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NEPA pizza dough

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%) 

Time
6 hours total
5 hours passive
1 hour active 

Yield
2 x 450-gram dough balls 

Equipment 
stand mixer
Ooni Dual-Platform Digital Scales
Ooni Pizza Dough Scraper
proofing container
high-sided pizza pan, ideally 10 x 14 inches

Ingredients 
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 

Method
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.
Nepa Pizza Dough
Nepa Pizza Dough
Nepa Pizza DoughShape the dough into smooth balls and place in a covered proofing container (or individually in covered containers or bowls). 
Nepa Pizza Dough
Nepa Pizza Review
Nepa Pizza Dough
Nepa Pizza Dough
Nepa Pizza Dough
Nepa Pizza Dough
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.
Nepa Pizza Dough
Cover dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 1 hour at room temperature.
Nepa Pizza Dough
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!
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