Table of Contents
- Brooklyn-style pizza crust vs hand-tossed – What is the difference?
- Why was Brooklyn-style pizza named so?
- Why was hand-tossed pizza named so?
- Key differences between Brooklyn style pizza crust and hand-tossed
- Recipe of Brooklyn pizza dough
- The hand-tossed pizza crust recipe
- Related Questions
- Final Thoughts
Brooklyn-style pizza crust vs hand-tossed – What is the difference?
People often ask what the difference is between Brooklyn-style pizza crust and hand-tossed. The answer? The dough. A Brooklyn-style crust uses yeast to make its base while a hand-tossed crust relies on baking powder or an egg wash for leavening.
As you might guess, this gives the former a chewier texture while the latter is fluffier and lighter in color. It’s all about preference!
But this is not the only difference between the two styles. Many factors differentiate these two pizzas.
Let’s discuss them all!
Why was Brooklyn-style pizza named so?
The first pizzas were created in Naples, Italy. But the style of pizza that we know today as Brooklyn-style came about in the 1970s when Italian immigrants started making pizza in their homes and selling it on the street corners of Brooklyn. That’s why these are called Brooklyn-style pizza.
Today, this pizza is known for its thin crust, which is made by using a lot of oil and high heat. The sauce is also typically placed on top of the cheese, rather than underneath it.
Why was hand-tossed pizza named so?
Interestingly, hand-tossed pizza was created by Pizza Hut. In the 1960s, the pizza chain wanted a product with a thin and crispy crust so they hired an Italian immigrant from Chicago to create one. He tossed the dough in the air repeatedly to get it to stretch out thin. There’s also a bit of a debate on who named it “hand-tossed” but many believe that the pizza maker named it himself.
Key differences between Brooklyn style pizza crust and hand-tossed
As mentioned above, hand-tossed pizzas use baking powder or an egg wash to create leavening which makes them fluffier and lighter in color.
Brooklyn-style crusts are typically thicker than hand-tossed pizzas because of the chewy texture that’s created due to the yeast used for fermentation.
According to Livestrong, most Brooklyn-style pizzas use pizza sauce that has been cooked in a pot before it’s put on the dough. Also, the sauce is typically placed on top of the cheese instead of underneath it.
Hand-tossed pizzas avoid this because they’re typically topped with ingredients like pepperoni and sausage which would make it difficult to put the sauce on afterward.
As mentioned earlier, Brooklyn-style pizzas have a thicker crust while hand-tossed pizzas are thinner. This is due to the way that the dough is tossed. Brooklyn-style pizza dough is not tossed as much as the hand-tossed variety, which is why it becomes thicker.
Brooklyn-style pizzas typically use a blend of mozzarella and Parmesan while hand-tossed pizzas use only mozzarella cheese. The type of cheese may seem trivial but it actually makes a difference in the flavor of each pizza.
Cheese is made up of fats, which are essential to creating flavor. However, cheese is only able to contribute about half the fat content of the dough while butter typically contributes 3 or 4 times that amount.
The cooking process
Brooklyn-style pizzas are cooked at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time while hand-tossed pizzas are cooked at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time.
This is because the dough for the Brooklyn-style pizza is more forgiving. It can withstand higher temperatures without becoming too crispy or dry.
Brooklyn-style pizzas are typically more crunchy than hand-tossed pizzas. This is because they’re cooked at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time.
Brooklyn-style pizzas have a chewier texture than hand-tossed pizzas because of the yeast that’s used in the dough.
Hand-tossed pizzas typically have a larger diameter than Brooklyn-style pizza. This is because it takes up more space to fold the dough over and over again.
The crust of the hand-tossed pizza also tends to be lighter in color than that of the Brooklyn-style pizza which has a darker crust due to the high amount of oil that’s used.
Generally speaking, a hand-tossed pizza takes only a little more time to prepare than a Brooklyn-style pizza.
The reason being is that the dough for the hand-tossed pizzas has to ferment for at least 12 hours while most Brooklyn-style pizzas can be made in as little as three hours by using pre-made dough.
Spices and toppings
Hand-tossed pizzas tend to use stronger spices and toppings. This is because they can hold up to the thicker dough without getting entirely lost in the flavors.
Brooklyn-style pizzas are typically topped with more delicate flavors. They can be made using a variety of ingredients like potatoes, peppers, onions, and tomatoes.
Recipe of Brooklyn pizza dough
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup tepid water
3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon salt
1. Combine the yeast and warm water in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve the yeast. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir the flour and salt into the yeast mixture to make a soft dough. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
2. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). Punch down the dough. Form it into a ball and roll it out on an oiled pizza pan to about 0.25 inches thick or 12 inches in diameter, using your fingers to shape the rim of the crust.
Spread with your favorite toppings and bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust begin turning golden brown.
The hand-tossed pizza crust recipe
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for greasing
2 teaspoons salt
- In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Stir in 2 cups flour and oil. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until bubbly. Stir in salt and remaining flour to make a stiff dough.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes, adding enough of the remaining 1/2 cup flour as necessary to prevent sticking.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Punch down the dough and divide it into two parts. Roll each part out on a lightly floured surface until 1/4 inch thick or 10 inches in diameter.
- Transfer the dough to lightly greased baking sheets, cover, and let rise for 15 minutes more.
- Spread with your favorite toppings and bake for 25 minutes, or until the crust begins turning golden brown.
Which one is better?
That’s a tough question to answer because it really depends on your preferences. If you’re looking for a light and crispy crust, then the hand-tossed pizza is definitely the way to go.
Some people prefer the crunchiness and chewiness of the Brooklyn-style pizza crust while others prefer the light and fluffy texture of the hand-tossed pizza crust. That’s up for debate!
At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference!
Which style is more popular?
Probably Brooklyn-style. It is known for its thin crust. Although hand-tossed pizza does have a thinner crust than a deep dish, it is also considered to be in its own category because of the way the dough is tossed.
There are many different variations of hand-tossed pizza, so it’s difficult to say which one is more popular. However, if we looked at just the traditional version, then Brooklyn-style would be the clear winner.
Which pizza is widely eaten in the U.S?
Both styles are eaten widely in the U.S., but Brooklyn-style pizza is probably more popular. Hand-tossed pizzas are mostly found in pizzerias while Brooklyn-style pizzas are available at most pizza chains.
In conclusion, there are several key differences between Brooklyn-style pizza crust and hand-tossed pizzas. The dough is one of the most noticeable distinctions because Brooklyn-style pizzas use a thicker crust while hand-tossed pizzas use a thinner crust.
So next time you order a pizza, think about the crust and what type of dough you like best. You can decide whether or not you like it thick or thin!