What Is A Brooklyn Style Crust: A Thin Crust Lover’s Dream

If you’ve ever wondered, “What is a Brooklyn Style crust?” you’re in the right place. The Brooklyn Style crust is a distinct pizza crust originating from New York City’s Brooklyn borough. Known for its thin yet chewy texture and crispy outer edge, the Brooklyn-style crust offers a unique twist on the traditional pizza experience. Whether you’re a pizza aficionado or simply curious about regional pizza styles, exploring the characteristics and flavors of the Brooklyn-style crust is a delicious journey worth taking.

The History Of Brooklyn-Style Pizza

The History Of Brooklyn-style Pizza

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Brooklyn-style pizza has a rich history that dates back to the early 1900s. It originated in the Italian-American neighborhoods of Brooklyn, New York, where immigrant families brought their traditional pizza-making skills from Naples, Italy. The pizza was initially made in coal-fired brick ovens, which imparted a distinctive smoky flavor to the crust.

One of the pioneers of Brooklyn-style pizza was Lombardi’s, which opened its doors in 1905 and is often credited as the first pizzeria in the United States. Lombardi’s used a thin, hand-stretched crust and topped with simple but flavorful ingredients, such as tomato sauce, cheese, and fresh basil.

Over the years, Brooklyn-style pizza became synonymous with quality and authenticity. Many other pizzerias in Brooklyn followed suit, with each one putting their unique spin on the classic recipe. The pizza became a staple in the local community and gained popularity beyond the borough.

In recent years, Brooklyn-style pizza has gained nationwide recognition and is now enjoyed by pizza enthusiasts all over the country. Its thin crust, crispy texture, and flavorful toppings have won the hearts of many, making it a favorite among pizza lovers who appreciate a lighter, less doughy pizza experience.

Today, you can find numerous pizzerias in Brooklyn and beyond, each offering their version of the iconic Brooklyn-style crust. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic plain slice or a pizza loaded with toppings, Brooklyn-style pizza continues to satisfy the cravings of pizza lovers everywhere.

Characteristics Of A Brooklyn-Style Crust

A Brooklyn-style crust is characterized by its thin and crispy texture and a distinct chewiness that sets it apart from other pizza crusts. Here are the key characteristics that make a Brooklyn-style crust so beloved:

  1. Thinness: A Brooklyn-style crust is thin, allowing a satisfying balance between the crust and the toppings. It is not overly doughy or thick, ensuring each bite is flavorful.
  2. Crispy yet chewy: The crust is baked to perfection, achieving a golden-brown color and a delightful crunch when you take a bite. However, it also has a chewiness that adds depth to the pizza-eating experience.
  3. Puffy edge: One signature characteristic of a Brooklyn-style crust is its puffy edge. This rim is slightly thicker than the rest of the crust, providing a satisfying end to each slice.
  4. Lightness: Despite being thin, a Brooklyn-style crust manages to have a light and airy quality. It is not weighed down by excessive amounts of dough, allowing the toppings to shine.
  5. Flexibility: The thinness of a Brooklyn-style crust makes it easy to fold, just like a true New Yorker. This flexibility adds to the overall enjoyment of the pizza, making it easy to eat on the go or savor at the table.

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The Dough-Making Process For A Brooklyn-Style Crust

A Brooklyn-style crust’s dough-making process is crucial in achieving the desired texture and flavor. It involves a few key steps that contribute to this style of pizza’s thin and crispy nature.

  1. Mixing the ingredients: The dough for a Brooklyn-style crust typically consists of flour, water, yeast, salt, and sometimes a small amount of sugar or olive oil. These ingredients are mixed together until they form a cohesive ball of dough.
  2. Kneading the dough: The dough must be kneaded to develop the gluten, which gives the crust its chewiness. This process typically takes 5-10 minutes, depending on the recipe. Kneading can be done by hand or with the help of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  3. Resting the dough: Once the dough is kneaded, it needs to rest and rise for a period of time. This allows the yeast to ferment and release carbon dioxide, which creates air pockets in the dough. Resting time can range from a few hours overnight, depending on the desired flavor and texture.
  4. Shaping the dough: After the dough has rested, it is divided into individual portions and shaped into balls. Depending on personal preference, these balls are then stretched and flattened into thin circles or rectangles.
  5. Pre-baking the dough: To achieve the characteristic crispy texture, the dough is often pre-baked for a short period of time before adding toppings. This helps to partially cook the crust and prevent it from becoming soggy.

Toppings Commonly Found On A Brooklyn-Style Pizza

Toppings Commonly Found On A Brooklyn-style Pizza

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Toppings play a crucial role in creating the perfect Brooklyn-style pizza. The combination of toppings can greatly enhance the flavors and complement the thin crust. While the options for toppings are endless and can vary based on personal preference, some classic and popular toppings are commonly found on a Brooklyn-style pizza.

One of the most iconic toppings is pepperoni. The thin slices of spicy, cured meat add a savory and slightly spicy kick to the pizza. Another favorite is sausage, whether crumbled or sliced, adding a rich and hearty flavor. Mozzarella cheese is a staple on a Brooklyn-style pizza, providing a creamy and melty texture that perfectly complements the crispy crust.

Other commonly found toppings include mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, and olives, adding a variety of flavors and textures to the pizza. Some pizza lovers also enjoy adding fresh basil leaves or sprinkling red pepper flakes for extra flavor and heat.

How To Achieve A Crispy Yet Chewy Brooklyn-Style Crust At Home

The right technique and ingredients can achieve a crispy yet chewy Brooklyn-style crust at home. Here are some tips to help you recreate this beloved pizza style in your kitchen.

  1. Start with the right dough: Use high-protein flour like bread flour to give your crust structure and chewiness. You can also enhance the flavor by adding a small amount of sugar and olive oil to the dough.
  2. Let the dough rest: After kneading the dough, allow it to rest and rise for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator. This long fermentation period enhances the flavor and texture of the crust.
  3. Roll out the dough thin: Brooklyn-style crust is known for its thinness, so roll out your dough into a large, thin circle. Stretching the dough by hand can also help create a lighter and airier texture.
  4. Preheat your oven and use a pizza stone: Preheat your oven to its highest temperature and place a pizza stone on the bottom rack. This will help create a crispy bottom crust.
  5. Bake on a hot surface: Before placing the pizza on the stone, preheat it for at least 30 minutes. This will ensure the crust gets crispy and browned on the bottom.
  6. Bake it hot and fast: Bake the pizza at the highest temperature your oven allows, typically around 500-550 degrees Fahrenheit. This high heat will help create a crispy crust while keeping the interior chewy.
  7. Use a pizza peel: Use a pizza peel or a flat baking sheet to transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. This will prevent the dough from sticking and help maintain its shape during baking.

Where To Find The Best Brooklyn-Style Pizza In Brooklyn

Where To Find The Best Brooklyn-style Pizza In Brooklyn

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When finding the best Brooklyn-style pizza in Brooklyn, several iconic pizzerias are worth visiting. These establishments have perfected the art of creating the perfect thin and crispy yet chewy crust that Brooklynites know and love.

One of the top spots to try is Juliana’s, located in the DUMBO neighborhood. Owned by the legendary pizzaiolo Patsy Grimaldi, Juliana’s serves up classic Brooklyn-style pies made with hand-crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and a perfectly charred crust.

Another must-visit pizzeria is Di Fara Pizza in Midwood. This legendary joint has been serving up its famous square slices since 1964. The crust at Di Fara’s is thin and crispy, with a slightly chewy texture in the center. The secret to their delicious pies is high-quality ingredients, including imported Italian cheeses and freshly made dough.

If you’re in the Park Slope area, stop by Franny’s. Known for its wood-fired pizzas, Franny’s dough is made with a slow-rising process that results in a light and airy crust, yet it still has that desired crispiness.

For a unique twist on the Brooklyn-style pizza, head over to Emily in Clinton Hill. Their signature Emmy pizza features a perfectly charred crust topped with mozzarella, banana peppers, and ranch dressing. It’s a flavor combination that will keep you coming back for more.

No matter which pizzeria you choose, you can trust that these Brooklyn establishments will deliver on the promise of a delicious Brooklyn-style pizza with a crispy yet chewy crust that will leave you wanting more. So go ahead and take a culinary journey through Brooklyn and discover the best spots for this iconic pizza style.

Tips For Ordering Or Making A Brooklyn-Style Pizza Just The Way You Like It

Ordering or making a Brooklyn-style pizza just as you like is all about understanding your preferences and making the right choices. Here are some tips to help you achieve your ideal Brooklyn-style pizza:

  1. Crust thickness: If you prefer a thinner crust, specify that when ordering. You can also adjust the thickness of the crust when making it at home by rolling the dough out to your desired thickness.
  2. Toppings: Customize your toppings according to your taste. Traditional Brooklyn-style pizzas usually have simple toppings like tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and select toppings. However, feel free to experiment and add your favorite ingredients to make it your own.
  3. Cheese: Opt for fresh mozzarella cheese for an authentic Brooklyn-style pizza. The cheese should be sliced thin and evenly distributed across the pizza to ensure proper melting and flavor.
  4. Sauce: The sauce on a Brooklyn-style pizza is typically made with hand-crushed tomatoes, giving it a slightly sweet and tangy flavor. If you prefer a more robust sauce, look for pizzerias that offer different sauce options.
  5. Cooking method: Brooklyn-style pizzas are often cooked in high-temperature ovens, which contribute to the crispiness and charred edges. If making it at home, try using a pizza stone or a hot oven to achieve a similar result.
  6. Slices vs. whole pie: If you prefer a smaller serving, opt for ordering pizza by the slice. This allows you to sample different flavors and combinations. However, specify the size and number of slices if you want a whole pie.

By following these tips, you can enjoy a delicious Brooklyn-style pizza tailored to your liking, whether you order it from a pizzeria or make it at home.

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