As we add to our continuing collection of fundamental pizza pantry recipes, I thought it would be important to include one for a New York style pizza dough similar to the ones you get at the many Ray's pizzerias (none of which seem to be related to each other--Famous Ray's, Original Ray's, Ray Ray's, Not Ray's--they just keep rolling out), as well as at so many college and family pizzerias across the country. This dough makes a thicker crust than the Neo-Neapolitan dough -- such as found at Lombardi's, Totonno's, or Frank Pepe's and Sally's -- and is stronger and less sticky, so it can be stretched and tossed quite easily. If you can get high-gluten flour, such as King Arthur's Sir Lancelot, that's the ideal choice. If not, then use unbleached bread flour. Weights are always more
accurate than volume scoops, but I'm giving both in case you don't have a scale. Adjust the flour or water as needed. As with most pizza doughs, it's better to make this at least 12 to 24 hours ahead, or, it can be held in the cooler for at least three days. You can also make larger size batches if you prefer.
Makes three 12-ounce crusts (for 12" pizzas), or two 18-ounce crusts (for 15"-16" pizzas)
5 cups (22.5 ounces) unbleached high gluten flour or unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 tablespoons (1 oz.) honey or 2 tablespoons (1 oz.) sugar
2 teaspoons (0.5 oz.) salt (any kind)
1 1/2 teaspoons (0.18 oz.) instant yeast or 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons (1.5 oz.) olive or vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups (14 oz.) water, lukewarm
1. In a mixer or a large bowl, combine all the ingredients (if using active dry yeast dissolve it in the lukewarm water first for about a minute before adding it to the dough; instant yeast can be added directly into the flour). Mix on slow speed, or hand knead, for approximately 4 minutes to form a firm, slightly tacky ball of dough. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes and then continue to mix for an additional three minutes on medium speed (or by hand). The dough should be supple and barely tacky. Adjust the flour or water as needed.
2. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, large enough to accommodate it if it doubles in size. Roll the dough in the oiled bowl to coat it, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and immediately refrigerate it for a minimum of 12 hours.
3. Two hours before you plan to make the pizzas, remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it into the desired sizes. Form the pieces into tight dough balls, mist them with spray oil, and cover them loosely with plastic wrap (or place them in a covered container).
4. Heat your pizza stone for at least 45-60 minutes, on the highest setting your oven will go. Prepare your toppings, sauce, and cheese. Two hours after you formed the dough balls they should be ready to form and stretch and be turned into pizzas (shorter amount of time on hot days). Set up for your favorite style of pizza, preparing them as seen in the videos, and bake on the stone at the highest setting your oven allows (or put them on a sheet pan and slide it into the oven), for approximately 7 to 9 minutes, or until the pizzas are golden brown on the edges (cornicione), and crisp underneath. Enjoy!!