Northeastern Pennsylvania-style (NEPA) Pizza Dough
Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) has its own thriving pizza scene. Thick, rectangular pan-cooked crusts are what define many of the most popular pies in this region.
When creating our go-to NEPA-style dough recipe, we turned to Jim Mirabelli, the owner and chief pizza officer at NEPA Pizza Review, a guide to all things Northeastern Pennsylvania-style pizza. He created this dough as a homemade ode to the pizzas at some of his favorite spots like Ferri’s and Happy Pizza. Used as the base for Old Forge-style cheese pizza and mashed potato-covered pagash pizza, it’s a buttery dough that gets crispy on the outside while staying chewy on the inside.
Jim’s recipe calls for General Mills Full Strength Flour, a bread flour (12.6% protein content) that comes in 50-pound bags, typically used in professional settings and pizzerias that make this regional style, but you can use King Arthur Bread Flour (12.7%), Ceresota (12%) or another bread flour with a comparable protein content (11 to 13%) for similar results.
This recipe appears in A Love Letter to Northeastern Pennsylvania-style Pizza by Jim Mirabelli.
Notes: If using baker’s percentages instead of following the recipe exactly, percentages are as follows:
flour (100%), water (62%), instant dry yeast (1.25%), salt (2%), unsalted butter (5%)
6 hours total
5 hours passive
1 hour active
2 x 450-gram dough balls
Ooni Dual-Platform Digital Scales
Ooni Pizza Dough Scraper
high-sided pizza pan, ideally 10 x 14 inches
587 grams (4 ⅔ cups) bread flour (100%)
364 grams (1 ½ cups) water 70°F (62%)
7 grams (1 ¾ teaspoons) instant dry yeast (1.25%)
12 grams (2 teaspoons) fine sea salt (2%)
29 grams (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature (5%) + more for greasing the pan
Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer bowl. Mix on low speed for 7-10 minutes until all ingredients are integrated, dough is smooth and the sides of the mixing bowl are clean.
Leave the dough in the mixing bowl, cover the bowl with a damp cloth and allow it to rest (bulk ferment) at room temperature for 2 hours.
Portion dough into 450-gram pieces.
Shape the dough into smooth balls and place in a covered proofing container (or individually in covered containers or bowls).
Allow to rest at room temperature for 3 hours, or until dough balls have doubled in size and are not resistant to stretching.
Grease a high-sided rectangular pizza pan (ideally, 10x14 inches) liberally with shortening or butter. Place dough evenly in the pan and gently press it into the corners without creating a raised-edge crust. The crust should be uniform and flat. If the dough resists stretching to the corners, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then gently stretch again.
Cover dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 1 hour at room temperature.
When you’re ready to cook, follow instructions for Old Forge-style Cheese Pizza to make a truly Northeastern Pennsylvania-style treat, or use your own favorite topping combinations to make something delicious!