7 Hydration Percentages by Pizza Style that Actually Make the Best Pizza

7 Hydration Percentages by Pizza Style that Actually Make the Best Pizza

Looking for the hydration percentage by pizza style?

Making a pizza is all about getting your pizza dough to have just the right amount of hydration. This does count a lot for getting your dough to follow a specific recipe based on the type of pizza you’re making.

If you’re looking to get the best results for making the best pizza dough, this guide can help you find the specific pizza dough hydration according to your desired pizza style. 

Let’s check it out!

Hydration Percentage by Pizza Style

From Low Hydration to High Hydration

Here is a summary of all the hydration percentages by pizza style so it’s easier for you to find.  To learn more about each pizza style and their respective dough hydration percentage, just keep reading.

Hydration Percentage by Pizza Style

Pizza StyleHydration Percentage
Chicago Deep Dish50 to 55%
New Haven60 to 65%
Detroit60 to 65%
Neapolitan60 to 70%
New York 65 to 75%
Sicilian65 to 75%
Sourdough70 to 80%

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Hydration

For a Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, you’ll need no more than 50-55% water hydration.
This crust is light and fluffy and is often two or three inches thick.

Chicago style deep dish pizza

Because it’s been baked in a pan that’s coated with olive oil, the very bottom has a fired texture that makes it more enjoyable. This type of pizza is going to be notably bread-like with a fine cell structure. Because it’s made in a high pan, it allows you to pile on the toppings heavily.

 The dough itself tends to be flakier than other pizza dough types if you use canola oil rather than corn oil.

New Haven Pizza Hydration

When making the New Haven pizza dough, you’ll want 60-65% hydration. This thin-crust pizza dough will be nice and crispy.

new haven pizza

This style of pizza is also similar to the Neapolitan pizza dough, with an exception. This pizza will produce a crispier crust that is often charred. This makes this style of pizza unique unto itself.

It also has a longer fermentation than other pizza dough and is very similar to NYC pizza recipes.

To get the authentic flavor, many of these pizzas are cooked in coal-fired ovens. It’s also a must if covered with lots of mozzarella cheese usually called ‘Motz.’ It’s not uncommon that some pizza toppings will include clams, grated cheese, and smoky bacon!

Detroit Pizza Hydration

Any decent Detroit-style pizza dough will have 60-65% water hydration. This variant of the Chicago deep-dish pizza makes a focaccia-like texture that is light yet crispy.

Detroit Style Pizza

It’s traditional to use a rectangular cooking tray coated with oil so the crust gets fried. You can adjust your hydration to get chewier bread to your liking. Because this style of pizza is baked in a pan, the dough doesn’t need to be flattened so much.

This version of a deep-dish pizza is also baked in an oven that reaches 500 degrees Fahrenheit. For best results, your tray should be deep enough to place the dough along the bottom and allow it to rise as it bakes.

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Neapolitan Pizza Hydration

The range of hydration for an incredible Neapolitan pizza is 60-70%. This can be adjusted so that it gets you closer to the recipe you can experiment with. This is a medium dough mix that gives you delicate dough that can be chewy with a crunch.

Neapolitan Pizza

Each slice keeps its shape, and the crust will be light and airy. The more water you add only adds more crunch you can achieve when it’s baked.

The real secret to making Neapolitan Pizza is the heat.

You’ll need at least 800F to get the ultimate effect for authentic Neapolitan-style pizza. This is better if you have a wood-burning pizza oven, but outdoor pizza ovens are just as good. Your kitchen oven may not reach over 500F.

New York Pizza Hydration

You’ll want to have 65-75% hydration when making New York pizza dough. This will yield a dough that is foldable yet crispy at the same time.

Homemade New York Cheese Pizza

The real secret is the type of oven that gives you adequate heat to cook it quickly. It also needs to be as flat as possible so that the dough is thin enough to make a large pizza.

Because this pizza dough is often prepared two days before, the dough can be frozen or refrigerated.

This dough is also high in gluten and has a unique texture when the dough is cooked.

This result may also be in part that NYC tap water is high in minerals. If you live in an area with hard water, this can make your pizza dough more authentic to NYC pizza.

Sicilian Pizza Hydration

The best hydration for Sicilian pizza dough is 65-75%. Since there are so many variations of this pizza, it borders on NYC style in many ways.

Sicilian Pizza Style

Because it doesn’t always keep its shape when it’s sliced, this pizza should be soft and spongy; aside from the layers of toppings, Sicilian pizza’s texture is nice and soft with a rewarding bread-like texture.

The interior of the dough will be light and air-filled.

Many of the authentic Sicilian pizzas are rectangle-shaped, just like you’ll find in notable Pizza Parlors. Since the pan’s bottom is coated with oil, the resulting crust is fried rather than baked.

Sourdough Pizza Hydration

To best recreate the sourdough pizza dough recipe, you’ll need 70-80% hydration. For the best results, you need to add a sourdough starter to your water.


Once you mix the dough, it must stand for 1 hour before individual dough pieces are covered with olive oil. After this, you let it sit in an airtight container for 16-18 hours.

This is at room temperature and will help your dough develop that incredible sourdough flavor.

When you’re ready to make a pizza, it should be spread out using a light amount of flour sprinkled on your tabletop. This creates a crust that is light and crispy with a strong sourdough flavor.

Additional Resources on Pizza Dough Hydration

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Here’s a video brought to you by Ooni on Pizza Dough Hydration

What Would Be the Baker’s Percentage for the Rest of the Ingredients?

Here you found the recommended hydration percentages for each of the different pizza styles.  But what about the other ingredients? What are the percentages for yeast, salt, and others? 

If you want to experiment with other pizza styles, we always recommend starting somewhere in the middle, like at 65% for any pizza style, that way you can work your way up. 

In our article A Baker’s Percentage Shortcut to Create Unique Pizza Recipes. you will find that starting point, so go check it out for more.

The Last Slice

We hope that our recommended hydration percentage by pizza style is useful and that you can now become a pizza PRO!

If you have questions we have not addressed here, you can always contact us, and we will be more than glad to help.

Additional Resources

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Learn the correct process of pizza dough fermentation and why this is so important in the pizza-making process.

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