NY Style Pizza Dough (Quick Version)

by Chef Daniel Morduchowicz

No matter how many times I make pizza I am always fascinated by the results: starting with four basic ingredients and transforming them into a dough that is teeming with life. Each time I learn something new about the nuances and details that help me get

- Chef Daniel Morduchowicz


Italian, American
3 NY style pizza crusts, 10 inches in diameter
Calories Per Serving
Prep Time
15 min
Proofing time
15 minutes
Total Time
30 minutes


  • 260 grams lukewarm water
  • 400 grams 00 pizza flour
  • 3 tsp yeast
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp of regular table salt)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


Proofing the yeast
  1. Place the lukewarm water in a bowl large enough to accommodate the water and the flour that you are going to be mixing in later on in the process. It is important to make sure the yeast is active and alive. To accomplish this, dissolve the yeast in the water, add sugar and a tsp of flour. Mix lightly and wait for bubbles to begin forming in the surface of the mixture. Another indicator of whether your yeast is alive is that the mixture will start smelling like unbaked bread or beer after a few minutes. If using store bought envelopes of yeast, sometimes they are defective, so if after a little while you are not seeing any reaction in your mixture, add another envelope of yeast.
  2. Once the yeast shows to be alive, add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon or a large metal spoon,  as you go, without worrying too much about lumps. The goal here is to achieve a though that you can manipulate with your hands.
  3. You will notice that after 1.5 cups your dough will start to trail your spoon. When this happens, go ahead and add the salt. Squirt the 2 tbsp of olive oil into the mixture and mix well.
  4. Continue adding flour and mix with your spoon.
  5. When it becomes difficult to mix with your spoon pour the dough into your working surface and begin mixing with your hands. Make sure to scrape all the bits of dough and flour that will have stuck to the bowl and the spoon.
  6. You are more than likely going to need more flour. To add more flour initially, rub some flour between your hands letting the excess fall into the dough, drying the outside.
  7. Begin massaging the dough and compress it to form a nice, tighter ball of dough.
  8. When the outside is no longer super sticky, begin the kneading process.
  9. Press the dough and stretch lightly with the palm of your dominant hand. Roll the dough towards you, starting on the far end, rotate 90 degrees and go again. You will notice that the dough is wetter on the inside. As you do the kneading, sprinkle some of the left over flour to create a slighly drier dough. The dough in the end should be tacky, and not sticky.
  10. Keep performing this motion several times until the dough is more uniform and no longer breaks so easily. By kneading the dough you are creating a network of gluten which will hold the dough together and make it much easier to shape later on, among other benefits: the gluten will trap the CO2 released by the yeast and inflate your dough, creating a pleasing network of bubbles inside, once baked.
  11. After about 3 or 4 minutes, the dough will be ready to partition.
Partitioning the dough and forming pizza balls
  1. Cut the dough into 3 equal parts (these will be approximately 190 grams each.)
  2. Shape the dough into pizza balls using all your fingers, pulling so the outside side of the dough becomes stretched, and stressed. Roll into your work surface to achieve a round shape.
  3. Place each of these balls in a separate, lightly oiled container and cover tightly with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. If you put these containers in a warm area of your kitchen, for example, the counter right next to your oven, the dough should be ready to stretch in about 15 minutes or so, giving you enough time to work on your toppings.


A few words about yeast and flour.
  • Yeast is a live organism. Given the proper conditions it metabolizes making copies of itself. In the process it  produces CO2 gas – which will give rise to the dough in the presence of gluten. At 130F it dies, and below 85F it acts more slowly. We prepare a dough that contains gluten, a result of mixing the flour with water and kneading. The gluten network then traps the CO2 created during the fermentation process,  causing the dough to rise and create the pockets of air in the crumb after we cook it.
  • For this reason, it is best to start with a flour that has a high protein content, sometimes called strong flour. You could use bread flour, which meets this characteristic. All purpose flour would work, but the pizza would be less elastic and more difficult to stretch.
  • This recipe is designed to make your pizza proof fast. That’s why we  use a whole tablespoon of active dry yeast. There are countless variations on how to make pizza dough.  These basic instructions are enough to get you started. The procedure described below produces a very delicious pizza as related to me by thousands of participants in my pizza workshops.
  • You can, of course, use less yeast and allow the dough to proof for a longer period of time, even overnight or longer. This process will produce a more flavorful dough as the yeast will compete with bacteria in the environment, producing a different kind of fermentation. While the yeast ferments producing alcohol, the bacteria produce lactic acid which will add complexity to your dough.
  • Starting with less yeast also produces a more digestible dough, as the yeast slowly consumes the starches present in the flour.
Dough Hydration.
  • For NY Style pizza I like to have a dough with 65% hydration, which refers to the amount of water relative to the flour. For every hundred grams of flour we would add 65 grams of water.
  • However, even if I weigh the ingredients carefully, I rely on the visual and sensory clues from the dough determining how much to add and mix – always a little at a time, allowing the flour to hydrate slowly and gradually. Conditions are subtly different every day, which means at any given time we might need more or less flour than the recipe calls for.
Stretching the dough
  • We never use a rolling pin to stretch our pizza. Doing so would crush the gluten network and deflate all the nice bubbles we worked so hard to create.
  • There are many methods to stretch the dough. I prefer a combination of gently pushing the dough into shape and then letting the weight itself to do most of the heavy lifting, finishing with a gentle final stretch it using my fists and carefully separating them.
  • We cook the dough at the highest temperature our oven can give us, with some exceptions.
  • Although not really required, your pizza will turn out better if you use a pizza stone, or better yet a pizza steel, in your oven. The stone or steel loose very little temperature when the colder pizza hits it, instead immediately transferring a sudden burst of heat and cooking the crust almost immediately. Also, the pizza dough reaches a high temperature very rapidly, making  the CO2 trapped inside expand with the heat. This results in a nice, tight, bubbly texture in the inside of the crunchy dough.

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