The Ultimate Brier Hill Pizza Recipe: A Taste of Youngstown’s Finest

Who can resist the tantalizing aroma of freshly baked pizza wafting through the air? While pizza comes in countless variations, one beloved regional specialty stands out: Brier Hill Pizza Recipe. Originating from Youngstown, Ohio, this unique pizza is renowned for its flavorful combination of spicy tomato sauce, tangy peppers, and savory toppings. In this article, we’ll explore the art of making Brier Hill Pizza from scratch, uncovering the secrets to crafting this iconic dish that has delighted taste buds for generations.

Unraveling the Origins of Brier Hill Pizza

A Slice of Youngstown History:

Brier Hill Pizza holds a special place in the hearts of Youngstown locals, tracing its roots back to the Brier Hill neighborhood—an enclave known for its Italian immigrant population. It’s believed that the recipe for Brier Hill Pizza was born in the kitchens of these immigrant families, who brought with them a rich culinary tradition from their native Italy. Over the years, this humble dish has become a beloved symbol of Youngstown’s cultural heritage, cherished by residents and visitors alike.

Ingredients for Brier Hill Pizza

For the Dough:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Sauce:

  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Toppings:

  • 1 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 cup chopped banana peppers
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell peppers

Crafting the Perfect Brier Hill Pizza

Making the Dough:

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes until foamy.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil.
  3. Stir until a dough forms, then turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean towel, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.

Preparing the Sauce:

  1. In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté the minced garlic until fragrant.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Assembling the Pizza:

  1. Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C) and grease a pizza pan or baking sheet.
  2. Punch down the risen dough and roll it out into a round shape on a floured surface.
  3. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and spread the tomato sauce evenly over the crust.
  4. Sprinkle grated Romano cheese over the sauce, followed by the chopped banana peppers, sliced black olives, diced onions, sliced mushrooms, and diced green bell peppers.
  5. Bake the pizza in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the crust is golden and the toppings are bubbly and lightly browned.

Serving and Enjoying Brier Hill Pizza

Brier Hill Pizza is best enjoyed hot out of the oven, served in generous slices to share with family and friends. Pair it with a crisp green salad and a glass of your favorite beverage for a satisfying meal that celebrates the flavors of Youngstown. Whether you’re a longtime fan or experiencing it for the first time, Brier Hill Pizza promises a culinary adventure you won’t soon forget.

Conclusion: Brier Hill Pizza Recipe

In conclusion, Brier Hill Pizza is more than just a dish—it’s a culinary tradition that has stood the test of time, representing the vibrant spirit of Youngstown’s Italian-American community. By following this recipe and infusing it with your own personal touch, you can recreate the magic of Brier Hill Pizza in your own kitchen and savor a taste of Youngstown’s finest.

For more ideas, recipes, and cooking tips and tricks, please visit us at Grit and Groceries.

FAQs About Brier Hill Pizza Recipe

Is it essential to use Romano cheese for Brier Hill Pizza?

While Romano cheese adds a distinctive flavor to Brier Hill Pizza, you can substitute it with Parmesan or another hard cheese if preferred.

Can I adjust the spiciness of the sauce?

Absolutely! Feel free to adjust the amount of crushed red pepper flakes in the sauce to suit your taste preferences.

Can I use store-bought pizza dough for this recipe?

Yes, you can use store-bought pizza dough if you’re short on time. Just be sure to let it come to room temperature and follow the instructions for rolling it out.

Are there any other traditional toppings for Brier Hill Pizza?

While the toppings listed in this recipe are classic choices, feel free to get creative and experiment with other ingredients like Italian sausage, pepperoni, or anchovies.

Can I freeze leftover Brier Hill Pizza?

Yes, you can freeze leftover pizza slices in an airtight container for up to 2-3 months. Just reheat them in the oven or microwave before serving.