Homemade Pizza School

Updated: December 10, 2023

Reading Time: 9 Minutes

What is Apizza and How to Pronounce It?

Ever imagined making a delightful homemade version of apizza, a special type of pizza you might have never heard of? With roots in New Haven, Connecticut, apizza has become a culinary gem enjoyed by many throughout the region [and around the world].

Unlike their white clam pizza, this flavorful delight boasts a thin, crispy crust with Neapolitan-style toppings and an attention-grabbing flavor profile that sets it apart from other pizzas.

First, let’s dive into the history of what is apizza and where it comes from. It originated from New Haven’s Italian-American community in the early 20th century. Its distinct qualities make it unique among other pizza varieties.

The pronunciation of the word apizza can be a bit tricky for newcomers, too, as it is generally pronounced “ah-beets” in the local colloquial language and you might get stared at or ridiculed for mispronouncing it. This pronunciation stems from the Neapolitan dialect, with origins tracing back to Southern Italy.

Making homemade apizza may seem daunting initially, but with a suitable recipe in hand, anyone can master this culinary masterpiece. So go ahead, treat your taste buds to this authentic New Haven delight, and impress your friends and family with your homemade apizza prowess.

Key Takeaways

  • Apizza is a unique thin-crust pizza variety originating from New Haven, Connecticut.
  • It is pronounced “ah-beets” and has roots in the Italian-American community along the East Coast.
  • With the right recipe, you can create delicious homemade apizza in your own kitchen.
what is apizza and how is apizza pronounced
Photo from Wikipedia

What is Apizza?

Apizza is a type of thin-crust pizza traditionally baked in a coal-fired brick oven, which gives the crust a sooty, smoky flavor and characteristic charred quality. This distinct pizza style originates from New Haven, Connecticut, and has gained popularity far beyond its hometown.

How is Apizza Different from Pizza?

In comparison to other types of pizza, a few key differences stand out when it comes to apizza.

Dough: The crust of apizza sets it apart from other pizza styles, as it is thin, yet slightly chewy, with a crisp exterior formed by the high heat of the brick oven. The dough is also often fermented for longer periods to allow for a more complex flavor development.

Cheese: While most pizza styles feature mozzarella cheese, apizza typically makes use of a combination of pecorino romano, parmigiano-reggiano, and occasionally a bit of low-moisture mozzarella. This combination provides a unique, savory taste and strong umami character to the dish.

Sauce: A significant aspect of apizza is its sauce, which is often simple and consists of crushed tomatoes, garlic, and oregano for flavor. Unlike some other pizza styles, the sauce is usually applied sparingly, allowing for the crust and cheese flavors to shine through.

Toppings: Finally, while apizza can also include a variety of toppings like mushrooms, onions, and pepperoni, the classic New Haven-style “white clam” apizza is quite distinct, featuring clams, garlic, and olive oil as toppings. It’s a unique combination that further sets apizza apart from other pizza styles.

How Do You Pronounce Apizza?

When discussing New Haven-style pizza, you may encounter the term “apizza,” and pronouncing it correctly will show your appreciation for this culinary delight. The pronunciation of “apizza” is quite simple: it’s pronounced as “apiz-za” (/əˈpitsə/) or, more simply, like “ah-beets.”

To make sure you say it correctly, break it down into two syllables, with the stress on the second one. Practice saying “apiz” and then “za,” and soon you will effortlessly pronounce “apizza” in conversations.

Apizza is a unique style of pizza that originated in New Haven, Connecticut. It showcases a thin, chewy crust with slightly charred edges and a variety of toppings. While it may resemble the well-known Neapolitan pizza, the New Haven-style apizza distinguishes itself with its use of local ingredients and innovative topping combinations.

Once you’ve mastered the pronunciation of “apizza,” you’ll be well-prepared to explore this exciting pizza variety and appreciate its distinct qualities. Whether you are making it at home or enjoying it in a pizzeria, knowing how to pronounce “apizza” will demonstrate your enthusiasm for this storied pizza tradition.

Where Is Apizza From?

Apizza, a variant of traditional pizza, hails from New Haven, Connecticut. Long-standing pizza restaurants in the area have made it a local culinary favorite, entwining the city’s history and culture.

Various establishments in the city have perfected their techniques over decades. A notable restaurant, known as Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, opened in 1925, which played a pivotal role in popularizing apizza in New Haven.

The founder, Frank Pepe, was an Italian immigrant who wanted to share a taste of his homeland with the people of Connecticut. Throughout the years, other pizzerias have opened, each putting their own spin on the classic apizza. Nowadays, the local apizza scene is a symbol of pride for New Haven residents.

The term “apizza” is derived from the Neapolitan dialect spoken by Italian immigrants for the word “pizza.” Therefore, it shares similarities with the traditional Neapolitan pizza. However, apizza distinguishes itself with its thin, coal-fired crust, which gives it a characteristic smoky flavor and charred texture. This baking style in a coal-fired brick oven sets it apart from other pizza types.

Let’s just say they weren’t making Sicilian slices or mortadella pizza with ham on top.

Visitors to New Haven’s historic district will find a cove of apizza joints serving their own interpretations of this beloved dish. The city’s tradition of apizza has not only created culinary enthusiasts but also solidified New Haven as a must-visit destination for pizza aficionados.

While each pizzeria has its own unique presentation and flavors, all of them showcase the essence of apizza, giving the city a distinct identity in the world of pizza.

Can You Make Homemade Apizza?

Yes, you can definitely make homemade apizza, and it can be both a fun and satisfying experience. The process of making homemade pizza allows you to customize your pizza creation to suit your preferences and is also a great way to bond with friends and family during a pizza night.

Start with a good pizza dough recipe to create the foundation for your pizza. To make homemade pizza dough, simply combine flour, salt, water, yeast, and olive oil. Knead the dough with your hands until well combined and let it rest for 15 minutes. This dough can then be rolled out and shaped to create a crust for your apizza.

Once you have the pizza dough ready, it’s time to decide on the toppings. The beauty of homemade pizza is that you have the freedom to choose your favorite ingredients. From traditional options like tomato sauce for a tomato pie, cheese, and pepperoni to more adventurous choices such as barbecue sauce, goat cheese, and artichoke hearts, the possibilities for your homemade apizza are endless.

When assembling your pizza, layer the sauce on the dough first, followed by the cheese and then the desired toppings. You can also add seasonings such as basil, oregano, and garlic powder for added flavor.

To cook your homemade apizza, use an inverted baking sheet set on a rack in the top third of your oven. Preheat the oven to its highest temperature and switch on the broiler when the pizza and oven are ready. This method will cook the pizza from all sides at the highest heat, resulting in a crispy, golden leopard crust and perfectly cooked toppings.

In summary, making homemade apizza is not only possible but also enjoyable and rewarding. With a reliable pizza dough recipe and your choice of toppings, you can create your own unique apizza masterpiece for a memorable pizza night with friends and family.

Homemade Apizza Recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose or bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese
  • Pizza sauce
  • Your favorite pizza toppings (e.g., pepperoni, onions, mushrooms, sausage, bell peppers, etc.)


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in lukewarm water. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add flour, salt, and olive oil to the yeast mixture. Combine the ingredients until a sticky dough forms.
  3. Knead the dough until it becomes elastic, smooth, and slightly tacky. You can use a dough hook attachment in a food processor mixer or knead by hand on a lightly semolina-floured surface.
  4. Form the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl. Cover it with a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.


  1. Preheat the oven to 475° F (245° C) and place a pizza stone or an upside-down baking sheet in the oven to heat.
  2. Divide the dough into two equal portions. On a lightly floured surface or parchment paper, roll out each portion into a 12-inch circle.
  3. Sprinkle a pizza peel or another inverted baking sheet with cornmeal. Transfer the prepared pizza dough to the peel, then top with sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings.
  4. Slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
  5. Use a pizza peel to carefully remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool slightly before slicing and serving.


  1. To store leftover apizza, wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  2. To freeze unbaked pizza dough, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or a freezer-safe container. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. To use, thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight, then let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling and baking.
  3. You can also freeze baked pizza by first cooling it completely, then wrapping it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Reheat the frozen pizza in a preheated oven at 350° F (180° C) until warmed through and the cheese is melted.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is apizza, anyways?

Apizza is a type of pizza originating from New Haven, Connecticut. It is known for its thin, crispy crust and distinct toppings, such as white clam sauce. Apizza is a regional favorite and has a unique flavor profile compared to traditional Italian pizza and other American pizza styles.

How do you pronounce apizza?

Apizza is pronounced “a-beets” with the emphasis on the first syllable. It is derived from the Neapolitan word for pizza, which is more like “na pizze.”

How to make apizza at home in an oven?

To make apizza at home, preheat your oven as high as it will go, usually around 475-550º F. Set a baking sheet or pizza stone on the top rack, and let it heat up for about an hour. While the oven heats, prepare your dough and toppings.

For the best results, use high-quality ingredients like Italian “00” flour, fresh yeast or test out brewers yeast, and San Marzano tomatoes. Once everything is ready, carefully slide your pizza onto the hot baking surface and cook it for about 6-10 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and the toppings are fully cooked.

What is the ideal cooking time for homemade apizza?

The ideal cooking time for homemade apizza is approximately 6-10 minutes at a high temperature, usually around 475-550º F. This allows the crust to cook quickly, creating a crispy texture while preventing the toppings from overcooking. Keep an eye on your apizza as it bakes, and adjust the cooking time as needed based on the thickness of your crust and desired level of doneness.

What are the best toppings for homemade apizza?

The best toppings for apizza are traditionally simple and high-quality ingredients. Classic apizza toppings include tomato sauce, mozzarella, Pecorino Romano cheese, garlic, and oregano.

For another true New Haven-style experience, try a white clam pizza, which is made with fresh clams, garlic, olive oil, and cheese. Feel free to get creative with your toppings, but remember, less is often more when it comes to apizza.

What are some easy homemade apizza dough recipes?

To make apizza dough at home, start by combining your flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix lukewarm water, yeast, and olive oil, then pour it into the flour mixture. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes, and let it rest for 15 minutes.

After resting, knead the dough for another 3 minutes, then cover it and let it rise for 1-2 hours, or until it has doubled in size. Divide the dough into portions, shape it into balls, and allow it to rest for an additional 20-30 minutes before rolling it out for your apizza.

In conclusion, making homemade apizza is a delightful and fulfilling experience. Just like zapiekanki polish pizza, by following a reliable pizza dough recipe and selecting your preferred toppings, you can create a distinctive apizza masterpiece for a memorable pizza night with loved ones.

Remember to cook your homemade apizza using an inverted baking sheet on the top rack of your oven, preheated to its highest temperature, and with the broiler switched on for an evenly cooked, crispy crust and perfectly melted toppings. Enjoy the satisfaction of crafting your own apizza creation and sharing it with those close to you.

One of our Favorites

Indulge your taste for legendary Apizza from New Haven, CT, and wear it with pride! This Apizza t-shirt is a savory slice of history, celebrating the iconic style that’s captured hearts and tastebuds for generations. Join the Apizza aficionados, and let your shirt be a conversation starter, a symbol of your love for the crispy, coal-fired crusts and rich, tangy sauce that make New Haven Apizza world-famous. Embrace the flavor, the culture, and the community that Apizza represents, and make a stylish statement that says, ‘I’m a true Apizza enthusiast!’ 🍕👕 #ApizzaLover #NewHavenEats

Share With Other Pizza Lovers:

ooni Brand

Ooni pizza ovens have gained a reputation as the go-to choice for homemade pizza enthusiasts, and for good reason. Their commitment to quality craftsmanship and innovative design sets them apart in the realm of pizza ovens. One of the standout features of Ooni pizza ovens is their versatility. Whether you prefer the classic taste of wood-fired pizza or the convenience of gas or charcoal, Ooni offers models to suit every preference. This versatility allows home chefs to experiment with different cooking methods to achieve their desired flavor profiles and textures.

Pizzelo Brand

Elevate your homemade pizza game with Pizzelo’s precision-engineered pizza ovens. Achieve that perfect, crispy crust and gooey cheese you’ve been dreaming about every time you smell pizza. With customizable temperature control and quick heating, enjoy authentic pizzeria taste in the comfort of your home. Unleash your inner chef with Pizzelo – where passion meets perfection.

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DK & Eliana

DK & Eliana

Thanks for reading about our homemade pizza journey! We're a young married couple who started making pizza at home on our wedding night and haven't looked back yet. We've learned over countless attempts of trial and error how to make the perfect pizza sauce, pizza dough, and exactly which pizza accessories to buy for your home setup...

FYI When you make a purchase or, sometimes, carry out some other action as direct result of clicking on a link at Homemade Pizza School, we will receive a small commission. Gratzie!

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