New England Greek pizza is a cross between a New York Neapolitan and a fast food pan pizza… but in the best way. In true transparency, this was the most difficult pizza to get just right. Thanks to several (more than several) test pizzas and a little help from the internet, I found that the key lies in the shortening in the pizza pan and the combination of cheeses. The result is a remarkably crisp pizza that is deliciously heavy and rich, with a burnt cheese crust that you’ll dream about later.
New England Greek Pizza
- 2 1/4 cups bread flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1 packet IDY
- 12 ” Cast iron pan
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ cups crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
- 8 ounces freshly grated mozzarella
- 4 ounces freshly grated provolone
- 4 ounces white cheddar
- 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano
- In your stand mixer or large bowl, combine water, sugar, yeast, and one cup of flour. Gently combine and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Following the rest period begin to mix (use the hook attachment on your stand mixer) on low. Gently pour in remaining flour, salt, and oil. Let mix for 8 minutes on medium low speed (scraping the bowl as needed to keep the dough in the bowl). The dough will be very tacky, that’s good!
- Transfer dough to a large bowl (sprayed with non-stick will help) and let rise in the fridge overnight.
- As dough rises, combine olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, and a pinch of salt into small saucepot. Cook on low, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add in crushed tomatoes and Italian seasoning and bring to just a simmer, whisking to melt in tomato paste. Simmer covered on low for 30! minutes, then chill for future use.
- Remove dough from fridge 2-3 hours before cooking.
- Preheat oven to 475 deg F and move a rack to the lower 1/3 of the oven. Grease the cast iron pan liberally with the shortening; you will use just shy of ¼ cup. Move the dough onto a floured surface and form into a 12” circle. Move the dough into the pan, press it into the sides to form the slightest of crusts, and let rise for another 30 minutes.
- Following the bench proof, top pizza with 1 ½ cups of sauce and the cheese, pushing the cheese right out to the pan. Finish with any toppings and the parmesan. Bake the pizza for 14-16 minutes or until deeply golden and charred around the edges.
- Once cooked, use a butter knife to free the pizza from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into slices, and devour.