People discuss Brooklyn Style Pizza and there has been a bit of confusion now that Domino’s has made a pizza that’s called Brooklyn Style Pizza. But what is Brooklyn Square Pizza? Well, it originated at L&B Spumoni Gardens. This iconic Brooklyn pizzeria has been serving up its unique square pies since 1950, and it’s safe to say they’ve perfected the art. Now, throughout Brooklyn, there are tons of copycat stores.
Crunchy crust, sweet tomato sauce, and a generous sprinkle of freshly grated cheese are the hallmarks of L&B’s pizza. But there’s much more to this beloved neighborhood spot than just its signature pies. Let’s break it down section by section.
There is even a few restaurants called: Brooklyn Square Pizza which seems to have originated from the original crew from L&B Spumoni Gardens. By the way, the L&B isn’t even one of the oldest pizza parlors in New York.
Let’s start with the main event: the pizza. L&B’s square pies are in truth a thing of beauty. The crust is crispy and golden brown, with just the right amount of chew. The tomato sauce is sweet and tangy, and the cheese is always perfectly melted and gooey.
But what sets L&B’s pizza apart from the rest is the way it’s served. Instead of slices, the pizza is cut into squares, making it easy to share with a group. And if you’re feeling really hungry, you can order a “half tray” which is essentially a giant square pizza that will feed a crowd.
The sauce is arguably the most important component of any pizza, and L&B’s sauce is truly something special. Made with San Marzano tomatoes and a secret blend of spices, it’s sweet, tangy, and packed with flavor. And because it’s cooked slowly over low heat, the sauce has a thick, almost jam-like consistency that clings to the crust and cheese.
Speaking of cheese, L&B uses a blend of high-quality mozzarella and pecorino romano on their pies. The mozzarella adds a creamy, melty texture, while the pecorino romano gives the cheese a sharp, salty bite. And because the cheese is grated fresh daily, you can always count on it being perfectly gooey and stretchy.
L&B is more than just a pizza joint—it’s a neighborhood institution. Old family photos and Brooklyn memorabilia line the walls, and the friendly staff make you feel like you’re part of the family. During the summer months, the outdoor seating area is a great spot to enjoy a pie and soak up the neighborhood vibes.
Finally, no discussion of L&B Brooklyn Square Pizza would be complete without a nod to its rich history. Ludovico Barbati, an Italian immigrant who came to Brooklyn with a dream of making the perfect pizza, founded the pizzeria in 1950. He passed down his recipes and techniques to his family, who continue to run the business to this day.
If you can’t make it to Brooklyn to taste L&B’s famous square pizza for yourself, don’t worry! With this copycat recipe, you can recreate the flavors of L&B’s pizza in your own kitchen.
Brooklyn Square Pizza Recipe
Here’s what you’ll need:
For the crust:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
For the sauce:
- 1 can San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
For the cheese:
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the warm water and olive oil, and stir until a dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
While the dough is rising, make the sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the San Marzano tomatoes, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and reduced slightly. Remove from heat and let cool.
Preheat your oven to 450°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with olive oil.
Once the dough has risen, punch it down and stretch it out into a rectangle that’s roughly the same size as your baking pan. Place the dough in the pan, pressing it up the sides.
Spread the sauce over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella and grated pecorino romano over the sauce.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Let the pizza cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
There you have it—a homemade version of L&B Brooklyn Square Pizza that’s sure to impress. Enjoy!