, gently flatten into 8-inch round, leaving 1 inch of outer edge slightly thicker than center. Using your hands, gently stretch dough into 12-inch round, working along edge and giving disk quarter turns.
6 Transfer dough to well-floured pizza peel and stretch into 13-inch round. Using back of spoon or ladle, spread ½ cup tomato sauce in even layer over surface of dough, leaving ¼-inch border around edge. Sprinkle ¼ cup Parmesan evenly over sauce, followed by 1 cup mozzarella.
7 Slide pizza carefully onto baking stone and return oven to 500 degrees. Bake until crust is well browned and cheese is bubbly and partially browned, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating pizza halfway through baking. Transfer pizza to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Heat broiler for 10 minutes. Repeat with
remaining dough, sauce, and toppings, returning oven to 500 degrees when pizza is placed on stone.
Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Topping
Cook 1 thinly sliced bell pepper, 1 thinly sliced onion, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and ¼ teaspoon table salt in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until slightly softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to paper towel–lined plate. Pinch 12 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed, into small pieces. Top pizzas with cooked vegetables and raw sausage before baking.