New Haven Style Pizza Dough

This is a typical New Haven style pizza dough recipe – flour, water, salt, and yeast. That’s it - no oil or sugar added. It is likely to be a wetter dough than you may be used to (68%) hydration but it is still workable by hand (you can use a mixer though if preferred). When baked in a home oven at around 500 degrees F for 7 and 9 minutes, it will produce a beautiful thin, little crispy, little chewy crust which is full of flavor. This recipe requires cold fermentation in the refrigerator for 24 hours to develop the gluten structure, depth of flavor and to make it super easy to shape, so make it the day or two before you plan to make the pizza.

New Haven Style Pizza Dough Recipe



Makes three (3) 14 inch pizzas





  • Dissolve yeast in warm water
  • Once dissolved, add ¾ of the water to the flour and mix in the bowl by hand for about 1-2 minutes
  • Sprinkle salt over the dough. Add a little salt at a time, mix with hands, add more salt, mix, etc., until all the salt has been added and has been thoroughly blended.*
  • Continue mixing the dough adding a little water at a time. Once you have added all the water and the dough is roughly formed into ball, scrape out the dough and place on the counter.
  • Knead the dough for about 10 minutes.
    • Push the dough away from you with your palms, then the fold the dough back over itself, then push back out again with your palms. Rotate the dough 45 degrees every few times and repeat the process.
    • Although the dough may be sticky at first, do not add any more water or flour as this will change the hydration ratio. Keep working the dough and as the flour absorbs the water, it will become easier to work with.
  • Cover dough with a bowl and let it rest for 15 minutes for the flour to continue to absorb the water.
  • Uncover and continue kneading with the ‘Slap and Fold’ technique.
    • Put water on your hands and pat the dough on the top. Pick up the dough with two hands; pick up from the middle of the dough on two sides (right and left side), pick up well off the counter and stretch sideways a bit, then slap down the dough mass back down onto the counter. Rotate 45 degrees, pick up and repeat the slap and fold technique 5 or 6 times. Shape into a large ball and moisten the top of the dough.
  • Cover and rest for 1 hour
  • Put dough back on bench and divide into 3 equal pieces. Each about 330 g.
  • Make dough balls
    • Cut dough into dough balls about 330 grams each. Pick up a ball and stretch one side of the dough ball under itself so that it is now on the bottom of the ball. Rotate 45 degrees and repeat 5 or 6 times. You are creating some surface tension on the top of the dough ball in this step. Pinch together any seams on the bottom of the ball. Put seam side down on surface. Drag the formed dough ball across the counter surface toward you to create bit more surface tension. Top should be smooth and a little bouncy.
  • Lightly spray some olive oil in a 6 cup container (bottom and sides)
  • Place one dough ball in each container and cover.
  • Refrigerate for 18 to 48 hours (24 hrs is ideal)
  • Take out of refrigerator and keep covered.
    • Let dough rest at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours before shaping


    • Place dough on top of lots of flour on the counter and coat the side, top and bottom with the flour and place on lightly floured work space.
    • Stretch the dough from the middle outward to form a circle of about 8 to 10 inches by gently pushing the center of the dough outward with the bottoms of your fingers. Then lift the dough onto the back of your hands and gently shape to 14 “ circle by rotating the dough around the tops of the back of your hands. Take care not to use your fingers to shape the round (they will poke holes in the dough) and not to make the center too thin.
    • New Haven pizzas are seldom round so don’t worry if it is not a perfect circle. It is not meant to be.
    • Wipe excess flour from the dough and place some semolina (fine ground) on peel and transfer dough to the peel.
    • Top the dough with your favorite toppings and bake. See topping recipe for baking times and baking technique.

    Some people prefer to add the salt at a later stage believing that the salt kills or interferes with the activation of the yeast. However, salt does not kill the yeast, it just slows fermentation process down somewhat which is okay. We will be fermenting the dough in the refrigerator for 24 hours which also slows down the fermentation. This slow fermentation process helps develop a strong gluten structure and a deeper, richer, more flavorful crust. It also makes the dough much easier to stretch.


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