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NY Magazine recaps the history of NYC pizza every ten years or so, particularly when something noteworthy occurs at one of the bastions of NY Pizzadom: say, a fire at Totonno's, an anniversary at Patsy's or the fight between Grimaldi's and Grimaldi. But there's so much more to pizza in NYC that garners less attention or, even worse, goes undocumented. The stories behind the pizza are often as fascinating as the particular pizza is delicious.
For instance, I remember 25 years ago in 1987 when Two Boots opened on Avenue A. The funky unique Cajun Italian concept for families was created to finance the owner's film production career. Located on a block and at a time where you might literally have to steer your kids around the unconscious junkies to get access to the restaurant, it's now a huge chain. Although the original is gone, I still drop in to the location across the street on the now gentrified Avenue A for a corn flour crusted jalapeño, andouille and crawfish covered slice.
I was also there in 2008, when the Artichoke Basille Staten Island boys opened up on 14th street and the line snaked all the way to 2nd Avenue and the slices, both square and round, made me forget about Di Fara's. Artichoke is also now a thriving chain. Speaking of DiFara's, I used to literally camp out in the undiscovered and short-lived DeMarco's Pizza on West Houston, operated by Don DeMarco's family which on a good night was easily worthy of being called DiFara's Manhattan branch.
I equally mourned the departure of Anthony Mangieri of Una Pizza Napoletana and still hold out hope that he misses NYC at his new pizzeria in San Francisco as much as we miss him. I did not have the guts to ask Sarah Jenkins to bring back (maybe at Porsena?) her square fennel pollen sausage pies that I loved at the now also defunct Veloce.
My Twitter avatar is a gorgeous photo of a perfect slice of pizza crafted by another unknown pizzaiolo master, Giacomo Lattaruli, who was laboring in anonymity at the East Village branch of South Brooklyn Pizza before leaving to pursue his still unfulfilled dream of opening his own place and who has returned to churn out dollar slices at Percy's, the South Brooklyn Pizza owner's attempt to compete with 2 Bros., on Bleecker. Even with cheap ingredients, the NY Post recognized Giacomo's as the best $1 slices among an ocean of buck a slice joints.
So imagine my surprise when I saw yet another grand opening sign for a pizzeria on Bleecker up the block from Percy's between Sullivan and Thompson, in the old Pizza Booth space which was itself a long-time blatant Cajun Italian pizza knock-off of Two Boots. Fiore's Pizza has no sign, no menu, no business cards. Just a few photographs of Michael Fiore, a Staten Island firefighter from Rescue 5 who made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11. I had to look that up on Google as the connection between the brave Fiore and the pizzeria is shrouded in mystery.
There's only one sign pasted to the walls and the door. Entitled "How To Eat Fiore's Pizza" it appears at first blush to be an instruction guide for out of town tourists on the art of eating NYC style pizza. Indeed, it starts out by telling it's patrons that with Fiore's thin crust they can dispense with knife and fork which are only required by Chicago deep dish pizza consumers. Couldn't agree more. But then the sign goes on to dis die hard NYC pizza fans by admonishing us to "NEVER fold a Fiore's slice". What's that?! Folding a slice in half is the very act which defines the art of NYC slice enjoyment. But if you keep reading, the author explains that the thin crust at Fiore's is made with a self-proclaimed yeast starter brought over from the island of Ischia and used to bake breads there for hundreds of years. One should merely take one's thumb and crease the snappy crust at the bottom in the middle and to eat slowly from the tip so as not to miss the taste of the "finest Italian mozzarella and the imported hand crushed tomatoes" with which Fiore's pizza is made.
The sign certainly has pizza dough balls but the pizza lives up to it. The square thin grandma slice, with fresh basil, was one of the finest examples I have ever sampled. The regular round slice reminded me of Joe's Pizza, just down the block across Sixth Avenue, which is often cited by NY pizza cognescenti as the uncontested best slice joint in the entire city. Except for one small thing. Fiore's slice was even better. Hopefully someone else will have better luck than me in writing the story behind what makes Fiore's so good.
How to Make New York–Style Pizza at Home | The Food Lab
New York pizza is my favorite style of pizza. Sure, I love me a neo-Neapolitan, sit-down-with-a-fork-and-knife on occasion, and grilled pizzas are fantastic in the summer. Even chewy, Roman-style pizza bianca has its place. But the pizza I find myself most often craving is of the simple, by-the-slice, medium-thin, crusty and lightly chewy style.
Luckily for us, it's also the variety that seems most easily adaptable to the home kitchen. Unlike, say Neapolitan pies which require wood-burning, 1000°F ovens (or at the very least a reasonable workaround), the modern* New York pie is baked in gas ovens that don't often go north of 500 to 550°F or so—a temperature range not out of the pale of even the most bog-standard home oven fitted with a pizza stone.
So what is it that makes a New York pizza unique?
First of all, it's the sauce. It's an emphatically tomato-ey sauce with a balanced sweetness and acidity and the barest hint of herbs and alliums. I tackled this sauce in a previous Pizza Lab post (the secret is a mix of butter and olive oil, using whole tomatoes, dried oregano, a couple of halved onions that get removed, and a slow simmer on the stovetop). No problem.
Next, it's the cheese. Unlike a Neapolitan, which uses fresh mozzarella, New York-style pizza uses grated, dry mozzarella—the kind you can get sliced on a meatball sub or wrapped in cryovac blocks near the milk. It's applied sparingly so that it melts into a loose matrix that mingles with the sauce underneath, browning ever so slightly in the heat of the oven. The top of a New York-style pie should look mottled with red, white, and brown, definitely not a solid expanse of white melted cheese.
With a couple pies under your belt, you'll quickly discover two things about the cheese: it must be full-fat mozzarella (the part skim or low-fat stuff just doesn't stretch right), and you must grate it yourself. No matter how much you are tempted, do not buy pre-shredded cheese.
Shredded cheese is coated with a dusting of potato or cornstarch intended to keep it from clumping. What it ends up doing is preventing it from melting properly. Your cheese will not acquire the requisite goo-factor. I've found that the best way to get good cheese for pizza at the supermarket is to go to the deli counter and ask them to cut you a pound or so straight off the slicing block in one chunk. Grated on the large holes of a box grater, it's perfect for the job.
Here's a problem I used to have: the cheese would overbrown and burn before the crust was done cooking. This happen to anyone else? I don't know if it's because professional pizza ovens have different convection patterns or some other sort of thermodynamic oddities going on, but the only solution I've found is to grate the cheese onto a plate, then pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes before applying it. This slows down its cooking just enough so that the crust can catch up before the cheese starts to burn.
The final factor that makes a great New York pizza—and this is the real key—is the crust. This is what separates the men from the boys. The New York slices from the Sbarros. The true Ray's from the hordes of imitators.**
Let's take a closer look, shall we?
Thicker than a Neapolitan crust but thinner than a pan pizza, a New York crust starts with a crisp, well-browned bottom layer about 2 millimeters thick. It must be sturdy enough that a single slice slightly bent lengthwise down the center will cantilever out straight under its own support, not requiring the eater to prop the tip with a second hand.
There's nothing worse than walking out on the street with a slice, having the tip sag down, and the cheese slip off into a greasy puddle on the sidewalk. Even thinking about it makes my eyes well up.
The crust has to be sturdy enough, but—and this is important—just sturdy enough. Crunchy, tough, or cracker-like are not adjectives that can ever accurately describe a great New York pizza. The slice must crackle and give gently as you fold it, never crack or split.
After the initial crispness, the next 3-4 millimeters are devoted to a thin layer of soft, slightly chewy, and tender cooked dough. This layer must be as flavorful as the best bread with a savory, wheaty, and complex aroma. Never floury, never bland, the crust is absolutely not just a support mechanism for the cheese and sauce on top. It's this layer that gives the slice its distinctive chew. You've got to pull slightly with your teeth to separate a bite from the rest of the slice. It should not break off with no effort. If that's what you're after, you're better off ordering a Domino's thin crust with its matzoh-like base.
The very top 1-2 millimeters of crust—the bit in closest contact with the sauce and cheese—should be a slick, and nearly doughy, though again, it shouldn't taste raw. This crust-to-sauce interface is one of my favorite parts of the pizza, and should not be taken lightly.
Finally, we get to the raised outer crust known by pizza snobs as cornicione, or colloquially as the bones. Unlike the poofy, leopard-spotted edge of a Neapolitan, a New York pie has a crust that's only slightly raised. Indeed, the pie as a whole goes from thicker at the edges towards thinner in the center, an artifact of the toss-and-stretch method favored by most piemen. The crust should be relatively evenly browned, with a couple charred bubbles here and there, and an open bread-like structure, though again, not as outright airy as a Neapolitan crust.
So the obvious question is, how does one go about achieving a crust like this?
There are a couple of key characteristics that separate a New York dough from a classic Neapolitan dough.
- The flour in a classic Neapolitan dough is a high-protein, finely milled Italian Tipo "00" (referred to as "double-oh" by the cognoscenti). It absorbs water easily, and bakes up with a super-thin crisp layer surrounding a moist, airy interior. New York pizza, on the other hand, is generally made from American bread flour. Also high in protein, it readily develops gluten (the protein matrix that gives bread structure). It is made from a different variety of wheat and not milled as finely. It results in a crust that's chewier, a little denser, and with significantly more structure.
- Sugar is almost always added to New York crusts. Asides from adding a bit of flavor and a little activity-boost for the yeast, it also aids in browning—essential if you want to get a nicely browned crust at relatively low oven temperatures.
- Olive oil is the last addition. By coating individual flour granules, oils will effectively lower the maximum level of gluten formation in a given dough, making the resultant baked crust slightly denser and notably more tender than a fat-free dough. Without oil, a New York pie would dry out and toughen during its 12-15 minute stay in the oven. Olive oil keeps it nice and supple.
Luckily for me, there's already a pretty fantastic recipe for New York style pizza dough out there in Peter Reinhart's American Pie, a new classic on pizza, which if you don't already own, you should. His method is to mix together the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, olive oil, and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer, knead it slowly for a couple minutes, then allow it to rest for a few minutes in a step called an autolyse. Autolysis allows time for flour to absorb water, and for the gluten-forming proteins to shorten themselves through enzymatic action, allowing them to be more easily aligned and stretched with subsequent mixing.
The dough is then kneaded again until enough gluten is developed to pass the window-pane test, allowed to rise overnight in the refrigerator, then shaped, proofed, rolled, and baked.
The results are pretty good. Texturewise, they're spot on. It's the flavor that's always seemed lacking to me. It's not bad per se, nor underseasoned, just a little. off.
It was only recently when I was perusing my McGee that I came up with a theory as to why. Here's what he has to say on the subject of kneading:
As oxygen from the air and oxidizing compounds from the yeasts enter the dough, the gluten molecultes begin to bond end-to-end and form long chains. An excess of [exposure to air and oxygen] bleaches the remaining wheat pigments and alters the flavor.
So here's my theory: in order to get a ball of pizza dough to pass the window-pane test, it needs to be kneaded for a relatively long period of time. In a large-scale, New York pizza operation, dough is made in massive 30-40 pound batches. With such a large mass of dough, there's significantly less exposure to oxygen while the dough kneads, as only the dough on the very surface of a rather large ball is exposed, the rest being protected by the sides of the mixing bowl, and by the dough itself. With a small ball of dough in a home mixer, on the other hand, a much higher proportion of the dough is exposed to the flavor-altering effects of air as it mixes.
The result? A dough made in small batches at home oxidizes more, and thus never tastes as good as a dough made in large batches in a pizza parlor.
McGee goes on to suggest that mixing doughs in a food processor might actually be a better method than the stand mixer, something counterintuitive to me, as the stand mixer seems to resemble the gentle action of hand-kneading far more accurately. The idea is that the rapidly rotating blade of a food processor will batter and realign the proteins in the flour much more efficiently than the slow-moving stand mixer. It should give you a window-pane worthy dough in a fraction of the time. Less time kneading means less time oxidizing, and thus better flavor.
To test this, I decided to set up a three-way bake-off.
- Dough mixed in the stand mixer for a full 7 minutes post autolyse (until it passes the window-pane test).
- Dough mixed in the stand mixer for only half the time (it doesn't pass the window-pane test, but should show improved flavor).
- Dough mixed in the food processor.
I was frankly shocked at how quickly the food processor dough came together. Within about 30 seconds, I had a dough that easily passed the window-pane test with a smooth, supple feel that you only get with many minutes of stand-mixer kneading after an autolyse period. I packed away my three 12-ounce balls of dough in the quart-sized deli containers I use for overnight proofs (I highly recommend them for this task!) and waited until the next day, where another surprise awaited me.
The fully-kneaded stand mixer version, as expeced rose quite well - coming up to the 3-cup mark on my container. The barely-kneaded stand mixer version showed significantly less, coming up to around the 2 1/2 cup line (pictured at left, above). The food-processor kneaded version, on the other hand, nearly blew the top off of the lid. What's all this mean?
Well, bread doughs rise because as yeast consumes the sugars naturally present in the flour, they release both alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. This gas gets trapped within the gluten structure formed by the flour proteins. The stronger this structure, the better the gas bubbles are trapped, and the more the dough is leavened. Thus the fact that my food processor dough rose better than either stand mixer dough was a good indicator that the dough sported superior gluten formation, and would thus have a better finished texture.
Even forming them into balls showed a superior structure. The barely-kneaded stand mixer version tore as I formed it, ending up with a rough surface that translated into a risen ball of dough that was far more fragile as I tried to stretch it before topping. The well-kneaded stand mixer dough and the food processor dough, on the other hand were a dream to work with. Smooth, supple and elastic, they were easily shaped and just as easily stretched for topping.
So would a better-feeling dough produce a superior end product? As they say in the industry, the proof is in the pie.
After applying my sauce and cheese, I baked all three pizzas one after the other in the same oven, at identical temperatures (I used my laser thermometer to ensure that the pizza stone came back up to temperature before baking the next pie). Every oven may be different, but in my own oven, I've found that placing the baking stone directly in the middle is the best way to get the top and the undercarriage to cook simultaneously. If your bottom is cooking too fast, raise your stone a level or too. Top burning before the bottom browns? Just lower the pizza stone (or take it to the extreme and place it directly on the floor of the oven).
As expected, the under-kneaded crust came out with a miserably inadequate texture (pictured above). Dense and almost cake-like, it nevertheless had a decent, wheaty flavor.
Of the two remaining crusts, both baked into perfect New York-style pies—at least in appearance. The stand mixer version had the familiar off-flavor that I'd noticed with my NY pies in the past. Only the food processor-produced crust created a dough that was perfect in both texture and flavor. Tender, chewy, and crisp all at once with that coveted slick layer at the sauce-crust interface and a thin layer of melted cheese just hinting at brown, it was the archetypical New York pie, and it had just come out of my own oven!
Are you as surprised as I am? Is it really true that, at least as far as small batches of dough go, a food processor can produce a crust better and faster than a stand mixer can?
I'm a convert, and as a devout atheist, converting me ain't an easy task.
*I say "modern" because traditional New York pies are cooked in coal ovens, but the vast majority of corner-slice joints these days use gas, even the best ones. **In New York, there are a half dozen or so "Famous Original Ray's" pizzas, all of them unrelated, and few of them any good. Prince Street Ray's is the original, and the 6th Avenue Ray's is the best.
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- ⅔ cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 (10 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup grated Romano cheese
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the warm water in a large bowl. Let stand for 1 minute, then stir to dissolve. Mix in the flour, salt and olive oil. When the dough is too thick to stir, turn out onto a floured surface, and knead for 5 minutes. Knead in a little more flour if the dough is too sticky. Place into an oiled bowl, cover, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). If using a pizza stone, preheat it in the oven as well, setting it on the lowest shelf.
When the dough has risen, flatten it out on a lightly floured surface. Roll or stretch out into a 12 inch circle, and place on a baking pan. If you are using a pizza stone, you may place it on a piece of parchment while preheating the stone in the oven.
Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the dough. Sprinkle with oregano, mozzarella cheese, basil, Romano cheese and red pepper flakes.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bottom of the crust is browned when you lift up the edge a little, and cheese is melted and bubbly. Cool for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
New York-style pizza has more ingredients than a traditional Neapolitan pizza. Sugar and olive oil are usually added to high-gluten bread flour, yeast, and water to create the dough, which is hand-tossed. Some people say the unique flavor and texture of the crust occurs because of the minerals that are only found in NYC’s tap water.
The heavily-seasoned cooked tomato sauce is typically made of olive oil, canned tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt, and herbs like oregano, basil, and crushed red pepper, as opposed to the simple Neapolitan sauce, made from uncooked crushed tomatoes and salt. The cheese is always grated low-moisture mozzarella, not the fresh slices you’ll find on Neapolitan-style pizza.
As mentioned above, New York-style pizzas can have additional toppings like any number of vegetables, meats such as pepperoni and sausage, or other kinds of cheese on top of the mozzarella.
Common condiments to put on top of a slice after it comes out of the oven include garlic powder, crushed red pepper, dried oregano, and grated Parmesan cheese.
Combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in bowl of food processor. Pulse 3 to 4 times until incorporated. Add olive oil and water. Run food processor until mixture forms ball that rides around the bowl above the blade, about 15 seconds. Continue processing 15 seconds longer.
Transfer dough ball to lightly floured surface and knead once or twice by hand until smooth ball is formed. It should pass the windowpane test. Divide dough into three even parts and place each in a covered quart-sized deli container or in a zipper-lock freezer bag. Place in refrigerator and allow to rise at least 1 day, and up to 5. Remove from refrigerator, shape into balls, and allow to rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours before baking.
- Mix cool water, sugar and yeast in a medium bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes until dissolved.
- Mix bread flour, salt and vital wheat gluten together thoroughly in separate bowl.
- Add flour mixture to top of water along with olive oil.
- Mix all ingredients with spatula until incorporated with no clumps of dry flour.
- Cover and let rise at room temperature (70°F) for two hours or until doubled in size.
- Remove the dough from the bowl. Stretch and fold in half twice. Repeat this 3-4 times until the dough won’t stretch easily without tearing.
- Place back in the bowl covered for 30 minutes to allow the dough and gluten to relax.
- Divide dough into 225g portions if you double the recipe at this time.
- Remove the dough from the bowl again and create the final shaping of the dough ball by gently stretching the sides of the dough ball toward the bottom to create a taut surface around the outside of the dough ball with the seam being pulled to the bottom and pinched together.
- Coat the dough ball in flour and lightly flour the bottom of a proofing container. Place dough, seam side down, into the container and cover.
- Refrigerate dough in container covered for one to three days for the best flavor or use after doubled in size sitting out at room temperature. When refrigerating allow the dough to warm to room temperature before forming.
- See article on Forming a New York style Pizza and Topping a New York style Pizza for photo instructions.
Who owns a pizza recipe?
Becca Kahn Bloch
A longtime pizzaiolo at Prince Street Pizza, one of New York City’s truly great pizzerias, has opened his own joint, slinging Sicilian slices made from an original recipe that he claims he created. Now, his former business partner is threatening legal action, saying that recipe belongs to him , and the chef isn’t allowed to take it elsewhere.
Since it opened in 2012, Prince Street Pizza has developed a fanatical following. Regularly, long lines spill from the tiny, seat-free parlor onto the street. Inside, the walls are festooned with autographed photos of actors from The Sopranos and Entourage and former New York Knicks. Prince Street serves traditional triangle slices, and square, Grandma-style cuts, but it’s best known for the “Spicy Spring Pie,” a Silician pizza made with tangy, garlicky tomato sauce and a pieces of chili-laced salami that curl into tiny cups of spicy oil. The ingredients are piled onto a soft, spongy crust that, if you’re lucky, is crispy and charred from the oven. Folks, it’s good.
When asked by the press, the people who run the shop say that, with the exception of a pesto slice, Prince Street’s recipes are all their own. Included on its roster are a few from co-owner Frank Morano’s Calabrian father and grandfather some from his mother, who hails from Naples and many from his business partner Frank Badali, a longtime pizza maker from Staten Island, according to The Daily News .
Eater New York reports that Sugarman says his restaurant has made “noticeable changes and improvements” to the recipe to “distinguish our pepperoni square from Prince Street’s.” But Morano, the Prince Street owner, isn’t having it. He’s seeking an injunction against Badali, claiming that his former business partner, who broke a confidentiality agreement by reproducing the recipe in a new location, shouldn’t be allowed to sell his pizza.
Morano may not have a leg to stand on.
Pizza feuds are a cultural phenomenon. In 2013, Rick Micucci, a grocer in Portland, Maine, fired his bakery manager, Stephen Lanzalotta, who was nationally known for making fluffy, half moon-shaped Luna bread and Sicilian slab pizzas. Locals revolted and Micucci said the grocery would continue to serve the doughy delights. But Lanzalotta claimed Micucci couldn’t do that because when he was hired, he didn’t sign any documents transferring “rights of ownership of my pre-existing recipes to the company,” and even had an oral agreement to “retain intellectual property rights to any recipe I brought from the outside.”
And there’s practically a new pizza fight every day in New York City . When Patsy Grimaldi, a culinary descendent of the city’s first pizzaiolo, tried to open a new joint next to a place he used to own under the Brooklyn Bridge but sold off decades earlier, he was sued for “unfair competition.” (The case was thrown out.) More colorfully, in 2011, the owners of L&B Spumoni Gardens, a pizzeria in Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst neighborhood, alleged that Eugene Lombardo, owner of a Staten Island pizzeria called The Square, had stolen their pizza sauce recipe. The feud escalated into assault and extortion. “This is no secret recipe. There’s no patents on pizza,” Lombardo said at the time.
Lombardo was right: There are no patents on pizza. That’s because the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office defines recipes as little more than lists or combinations of ingredients, which are not eligible for protection, no matter how inventive.
First, patents apply to new products and, more regularly, processes. And the clock ticks fast on novelty. If you’ve been selling something for a while, like a certain spicy pepperoni pizza, you’ve probably blown your chance at a patent. By that logic, claiming your pizza is “famous”—as pizzerias in New York City are wont to do—means it’s even less likely to be protected and patented.
There are some exceptions. Recipes that solve a problem in a new way, or adapt to new technology, can be good candidates for patents. (Think of refrigerated, pre-made cookie dough, microwaveable food, or even toaster cookies.) And so are the processes behind some foods, like the famous “shot from guns” toasting method for Quaker Oats’ puffed rice and wheat.
In reality, there’s a downside to patents—especially for smaller-scale inventors. Applicants have to disclose the details of their inventions when they apply for a patent, which is a public filing. That makes their concepts freely available to big companies with big production operations. And when a patent expires after 20 years, anybody is free to use it. That’s why many food producers make a point of not patenting some of their most valuable intellectual property. Instead, they keep information permanently under wraps as a trade secret.
The smartest companies, meanwhile, require that everyone sign a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement to protect things like cherished family recipes from being duplicated elsewhere. And even though you can’t patent a recipe, you can always get in trouble for breaching a contract. If Badali had signed an NDA, and agreed not to share the recipe elsewhere, he could be in trouble. That’s amore.
The Best Gluten-Free Pizza Restaurants in New York City
There’s been a gluten-free revolution brewing for the last few years.
At most Italian restaurants in New York City, you can get the signature Bolognese on a bed of gluten-free spaghetti which, so long as it’s cooked right, can taste almost indistinguishable from the real thing. (Especially, if you haven’t eaten gluten in 7 years and can’t remember what that thing is.)
Pizza, on the other hand, has remained a thorn in our collective gluten-free side. Or, rather, a gaping void in our otherwise happy bellies where chewy, pillow-y dough with just the perfect amount of char once resided.
Sure, most corner pizza places near me advertise that they make (and deliver!) gluten-free options. But usually, it’s the same pre-packaged crust on hand that arrives slightly rock hard and, despite the gooey cheese, tastes a little bit like cardboard.
The tide is slowly changing though, friends. Led of course by the Italians, who would rather take a pizza pie to the eye than force their gluten-free brethren to miss out on the thin-crust slices that NYC was built on.
Because I love any excuse for investigative research that involves carbs, I took it upon myself to put together a list of the best gluten-free pizza restaurants I’ve discovered in NYC. Some are more celiac-friendly than others, but all deliver a quality pie that will feed your pizza cravings.
Read on for my gluten-free picks in Manhattan, Brooklyn and beyond!
p.s. still searching for the perfect gluten-free bakery in NYC? I’ve got a list for that too! Want to make your own at home? Well, I have an easy recipe for gluten-free pizza here.
THE BEST GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA IN NYC
Wild: When the flagship restaurant opened in the West Village it was one of the first 100 percent gluten-free kitchens dishing up impeccable thin crust pizza, homemade pasta and the like. The pies are so good, I have several non gluten-free friends who eat there regularly. I chose the now defunct Williamsburg location as the venue for my 30th birthday party because there was no where I’d rather have a grown up pizza party than at Wild. Luckily, their new location just opened not too far from me in Park Slope! The pies are on the pricey side, but it’s worth it for the treat and knowing that all of the ingredients are responsibly sourced.
Rubirosa: If you want the full Italian red sauce treatment with fully gluten-free options for all, Rubirosa is as good as it gets. Not only are all their famous pies available on gluten-free crust, but their dedicated gluten-free menu also includes mozzarella sticks, fried calamari, arancini, and chicken parm. In other words, all the delicious munchies haunting my late-night dreams for the last 7 years. Though the kitchen is not fully gluten-free and there’s a shared pizza oven, the staff is incredibly knowledgable about cross-contamination and I know many celiacs who frequent the restaurant without a problem other than a massive food coma.
Ribalta: Voted number one by Time Out and Spoon University, this puffy, Neapolitan crust gets insane bounce and chewiness despite using a gluten-free flour blend. Part of the appeal is the char, which comes by way of a shared brick oven. Celiacs be advised this is not a safe kitchen for you. But that just means more doughy goodness for the rest of us. In case you’re wondering, this is the pie pictured above and at the top of this post!
Keste: One of the greats in the West Village for Neapolitan pizza has, since opening, introduced a gluten-free menu for its pizzas and mouth watering arancini (fried rice balls). The crust is nicely flavored, though it doesn’t get as puffed and blistered without the brick oven. Celiacs can rest assured though that this is a consequence of the gluten-free pies being prepared downstairs in a separate oven.
Pie by the Pound: Speaking of pizza al taglio, Pie by the Pound was one of the first NYC pizza places to sport this style of slab pizza cut to order. After the owner discovered his own gluten intolerance, he set out to make Pie a haven for the growing gluten-free community. Not only can you get any individual pie gluten-free, but you can also drink a variety of gluten-free beers along side it. The crust is made off site at a dedicated gluten-free facility to avoid cross-contamination and is stored in separate fridges, prepared with special utensils, and baked in a separate oven.
**Fornino: The biggest discrepancy between my picks and most of the gluten-free pizza lists out there is that Brooklyn is way under represented in other peoples’ reporting. And yet, some of the best gluten-free pizza I’ve found in NYC was in Brooklyn. Fornino is a perfect example, and one I wouldn’t have thought to try until recently, thanks to a reader recommendation. The crust was insanely chewy, soft and pillowy, even after I’d had it delivered and it sat out on my counter for a bit. The Calibrese with spicy salami pictured above was a great flavor combo that I will likely order again and again. If you’re looking for gluten-free pizza delivery in Brooklyn this is definitely my favorite. They have three locations in Dumbo, Greenpoint and Williamsburg. WARNING: I once ordered a pie and what arrived at my doorstep was not gluten-free. They assured me it was a mistake that never happens, but it’s worth checking the ticket nonetheless (which thank god I did after taking a small bite and suspecting it was not). If it doesn’t say gluten-free on it, call the restaurant and double check. They sent me a new one right away.
Saraghina: Though it’s a bit of a hike, this Bed-Stuy Italian spot has a great hipster vibe, and more importantly, excellent gluten-free pizza and pasta. The crust is chewy and soft, and the pie is slightly larger than most individually portioned gluten-free options. It can be tough to get a table on weekends, but luckily there’s a small tapas bar in the back where you can wait, enjoy some shishito peppers, and sip on an excellent smoky hard cider.
Two Boots: The pre-packaged gluten-free crust at this popular NYC chain is an old standby. A fellow Hashi Posse friend of mine used to throw homemade pizza parties and this is where she’d always buy her crust. Since it’s pre-made, it can be a little bit dry and crunchy at times. But if you get one of Two Boots’ famously flamboyant topping combinations, you’re not likely to notice. The kitchen is not dedicated gluten-free, but very knowledgable about celiac safety. Their by the slice gluten-free options are kept in a separate display case and all gluten-free pizzas are warmed/cooked on baking sheets.
Dellarocco’s: BK folk who cry about not being able to go to Lucali’s, will find some options down the street at this pizza place. I didn’t find the toppings as flavorful or well balanced as Fornino, but for gluten-free pizza delivery in Brooklyn, it did not disappoint!
**Lean Crust: It’s rare to find a by the slice pizzeria where you can grab a small bite on the go. Mozzarellis was my go-to in Manhattan. And Lean Crust has replaced it as the best gluten-free slice joint in Brooklyn. Not only does the small Fort Greene storefront have several gluten-free pies to choose from, their whole mission is to preserve the New York style quality without the guilt. They use a separate oven and utensils for all gluten-free pies and also serve GF chicken wings and pasta. It’s become a real problem on my way home from the subway. Vegans will find a lot to love too.
Nicoletta: Though less celiac-friendly than some of these other eateries, I was very impressed with the quality of chef Michael White’s gluten-free options at his East Village pizza outpost. You can get any of the pies on a gluten-free crust, which is perfectly crisp and stands up to the fresh mozz, arugula and sausage (my preferred toppings).
Emporio: For the gluten intolerant who want to get a group together, Emporio is a great option. It’s easy to make a reservation for a larger table, and while the rest of your crew eat the usual fare, you can chow down on as much gluten-free pizza and pasta as you want. Warning to the celiacs: they cook their pasta separately, but the pizza goes in a shared oven.
Sauce: For a little non traditional low carb action, this lower east side restaurant was one of the first to hop on the cauli pizza train. The veggie crust is delicious, if not a dead ringer for the pizza of your childhood. Sauce is another good option for a gluten-free group dinner, as the menu is perfect for family style service. Make sure to try the drool-worthy polenta on a plank, and of course, a bowl of gluten-free pasta.
**NEW Loring Place: Dan Kluger’s first solo restaurant has a plethora of delicious gluten-free dishes, from Arctic char sashimi to gorgeous charred broccoli. But it’s the gluten-free grandma pie I come back for again and again. Made in a small sheet pan, this pizza is the same shape as a traditional Detroit-style slab pizza, but much thinner and crispier.
**NEW Emily: With a cult following at both their Brooklyn and West Village locations, it seemed like a miracle of miracles when this Detroit-style pizza joint began offering a gluten-free option for all their pies. The dough is made from Cup4Cup flour and ultra buoyant. I particularly loved the Arenstein pie pictured above which is topped with pepperoni, honey and jalapeno.
I haven’t personally tried these pies (though obviously, am planning on it shortly) but I’ve heard great things from the Feed Me Phoebe family about the following options. Celiacs should call ahead about cross-contamination issues ahead of time as I have not vetted.
Adoro Lei: For lots of health-conscious options, this is your jam.
Rossopomodoro: Apparently their pesto pie is a steep competitor to Keste’s. Be warned that the environment is not celiac-friendly.
Don Antonio: Midtown Manhattan folk, this one is for you.
Double Zero: Mathew Kenney’s plant-based pizza outpost has gluten-free options as well. Great for vegan folk who also avoid the wheat.
And Pizza: This anti-establishment pizza establishment allows you to create your own combo choosing from either a gluten-free or regular crust. They also have vegan cheese and sausage.
Pizza Beach: Even though The Infatuation panned this pizza pretty badly, they offer GF options and I’m adding to the list for Upper East Side folks in need of anything cheesy.
Marinara Pizza: Another Upper East Side option for cauliflower crusts!
Brick Oven Pizza 33: Another midtown East option for casual pies to go.
Da Nona Rosa: Gluten-free pizza delivery in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Sottocasa: Classic thin crust pizza on Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn – with a location in Harlem too!
Numero 28: A West Village classic that now serves gluten-free pizza. People have said they prefer it to Keste!
What do you think is the best gluten-free pizza in NYC? Please leave me your two cents and recommendations below! In particular, would love to hear some more places in Brooklyn that have delivery!! Asking for a friend…
New York Style Pizza
For the pizza dough
- ▢ 16 ounces bread flour* about 3 3/4 cups, plus more for dusting
- ▢ 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ▢ 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ▢ 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- ▢ 1 1/4 cups ice water
- ▢ 1 tablespoon vegetable oil plus more for the work surface and bowl
For the pizza sauce
- ▢ 1 (28-ounce) ca whole peeled tomatoes undrained
- ▢ 2 medium garlic cloves minced
- ▢ 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ▢ 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ▢ 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or more, to taste
- ▢ 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- ▢ 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
For the New York style pizza
- ▢ 1/4 cup semolina flour
- ▢ All-purpose flour for dusting
- ▢ 8 ounces low-moisture whole-milk mozzarella or more, shredded
Make the pizza dough
Make the pizza sauce
☞ TESTER TIP: You’ll likely have a lot more pizza sauce than you need. Freeze any remaining sauce for up to 3 months and thaw the next time a New York style pizza craving hits.
Assemble the New York style pizza
☞ TESTER TIP: If you don’t have a pizza peel, an overturned baking sheet will work nicely in its place. If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can assemble and cook the pizza on a heavy rimmed baking sheet.
*What's the difference between bread flour and all-purpose flour?
Recipe Testers' Reviews
I love to make pizza at home and I’ve struggled to find a dough that I enjoy but that's also easy to make. The one I'm currently using tastes pretty good but is very high maintenance, which is something I don't find attractive in pizza dough.
This dough, however, comes together quickly and easily. It does need an overnight rest but otherwise it's a snap. The rest period does make it so easy to handle that I can't imagine skipping it. I loved how relaxed and elastic the dough was it stretched out to a large, even size without tearing or shrinking up.
As well, the sauce is really good! I ended up with 3 1/2 cups. I used about half of that and froze the rest, I'm hoping that it’ll still be as good. It has a nice balance of flavours—not too acidic or sweet.
I actually ended up making the pizzas in a rectangular shape for 2 reasons. First, I'm not great with making a decent looking round pizza dough. I found it was easier to handle this way but it's just because I'm rather clumsy. As well, I don't have a pizza stone so instead I used my large, rectangular cast iron sheet pan. This worked exceptionally well and my big, rectangular pizza fit perfectly. They were bubbly and golden cheese with a crisp, chewy crust.
I really enjoyed testing this recipe. The process was easy and the results were delicious. And even though there wasn't much left over, the 2 pieces I reheated this afternoon were still very satisfying. The sauce took 5 minutes to make and the hands on time for the dough, in total, was 20 minutes. Honestly, aside from the overnight rest, this pizza comes together so quickly and easily that it's all done before you know it.
We had 4 servings with a little left over. I didn't serve it with much else, though, so it might go farther with a side salad. However, we were only interested in the pizza.
I don't know why but I'm always surprised when a recipe I make comes out just like "store bought" and it happened again with New York style pizza. The look and taste of this pie was bang-on just like any good slice I've had in New York City (and I've had my share over the years!). Crispy crust, tangy sauce and well cooked, bubbly cheese.
It’s time consuming—letting the dough rest overnight—but so worth it if you have the time. I think I just replaced my go-to pizza recipe. The recipe was not difficult but I disagree with the food processor method of making the dough. My food processor is on the small side and didn't work very well. I think it would come out just as good using traditional methods. I've made a lot of dough and never used the food processor so I might be biased. When I dumped the dough out of the food processor, it had a bunch of thick clumps of flour that I had to work out as best I could. Fortunately it didn't impact the end result. Often pizza dough tears when you're stretching it but this one didn’t, which was great. It was challenging because it kept wanting to shrink back together but persistence paid off.
Here's the final proof: Two pizzas, three people: Devoured.
The method suggested for stretching the dough did work although it took persistence because the dough kept shrinking back.
I got about 3 cups of delicious sauce. Total time was about 16 minutes. It's that easy.
This is a very good pizza that included a recipe for dough and for sauce. The dough recipe came together quickly in the food processor. I hadn’t used a food processor to make dough before, but I will going forward.
The dough was well flavored and easy to stretch. One problem for me is that my pizza peel only measures 12 inches, not 14 inches, as the recipe called for, so it did hang over the sides. The crust bakes up light, airy, and nicely browned.
The sauce recipe was also quick and easy, but a bit too spicy for my taste with 1/2 teaspoon of crushed pepper flakes. I used a can of Cento San Marzano whole tomatoes. Only 1 cup of sauce is needed for the pizzas so you’ll have leftovers.
I ran into trouble with the recommendation to bake the pizza on the upper shelf of my oven.
HUNGRY FOR MORE?
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I tried to make New York's best pizza at home with Lucali chef Mark Iacono
Herrine Ro: Today, I'm going to learn how to make the famous Lucali pizza at home with some help from the chef and owner, Mark Iacono. This should be interesting.
Mark Iacono: Yes. [things falling] Where'd you go?
Herrine: Hi, guys. I'm Herrine, and I'm a video producer at Insider. One of the perks of my job is getting to eat at a bunch of restaurants all around the world. One of the best things I've ever eaten in my life was the pizza at Lucali in Brooklyn, New York. So good. It tastes simple, but just, like, the perfect version of a pizza. The restaurant is so popular that people normally wait two or more hours just to put their names down to eat that day. [Skype ringtone]
Herrine: Hi, how are you?
Mark: How's quarantine going? [crickets chirping]
Herrine: I'm trying to entertain myself.
Mark: Where are you?
Herrine: I'm in Massachusetts now, so I don't think you can really do delivery. I'm gonna be here for a while now, so I was hoping that you could teach me how to make the best home version of your famous pizza.
Mark: I knew there was something up. [laughing]
Herrine: I had an ulterior motive. Is it possible to get anything close to your pizza at home?
Mark: I would definitely say yes. Let's go margherita, and especially for your first one. You know, you kind of gotta, like, you know, crawl before you walk.
Herrine: I mean, OK. Based off of how you taught me at the restaurant last time, do you think I'll do OK?
Mark: I think you'll be fine. I've seen a lot of people do pizza at home, and they just overthink it, you know. I'll teach you not to do that, and I think you'll be fine. First, we're going to make the dough.
Herrine: Do you know the, like, measurements that I should be putting in?
Mark: I'm gonna have to get back to you on that one. I just do it by hand and by eye, but I'm gonna have to do it to give you the precise measurements.
Herrine: So, I got all my ingredients, and I got Mark's recipe. Everything seems pretty straightforward. The only thing is that Mark's recipe makes eight pizza doughs and calls for three and a half pounds of flour. So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to take Mark's measurements and divide them by four, and hopefully things will turn out OK. It's just really a leap of faith here and, like, trusting that my math and eyeballing skills will come in for the rescue. Initially, I thought this was a little too dry, but it's coming together. It's a little sticky. So, I'm just supposed to knead this for 10 minutes. I'm gonna take it out of the bowl now.
Mark: You're looking for, like, a more, almost a very soft Play-Doh.
Herrine: This feels like soft Play-Doh. I went a little rogue, because after reading the recipe you sent me, it called for three and a half pounds of flour, and this is, like, sacred to me right now. It looks like this.
Mark: It looks great. I guess I forgot to tell you to. but it's OK, it's fine.
Herrine: What did you forget to tell me?
Mark: You gotta kind of, like, knead it a little, into a ball. You want me to show you how to do it? So, you kind of want to fold it in half, right? Now turn it the other way and fold it in half again. Like that, yeah. Perfect. Now grab a little less. Grab it close to the edges and fold it under. All right? And then you want to turn it upside down. After you do that about four, five times, and just, like, with your hand, I don't know if you can see this, trying to fold and close it up on the bottom.
Herrine: So, because I eyeballed it, like, is the texture right?
Mark: Yeah, it looks like you nailed it. Now, what you want to do to prevent it from drying out is you want to baste this in oil. And then just lightly place some Saran Wrap around it, and then just, like, give it some room to expand, you know.
Herrine: You said six hours in the recipe, but, like, can I just leave this overnight?
Mark: Absolutely. I prefer a longer proof. The temperature in the refrigerator will slow down the rising process. Look, done. That's it. Done. Put it in the fridge. Why are you stressing?
Herrine: I'm not stressing. Mark: You made the dough fantastic.
Herrine: I will call you tomorrow when I'm ready to roll out the pizza and do final assembly.
Herrine: It's a new day, and let's see if they rose. I really don't think that they rose too much. I'm just gonna let them chill here while I make the sauce. How am I going to make a sauce with canned tomato sauce to taste anything like yours? So, that's the sauce that I need?
Mark: Del Monte tomato sauce, yes. You're going to need about 45 minutes, you know, cook time.
Herrine: So, I don't have Del Monte. I got Hunt's.
Mark: We're gonna bring it to a boil. We're gonna put garlic, a little bit of onion, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and a little sugar.
Herrine: And do I dump all of that in all at once and then let it cook?
Mark: Yeah. Again, it's that easy. And then bring it to a boil. Let it cool. Bring it to a second boil, and just let it sit for, like, 15, 20 minutes.
Herrine: Is there a reason why you double boil it?
Mark: Yeah. I try not to overcook it.
Herrine: If there's one thing that I nail on this pizza, it's gonna be the sauce, because, from my memory, this tastes almost exactly like the sauce at his restaurant.
Mark: Supermarket cheese, huh. You're gonna need a low-moisture, low-fat cheese. Believe it or not, you know what works great? Polly-O. If you can, get buffalo mozzarella. I like to use the buffalo because of its moisture content, which is a little higher, and when cooking at home, you know, you want to use something, you know, you want to add moisture to the pizza. I mean, if you have access to it. If not, we'll just go with the Polly-O. Parmesan cheese.
Herrine: Mm-hmm. Fresh Parmesan cheese?
Mark: Fresh Parm. Herrine: This was what I got.
Herrine: And because they didn't have buffalo mozzarella, I just got fresh mozzarella.
Herrine: That'll do?
Mark: That'll do.
Herrine: What do you think are, like, the biggest mistakes that people do making pizza at home?
Mark: Everything needs to be prepared.
Herrine: Am I shredding all the cheeses?
Mark: You can shred. I like to just slice it.
Herrine: That seems thin enough. Mark: We're gonna break up some buffalo.
Herrine: So, I'm just gonna hand-tear this. Mark: You can grate some Parmesan cheese and have it ready for when the pizza comes out, and we're just gonna sprinkle it on top.
Herrine: Mark said that I need a full wine bottle to roll out the dough.
Mark: You're gonna need to use a wine bottle, probably, because the dough is very hard, because it's so cold.
Herrine: The bad news is I forgot and drank the bottle I was gonna use. So I need to go buy a new one. I got the wine bottle, and now I'm ready to roll my pizza. Everything so far has gone surprisingly well. The tomato sauce that I made, it tastes very similar to yours.
Mark: Good, good. That's what we were hoping for.
Herrine: I have my oven on 500. I have my baking pan.
Mark: Wait, what's that for?
Herrine: You said to cook it on the baking pan.
Mark: Yeah, but that baking pan needs to be in the oven. It needs to be hot. Don't burn yourself! [oven clattering]
Herrine: Quick question. Does it matter, like, what rack it's on in the oven?
Mark: I think you said your heat source was from the top, so we want to go low.
Herrine: Oh, OK, so the very lowest rack?
Herrine: So, I took the dough out of the fridge. Looks like this.
Mark: Looks good. Except for that little hole you put in there yesterday. You got bubbles on it? You just pressed on something.
Herrine: I don't really see any bubbles.
Mark: OK, good.
Herrine: Is that a good thing?
Herrine: Oh, OK. Yeah.
Mark: Ready to rock.
Mark: We're ready to roll.
Herrine: We're ready to roll.
Mark: You got your wine bottle? Or your rolling pin?
Mark: Perfect, all right. Dip the dough in the flour. Flour it up. Both sides, get it all floured, the whole thing. Throw some flour on the counter. You're going to roll the dough now. Kind of place the bottle in the center. Right now - I mean, grab the bottle like, you know.
Herrine: Oh, like this?
Mark: I'm trying to figure out what your left. your watch is on your left?
Herrine: This is my left. This is my right.
Mark: OK, so hold onto the neck of the bottle with your left hand, and kinda grab, but stick your finger - is it a hollowed-out bottle?
Mark: Yeah, just, like, stick a few fingers in there and put, you know, this part of your hand on top of the bottle. There you go. Press and roll out.
Herrine: Like this? OK.
Mark: Move away from you. Right, good. Now pick up, go back to the center, and pull it towards you. But you got to go all the way off the edge of the dough. All right, so now you kind of got, like, a square.
Mark: Now turn it, like, on a 45. Kinda. And roll out that way. Do the center out. You just want to start rolling from the center out, but make it round. You're doing great. You hear a little popping and crackling? So, what you're doing is you're rolling out the fermentation. My dough, we roll the fermentation out. So you're gonna lose that barley, hoppy flavor. Now what you want to do is flip it over. Flour the top. Put some flour on top of it. That'll stop it from sticking to the counter. Pick it up and flip it over, and then as soon as it's rolled out, we're gonna place it on a peel.
Herrine: What if I don't have a pizza peel?
Mark: You can use a baking sheet. Upside down. And I really can't tell how big it is from here.
Herrine: I have a measuring tape.
Mark: You really do have a measuring tape.
Herrine: It's, like, 13 inches.
Mark: OK. I hope that fits on your baking tray. Before you even do that, sprinkle some flour onto your baking tray. We don't like to use that much flour on the peel, but for beginners, I suggest using it. When you take the pie out, you may want to, like, brush the bottom a little.
Mark: Get rid of some of that excess. But, you know, if you don't have a lot of experience getting a pizza off a peel, flour's your friend in this case. Let's get that dough on top of the peel. Now you want to get the dough as close to the left edge of the peel as possible. Get it all the way to the edge, to the left. Don't worry about that hanging over. Get it all the way to the left. Perfect. All right, you're ready to go. You know, all right, you know what? Let's practice doing it on the counter. And we're going to go from the baking tray onto the counter, as if you were putting it in the oven. Now go all the way in, not - towards - OK, good, great! You did it!
Herrine: Wait, was that not how I was supposed to do it?
Mark: No, but if you want to make sure that you're in the oven, you're all the way in the oven.
Mark: Next. You ready?
Mark: Now, what we're going to do is, it's the sauce and the two cheeses. Get rid of the wine bottle. Put it far away. We don't want any accidents. Right in the middle. Now, you know how to do this. Just drop the spoon in the center. Start with small circles, smaller, and then just start working your way to the edge. You can make bigger circles. [laughing]
Mark: I think you're good.
Mark: Now get your low-moisture cheese, thin-sliced. Now you want to grab the fresh mozzarella. Cover the red now. Cover the red spots.
Mark: All right, that's it. Let's get it in the oven. You're gonna put it all the way into the oven. Start shaking it off. Once it hits that thing, then like you did earlier. You got the perfect view. You did great.
Herrine: Oh, I did it! That wasn't too bad! Right? I'll see you in 10 minutes?
Mark: All right - no - yes, OK.
Herrine: Wait, hold on.
Mark: I just don't wanna leave you. [laughing]
Cameraman: What are you doing?
Herrine: Mark said that I have to check on the pizza, and because we don't have an oven light, I'm using my flashlight and just making sure that the dough is cooking. And then when the cheese starts bubbling, I'm gonna put aluminum foil on top.
Mark: You know, I'm not a fan of that, when the cheese browns on top.
Herrine: Uh-huh. Yeah, you don't see that at the restaurant. I think it's ready. Yeah, there's, like, little charred bits on the ends.
Mark: Wow! Now it looks really, really good. Listen, just sprinkle some cheese on top. Let's cut it. Do you have a pizza cutter? I prefer you use a knife.
Herrine: This is what I have.
Mark: Yeah, perfect. [crunching] It sounds nice and crispy.
Herrine: It does!
Mark: I love that crisp. Throw some basil on it and eat it. Are you gonna cry when you bite into this?
Herrine: I don't know.
Mark: OK, take a bite.
Herrine: Show you - ooh, I got flour everywhere.
Mark: You did great. I gotta get you a pizza cutter. See, that looks really, really good on the bottom. A little bit more heat is all we need. The crust looks fantastic. I think we just need to get the bottom a little, you know, a little bit more heat on the bottom. Another thing you can do is use cornmeal on the bottom.
Herrine: Then is there anything else?
Mark: I think that's it. I mean, it was really, really close.
Herrine: If I could rate this, 10 being, like, the closest thing to your pizza, I would give this, like, a. very generous seven.
Mark: Uh-huh, OK. First time, like, you know, cooking it in an oven that, you know, you have no clue what it's gonna do to the pizza, I think you did great.
Herrine: But other than that, I'm, like, shocked.
Mark: Don't go opening up a pizzeria now. [laughing]
Herrine: I might! I was not expecting a home-cooked version to come even close to what it was.
Mark: Do you think I'd steer you wrong?
Herrine: No, I never doubted you. I doubted my cooking skills, this oven, and everything that I have.
Mark: Listen, you did it.
Herrine: All right. Thank you, Mark! [pizza crunching] I am shocked at how good this came out. I have a lot more confidence in myself. Not only was this my first time making pizza at home, from scratch completely, but it was my first time trying to make pizza that is arguably the most famous in New York, and I came pretty close to it. I feel like a lot of you who are watching this will get a lot closer to the actual thing, but for what I had and my capability, this came very close to the restaurant version. If 10 was, like, the closest, like, perfect, what would you give this?