Roberta’s Cult-Favorite Brooklyn Pizza Dough Will Be Your New Go-To Crust
Roberta’s is a beloved pizza shop in Brooklyn that has gained national attention for their great-tasting pies. They consistently rank high on lists of New York City’s “most iconic” or “life-changing” or “best-tasting” pizzas, and the restaurant never fails to have an hours-long wait time (but even the grumpiest person in line will say it’s worth it).
Here’s my question: Is it actually possible to re-create Roberta’s famous pizza at home, or is it better to leave it to the pros with the fancy pizza oven? At first glance, their recipe looked far too fussy for the home cook, requiring a special type of flour and a kitchen scale. But as it turned out, the dough is incredibly easy to mix, shape, and bake.
Will it become my new go-to for pizza night? Here’s everything I learned.
How to Make Roberta’s Pizza Dough
Buying the specialty flour is relatively easy — you can order 00 flour online (and lots of markets now carry it, too) and bread flour is readily available everywhere. The flours and salt go into one bowl, while the warm water, yeast, and olive oil are combined in another. You’ll add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and mix until combined, then cover and rest the dough for just 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes of resting, the dough gets kneaded by hand, divided into rounds, and — here’s the best part — those rounds can rise at room temperature for a few hours or in the fridge overnight. I very much appreciated this choose-your-own-adventure-style of pizza dough time management.
An Honest Review of Roberta’s Pizza Dough
I’ve actually been making Roberta’s pizza dough at home for years now. I’ve actually subbed the specialty flours with all-purpose and varied the rise time depending on my cravings and my busy family schedule, and the dough is always easy to work with, bakes beautifully, and tastes delicious — no matter what factors I might change.
That being said, there’s purpose behind the flour blend: They work together to make a dough that’s strong but supple and caramelizes easily, while also developing enough gluten to get delightful bubbles in the edges of the crust and give the crust a chewy texture.
Roberta’s pizza dough makes slightly smaller rounds than the other doughs in this showdown, but it delivers exactly the flavors and textures you expect for pizza dough. The bottom gets wonderfully crisped and slightly charred, while the edges bubble up, creating a wondrous crunch and chew on each piece.
If You’re Making Roberta’s Pizza Dough, a Few Tips
1. Buy the specialty flours. As much as I’ve bent the rules for this recipe in the past (using bread and all-purpose or just all-purpose), this pizza dough really does have a better texture and taste with the 00 flour.
2. The longer the rise, the better the flavor. I know I dinged Alton Brown’s pizza dough for its long rise time, but I appreciate the flexibility Roberta’s pizza dough offers, even if I think the longer rise time makes for a tastier pizza.
3. This crust really shines on a pizza stone. A little burnish on the bottom of Roberta’s dough is one of the things that helped it rise above the other pizza doughs I tried. While an inverted sheet pan works, this dough really is best baked on a pizza stone or in a pizza oven.
- Difficulty to Make: 10/10
- Taste/Texture: 10/10
- Appearance: 10/10
- Overall Rating: 10/10