If you’re looking for a truly classic pizza experience, nothing beats the flavors of New York-style pizza. This iconic style is known for its large, foldable slices and distinctive thin crust. Whether you’re an experienced pizza aficionado or just getting started, here’s what you need to know about New York-style pizza.
At its core, New York-style pizza is defined by its classic round crust, usually made with bread flour, semolina, and/or cornmeal. This dough is stretched thin and hand-tossed to create the signature, thin crust. New York-style pizza also features a generous layer of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, with other toppings like pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, peppers, and olives often added.
What sets New York-style pizza apart from other styles of pizza isn’t just the ingredients and technique, but also how it’s cooked. New York-style pizza is always cooked in a brick oven that’s been preheated to temperatures of up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit. This imparts a unique char to the crust and helps to give the pizza its unique flavor, texture, and aroma.
It doesn’t take much to make a good New York-style pizza — just quality ingredients, some serious heat, and a bit of know-how. To make your own New York-style pizza, start by making the dough. You can find lots of great recipes online. Once the dough is ready, stretch it out thin and place it in the pizza pan. Top with tomato sauce, cheese, and any other toppings you like. Put the finished pizza in a preheated brick oven and bake at the higher temperature until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling. Once done, slice it up into big, thin slices and enjoy!
Whether you’ve had it dozens of times or it’s your first bite, there’s no denying the timeless classic flavors of New York-style pizza. Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to creating a pizza masterpiece in no time.
The son of first-generation Italian immigrants, Chef Anthony Russo grew up in a New Jersey home where the kitchen was the center of family life. There was always the opportunity to cook and bake in the Russo home, and many of the ingredients came from the family garden. Just like the one Grandpa and Nona Russo had back in Avellino, Italy.
These Italian experiences stuck with young Anthony long after his family moved to Galveston, Texas, in 1978. His father opened Russo’s Italian Restaurant, which quickly became a local favorite. Just like that, Anthony found a second home in the restaurant kitchen. By the age of 12, he was learning family recipes from relatives who flew in from Naples and Sicily each summer. Making pizza and squachatta (calzones) became a passion.
Using the family recipe for New York-style, hand-tossed pizza dough, the sauce made from fresh-crushed California tomatoes, and imported Italian cheese blends, Anthony became the sole owner and chef of his first restaurant Russo’s Pizza in the early 80’s. “It was 800 square feet. I had a pizza oven, a dough mixer and two tables. That's it. I could only sit eight people.” A few years later, he created Anthony’s Pizzeria, located in Clear Lake, Texas, and soon moved to Houston.
For almost a decade, Anthony refined his menu using classic Italian family recipes and zeroed in on the perfect New York-style pizza. In 1992, Russo’s New York Pizzeria opened in downtown Houston, Texas and proved to be a success.
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