Pizzeria Delfina's resident pizzaiolo shares the secrets to making those legendary pies
Make Pizza Like a Pro
Thomas J. Story
The broccoli rabe, Pizzeria Delfina’s second-best seller―after the Margherita, of course.

Pizzeria Delfina’s dough, adapted for baking in a home oven, is the best we’ve ever tried―smooth and supple. The secret lies in how you stretch it. Pizzaiolo Anthony Strong demonstrates in the photos below.

Thomas J. Story
Tap center of dough to deflate; stretch with fingers under rim.

Tap center of dough to deflate; stretch with fingers under rim. 

Thomas J. Story
Fingers under rim, turn dough like a steering wheel.

Fingers under rim, turn dough like a steering wheel. 

Thomas J. Story
Stretch dough with backs of hands.

Stretch dough with backs of hands.

Delfina’s Broccoli Rabe Pizza
Also on MyRecipes.com

Makes: 3 (12-in.) pizzas, plus dough for 3 more pizzas Time: About 2 hours, plus rising time Note: You can use regular flour, but for a truly awesome crust, go for highprotein Italian “00” (fine-milled) flour.


  • 1 tsp. fresh yeast
  • 1½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb., 14 oz. (about 6 cups) “00” pizza flour, preferably Caputo*, or all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp. kosher salt*


  • 10 oz. fresh mozzarella packed in liquid
  • 1/3 cup liquid from mozzarella container
  • 1/4 cup shredded caciocavallo or parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup each heavy cream and buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 lb. broccoli rabe (about 1 large bunch)
  • 2 garlic cloves, well smashed
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • About 1/4 tsp. red chile flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup oil-cured black olives (soaked in water and drained if salty), pitted and torn in half
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Make dough:

1. Put yeast, oil, and 2 cups plus 1 tbsp. cold tap water in bowl of a stand mixer and mix, using dough hook, on lowest speed 5 minutes, or until yeast has completely dissolved. Add flour and mix another 8 minutes.

2. Cover bowl loosely with a dampened towel and let dough rise 20 minutes.

3. Add salt and mix on low speed until incorporated and dissolved, 7 minutes.

4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and cut into 6 equal portions. Roll each into a tight ball. Place on a lightly floured tray.

5. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at least 4 hours at warm room temperature. Dough balls have risen properly when they are soft, pillowy, and full of air.

Make topping:

6. With flat side of a chef’s knife, mash a third of the mozzarella into a pulverized mass. Dice remaining mozzarella into 1/2-in. cubes. In a medium bowl, mix both mozzarellas with mozzarella liquid, shredded cheese, cream, and buttermilk. Season with 1/4 tsp. salt.

7. Cut broccoli rabe into 1-in. sections, discarding tough lower stems.

8. In a large frying pan over very low heat, cook garlic in oil, stirring often, until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add chile flakes and toast for a second, then add broccoli rabe. Stir in remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper.

9. Crank heat to medium-high and cook broccoli rabe, stirring, until liquid starts to evaporate and broccoli rabe is tendercrisp, 5 to 7 minutes.

Make pizza:

10. Heat a pizza stone or baking sheet on lowest rack of oven at 550° (or as high as oven will go), at least 30 minutes.

11. Set 1 dough ball on a well-floured pizza peel or baking sheet and stretch into an 11- to 12-in. circle (see photos above).

12. Spread about 2/3 cup cheese mixture over dough. Top with 1/2 cup broccoli rabe, a pinch of chile flakes, and 2 tbsp. olives.

13. Shove pizza onto stone. Bake 5 to 6 minutes, or until puffy and browned. Drizzle with oil. Repeat with 2 dough balls and toppings (top remaining 3 differently or freeze).

Make ahead: Chill dough balls overnight or freeze up to 2 weeks (let come to room temperature before stretching).

*While Delfina uses 3 tbsp. of kosher salt, in our tests 1 1/2 tbsp. kosher salt also delivered a well-seasoned crust. If you’re concerned about sodium intake, you can successfully use the lower amount.

*Find at well-stocked grocery stores and Italian markets.

Per 1/4 topped pizza: 319 Cal., 44% (140 cal.) from fat; 12 g protein; 16 g fat (6.1 g sat.); 29 g carbo (0.9 g fiber); 1,121 mg sodium; 34 mg chol. 

Other favorite fresh topping combos:

  • Pecorino, rosemary, and pine nuts
  • Chicken, walnut pesto, and black olives
  • Oysters, leeks, cream, and herbs
  • Anchovies, capers, and chiles
  • Roasted yam, fried sage, and brown butter
  • Artichokes, lemon, olives, and parmesan
  • Chanterelles, Fontina, and shallots
  • Potatoes, pancetta, Fontina, and rosemary

Top trend: Cracking a farm-fresh egg on the pizza―just before it’s pulled from the oven―gives it an irresistible oozy oomph. Try that on Delphina’s Carbonara Pizza.

But egg goes only with certain ingredients, like potato or nettle, warns Gialina’s Sharon Ardiana, a self-proclaimed “egg advocate” whose menu includes the option of adding a $2 egg from Mariquita Farm. 

“Some people are like, ‘Ew, egg.’ But then they try it and they’re sold.”

Slide show: More great pizza recipes

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