There’s a long-standing tradition in the pizza world of naming pizzas after the city in which they originated. Chicago deep-dish pizza, Detroit pizza, St. Louis pizza, Neapolitan pizza and of course, the beloved New York-style pizza all have a distinct style and are referred to by their origin. So, what is Brooklyn-style pizza? How does Brooklyn pizza compare to New York pizza? Let’s find out, here.
The History of New York-Style Pizza
We can’t mention Brooklyn-style pizza without first addressing New York-style pizza, so let’s recap. While accounts differ, the most widely believed version is that pizza came to the United States back in 1897 by way of an immigrant pizzaiolo from Naples, Italy (thank you, Italians). These original pizzerias in America used a coal-fired oven and the pizza dough was made of high gluten bread (no gluten-free vibes, here!). Many of us New York pizza loyalists believe the magic taste of New York City pizza comes from the water used in the bread, and thus the importance of the name.
Brooklyn-Style Pizza 101
Brooklyn-style Pizza is a style of pizza that’s strikingly similar to New York-style pizza, but with a crunchy thin crust (not cracker-like, that’s different). The name — Brooklyn-style pizza, that is — what actually coined by Domino’s back in 2006 as a way to differentiate its by from a traditional pizza, hand-tossed. This pizza has cornmeal cooked into the crust to make it even crispier, which is a trademark of a Brooklyn-style pie. It’s also cut differently at 6 slices per pie rather than a typical 8 slices in a New York-style. This yields extra-large, oversized slices to fold up and enjoy.
While Domino’s Brooklyn pizza may have given Brooklyn-style pizza its formal name in mainstream media, beloved pizza restaurants in Brooklyn have been serving Brooklyn-style pizza since 1924. Renowned Brooklyn pizzerias include Totonno’s in Coney Island as well as Di Fara’s, and Grimaldi’s and are the places to visit for the best pizza.
A Brooklyn pizza is typically offered in the same size ranges as New York pizza, which is around 18 to 45 inches, and the toppings are very similar, ranging from classic cheese to veggie with mushrooms, onions, green peppers and black olives to meat options like pepperoni and sausage. You can find both of these options at pizza places around NYC. Both pizzas are hand-tossed and have tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. The key difference between the two is how much cheese is used and the crispiness of the crust and pizza dough.
How to Make a Brooklyn-Style Pizza
Brooklyn-style pizza follows a very specific format, so read on to discover the main steps to making a Brooklyn pie.
Brooklyn-style pizza is made, first, by stretching out dough balls into the hand tossed discs we know as pizza. A small dough ball produces a large pizza while a large one produces an extra-large pizza size. It’s important to get the dough right from the beginning to produce the thinner crust for Brooklyn pizza.
Once the dough is tossed and put into the oven, it becomes thin and crispy, and a dusting of cornmeal coats the bottom to extra crispiness. This is key to its crunchy thin crust pizza taste!
Toppings for Brooklyn-style pizza tend to follow an anything-goes-format. Generally speaking, you can build-your-own with ease if you want a combination of classic flavors like pepperoni, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, black olives, garlic, sausage, mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, meatballs and basil. What you won’t get at most places in Brooklyn, though, is anything too exotic, so don’t expect goat cheese and kale pies. You’d also be hard-pressed to find a ham and pineapple pizza at any pizza joints here. Pepperoni pizza is by far the most popular type of pizza for any New Yorker, so we vote you give it a try!
How to Eat a Brooklyn-Style Pizza
It’s weird to give a tutorial on how to eat pizza, but if you’re going to do it the Brooklyn way, you have to follow tradition. Fold your pizza slice into a size that can fit in your mouth whole and take a big ole bite. These slices are big so it’s really tough to take small bites, and you absolutely cannot fork-and-knife it here.
How to Serve Brooklyn-Style Pizza
Brooklyn-style pizza tends to be cut into squares rather than triangles because they are so thin and crispy, especially at Domino’s. That said, you can find traditional triangle slices almost anywhere in Brooklyn, and they are usually oversized slices that are perfectly foldable to eat.
Brooklyn pizza has become an American staple thanks to mainstream pizza restaurants shining a spotlight on this thin crust pizza. If you’re looking for a crispy crust that’s easy to share, order-in for your next family dinner or gathering of friends and loved ones and give Brooklyn-style pizza a try! We think you’ll love a cheese pizza with this style crust. Domino’s Brooklyn-style pizza (as opposed to their hand tossed pizza which is a thick crust) is a great option to get Brooklyn pizza anywhere. American pizza at its best!