Sicilian Pizza Slice

There used to be a pizza place in the Bronx that served the best Sicilian pizza in the world.

Mario’s was on one those side streets that run off of Morris Park Avenue near Loreto Park. After playing paddle ball or softball, we’d have over for a slice.

Mario’s Sicilian Pizza was dense like a bagel. Not one of those airy focaccia slices that seems to be the rage these days.

It was delicious.

Here’s my take.


This will make enough dough for an 8” x 8”x 2” pan. The dough weighs about 275 grams or 11 ounces.

I like baking the pizza in a smaller sized pan because it allows the pizza to bake in the center. If you want to use a half-sheet pan (13 x 18), triple the amount of the recipe.

Ingredient Amount Baker’s % Volume
Water 95 grams 56% 7 TBLSPN
Salt 3 grams 2 % 1/2 tsp
Sugar 3 grams 2 % 1/2 TBLSPN
Flour ** 170 grams 100 % 1 1/2 Cups
Yeast 1.5 grams 1 % 1/8 tsp
Oil *** 3 grams 2 % 1 tsp

* The old time Bronx pizzerias used diastatic malt rather than sugar. The diastatic malt helped with the browning and rise. You can use sugar in its place.

** Bread flour or all-purpose flour can be used. Bread flour has a higher protein level which means more gluten which means it can stretch more. It’ll also make a more chewy pizza. I use all-purpose flour because I bake a lot and don’t want two twenty-five bags of flour sitting around.

*** Oil is optional. Traditional NYC Pizza and Bagels are made without oil.

Weigh the ingredients. The volume amounts will put you in the ball park, but you might wind up in the seat behind the pillar at Yankee Stadium. Not a good place to be.

Steps To Make Dough

Put the water, salt, and sugar in a bowl.

Stir to dissolve.

Add the flour. And let the flour sit in the water for about thirty minutes.

Then add the yeast.

With a fork, mix the flour with the water mixture until it comes together like corn meal. Don’t mix it into a ball. It’ll make it harder to add the oil.

Then add the oil to the flour/water mixture after the “corn meal stage.”

Use a fork to combine until it all comes together.

Knead for a few minutes.

First Rise

Put in oiled bowl that is covered until the dough is risen (I hate that expression “doubled in size”). It’ll take about 1 - 2 hours.

Second Rise

Press Dough Into 8”x 8”x 2” Pan.

Let rise for about another 1/2 hour.


You’re going to first bake the dough a little sauce and NO cheese.

Preheat oven to 450F (230C). If it’s a convection oven, lower the temperature to 400F.

Cover the dough with a light layer of tomato sauce.

Sicilian Pizza Slice

Bake in bottom third of the oven for about 12 - 14 minutes.

Take the pan from the oven.

Check if the bottom of the crust has somewhat browned.

Cover with more tomato sauce.

Sicilian Pizza Slice

And cheese.

Sicilian Pizza Slice

Bake Again

Bake for another 10 - 12 minutes or until the cheese is melted the way you like.

Sicilian Pizza Slice

And the bottom is nice and brown.

Sicilian Pizza Slice


For history of this family, visit