What Is Brooklyn Style Pizza? | Brooklyn Pizza Magic

Brooklyn-style pizza holds a special place in the culinary legacy of New York and the United States. With its thin, foldable crust, sweet tomato sauce, and plentiful melted cheese, this iconic pizza style has become a cherished part of American food culture. This article will take you on a journey to find out what is Brooklyn Style Pizza.

The Origins of Brooklyn-Style Pizza

Historical Context

Pizza first emerged in New York City during the early 1900s when Italian immigrants brought over their culinary traditions. But it wasn’t until post-World War II that pizzerias started popping up across Brooklyn, giving rise to the beloved Brooklyn pizza style.

This type of pizza distinguished itself from the earlier Neapolitan-style pizza already popular in Manhattan. While Neapolitan pizza had a soft, chewy crust and fresh mozzarella cheese, Brooklyn pizza used crusts that were thinner and crisper, and low-moisture mozzarella that melted into gooey goodness.

Cultural Significance

Over the decades, Brooklyn-style pizza became ingrained into the borough’s cultural identity. The classic New York slice became an affordable, quick meal for Brooklyn families and workers. Eating a hot slice folded in half while walking down the busy streets gave diners the quintessential New York experience.

Beyond just sustenance, pizzerias also served as social hubs for local communities. The casual, lively atmosphere of these restaurants reflected the borough’s down-to-earth sensibilities. Brooklyn-style pizza came to embody the cultural diversity, blue-collar grit, and culinary innovation of this influential borough.

What Is Brooklyn Style Pizza?

Defining Characteristics

Brooklyn Style Pizza: A Unique Pizza Experience

  • Brooklyn Style pizza is a popular style known for its thin and crispy crust, distinctive toppings, and foldable slices. Here is a breakdown of what makes Brooklyn Style pizza special based on the search results:Brooklyn Style pizza is a popular style known for its thin and crispy crust, distinctive toppings, and foldable slices. Here is a breakdown of what makes Brooklyn Style pizza special based on the search results:

Characteristics of Brooklyn Style Pizza:

  • Crust: Brooklyn Style pizza features a thin, stretchy crust that is thinner than traditional offerings, often dusted with cornmeal for a unique texture.
  • Toppings: Domino’s Brooklyn Style pizza is generously topped with a wide range of toppings, allowing for customization, although heavy toppings may not be suitable due to the thin crust.
  • Size: The slices of Brooklyn Style pizza are typically larger, allowing for the classic New York ‘fold and eat’ approach.
  • Cheese: Provolone is often used more than mozzarella in Brooklyn Style pizza, giving it a creamier taste.

Serving and Enjoying Brooklyn Style Pizza:

  • Eating Style: The most common way to enjoy Brooklyn Style pizza is by folding the slice in half to capture all the flavors in one bite.
  • Customization: Restaurants and pizzerias offer various topping options for Brooklyn Style pizza, catering to different preferences such as BBQ chicken, spinach, meatball, sausage, garlic, and more.

Comparison with Hand Tossed Pizza:

  • Hand Tossed vs. Brooklyn Style: Hand Tossed pizza offers a more traditional experience with a thicker, sturdier crust that can support multiple toppings well, while Brooklyn Style provides a unique thin-crust dining experience with generous toppings.

Comparison with Other Styles

How does Brooklyn pizza differ from other popular pizza types? Here’s a quick comparison:

  • Neapolitan: Soft, chewy crust; fresh mozzarella; two-person pies.
  • Sicilian: Thick, spongy crust; tomato sauce on top; rectangular shape.
  • New York: Thinner crust; less sauce; more grease than Neapolitan.
  • Chicago: Buttery deep-dish crust; inverted toppings and cheese; eaten with a fork.
  • Greek: Fluffy, oil-brushed crust; tangy sauce; sprinkled with oregano.

The Culinary Art of Brooklyn-Style Pizza

Ingredients and Preparation

The key to great Brooklyn pizza lies in its ingredients and preparation:

The Crust

  • High-protein bread flour allows it to crisp up nicely in the oven.
  • The dough is hand-stretched to create the signature thinness.
  • It proofed just right to develop air bubbles and chewiness in the crust.

The Sauce

  • San Marzano tomatoes offer rich, sweet flavor.
  • A touch of olive oil and seasonings like oregano, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
  • Ladled over the crust judiciously to prevent sogginess.

The Cheese

  • Low-moisture mozzarella allows the cheese to caramelize instead of making the pizza watery.
  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano for sharp, salty flavor.

The Toppings

  • Classic meats like pepperoni, sausage, bacon, or meatballs.
  • Veggie toppings such as mushrooms, peppers, onions, olives.
  • Fresh basil leaves or parsley for herbal notes.

Technical Aspects

To create authentic Brooklyn-style pizza, the techniques and equipment matter just as much:

  • High-heat ovens: Ideal are coal, wood, or gas deck ovens reaching 500°F to crisp the crust.
  • Dough fermentation: The dough needs several days of slow fermentation to develop complex flavors.
  • Baking time: The pizza bakes for 6-8 minutes to get the characteristic char and melt.
  • Turning and rotation: Bakers need to periodically turn and rotate the pizza for even cooking.

Consumer Trends and Preferences

Over the decades, fans of Brooklyn-style pizza have influenced some important trends:

The Rise of Gourmet and Artisanal Pizzas

While traditional neighborhood pizzerias remain beloved institutions, many new gourmet pizza restaurants have popped up to meet changing consumer demand. These spots offer creative, chef-driven pizzas with high-quality ingredients. The artisanal pizza movement has helped further establish pizza as a serious culinary art form.

Adaptations for Dietary Needs

In response to food sensitivities and lifestyle choices, pizzerias now offer options like gluten-free crusts and vegan cheese. These allow more people to enjoy Brooklyn-style pizza without compromising tradition or taste. Such specialty pies have now become menu mainstays rather than one-off options.

The Global Journey of Brooklyn-Style Pizza

Brooklyn pizza’s worldwide popularity proves it has universal appeal crossing cultures:

Adaptation and Adoption Worldwide

The Brooklyn pizza style has been embraced far beyond New York, with local twists added. For instance, a Brazilian pizzeria might top their pie with steak or add ketchup to the sauce. A Japanese version may incorporate squid ink or mix mayonnaise with the cheese. These global variations expand the possibilities of Brooklyn-style pizza while retaining its spirit.

Cultural Exchange and Influence

At the same time, Brooklyn-style pizza has also had influence internationally. For example, some Neapolitan pizzerias now offer a Brooklyn slice alongside their classic pies to compete with expat favorites. American-style pepperoni and meatballs have also become common pizza toppings abroad. Such cross-pollination demonstrates Brooklyn pizza’s place in global culinary culture.

Economic and Social Contributions

Economic and Social Contributions

Beyond just being tasty, Brooklyn-style pizza also confers important benefits to local communities:

Impact on Local Communities

Pizzerias generate enormous economic value, provide jobs, and build community:

  • The US pizza industry is worth over $45 billion annually.
  • Pizzerias are low-barrier businesses that hire local community members.
  • Restaurants sponsor little league teams or donate unsold pizza.
  • They act as informal gathering places for families and friends.

The Business of Brooklyn-Style Pizza

Pizzerias drive innovation in the food industry:

  • POS systems and online ordering improve customer convenience.
  • Virtual restaurant models increase flexibility.
  • Food science yields new types of flour, cheese, and sausage.
  • Marketing data influences new menu offerings and deals.

Sustainability and Environmental Considerations

Making Brooklyn-style pizza more eco-friendly has become an important priority:

Ingredient Sourcing

  • Local, seasonal ingredients reduce environmental impact of transport.
  • Organic tomatoes, antibiotic-free meats, and non-GMO ingredients are more sustainable.
  • However, sourcing artisanal ingredients can increase costs for consumers.

Environmental Impact

  • New energy-efficient ovens, smart thermostats, and LED lights reduce electricity usage.
  • Eco-friendly packaging, cutlery, and straws minimize plastic waste.
  • Composting food scraps prevents methane emissions in landfills.
  • Delivery vehicles can transition to low-emissions models like e-bikes.

Health and Nutrition Analysis

While delicious, how does Brooklyn pizza’s nutritional value measure up?

Nutritional Comparison

The nutrition facts for a typical slice:

  • Calories: Around 300 calories per average slice. Less than a burger but more than a sandwich.
  • Carbs and sodium: High in refined carbs and sodium, around 40g total carbs and 800mg sodium.
  • Fat, protein, vitamins: Provides 16g fat, 12g protein. Rich in calcium but lacking produce so low in vitamins.

So Brooklyn pizza, like any treat, is fine in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Incorporating Brooklyn Pizza into Various Diets

With some adjustments, Brooklyn pizza can fit into many dietary patterns:

  • For gluten-free diets, request a gluten-free crust and avoid meat toppings with fillers.
  • Going dairy-free? Opt for vegan cheese and switch up to white sauce or pesto base.
  • On keto? Ask for a thin crust and pile on meat and veggies to skip the carbs.
  • For vegetarians/vegans, load up on marinated mushrooms, peppers, onions, spinach instead of meats.
  • As part of a Mediterranean diet, add artichoke hearts, olives, anchovies for more produce and healthy fats.

Making Brooklyn-Style Pizza at Home

Want to make quintessential Brooklyn-style pizza in your own kitchen? Here are some pointers:

Tips and Tricks

  • Invest in a pizza stone and peel for proper heat distribution and ease of transfer.
  • Use a digital scale for consistent dough measurements.
  • Let dough proof in the fridge for maximum flavor development.
  • Brush crust with olive oil for an authentic pizzeria sheen.
  • Follow a “less is more” approach with sauce and cheese.

Classic Brooklyn Pizza Dough Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 500g bread flour
  • 5g instant yeast
  • 15g fine sea salt
  • 325ml water
  • 29ml olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add water and olive oil and mix until a shaggy dough forms.
  2. On a clean surface, knead dough for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  3. Place dough in oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let proof at room temperature for 2 hours.
  4. Punch down dough and shape into a ball. Place in fridge for 24-48 hours.
  5. Remove dough 2 hours before baking, divide into 2 portions and form into balls.
  6. Follow your desired pizza recipe, shaping dough into a thin crust.

Exploring Brooklyn-Style Pizza Today

Exploring Brooklyn-Style Pizza Today

Best Places to Experience Brooklyn Pizza

  • Totonno’s – Historic Coney Island pizzeria baking coal-fired pies since 1924.
  • Lucali – A Carroll Gardens favorite with legendary thin-crust pies.
  • Paulie Gee’s – Award-winning Greenpoint pizzeria featuring creative artisanal pizzas.
  • Roberta’s – Trendsetting Bushwick restaurant that sparked the Brooklyn pizza renaissance.
  • L&B Spumoni Gardens – Quintessential Brooklyn slice shop and pizzeria landmark.

Technological Innovations

  • Online ordering and mobile apps for convenience.
  • Drones and self-driving vehicles delivering pizzas.
  • Virtual reality simulations to optimize workflows.
  • Machine learning data to forecast demand and reduce waste.
  • Augmented reality menus, games, and experiences in restaurants.
  • Payment chips in pizza boxes for seamless checkout.

The Future of Brooklyn-Style Pizza

Trends and Innovations

  • Focus on premium organic and locally-sourced ingredients.
  • Rise of alternative flours like cauliflower or hemp for gluten-free crusts.
  • Vegan and plant-based cheeses gaining popularity.
  • Creative global fusion toppings and flavors.
  • Automated technology to customize individual pies.

The Continuing Global Appeal

Brooklyn-style pizza has all the elements to retain its worldwide appeal for generations to come. Its appealing balance of crispy and chewy, savory richness, shareable portions, and casual vibe make it a universally satisfying meal. As pizzerias continue to innovate, Brooklyn-style pizza is poised to remain a global culinary favorite.

Conclusion: What Is Brooklyn Style Pizza?

Brooklyn-style pizza has come a long way from its early 20th century origins but continues to hold an irreplaceable spot in America’s culinary legacy. Its journey has taken it from humble Brooklyn beginnings to a cherished icon of global food culture. So next time you enjoy a slice, appreciate all the craft, creativity, and multiculturalism embodied in Brooklyn’s signature pizza. Wherever your next slice may take you, eat it with pride in this special tradition we all share.