Mitchell Birrittella stands in his family-owned Tarrytown bakery and recounts the evolution of the gluten that binds his clan together. “The crust,” he says, surrounded by pizza dough, is [so good] that “you can’t put it down.”
For Birrittella and his brothers, members of a third-generation bread-dough dynasty that goes back to 1910, when grandfather Vincenzo Birrittella started a handmade bread business, every night is pizza night. Unless, of course, it’s stromboli night … or quiche night … pigs-in-a-blanket … or pretzels.
Birrittella’s Pizza Dough has spread exponentially out of the 914. “We distribute to all major supermarkets in the Tristate area,” says Birrittella. “ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Key Food, Fairway Market, and ACME. We’re in stores every week, making sure our customers have a fresh, consistent product.” And, thanks to sophisticated packaging, “We’re in every state in the lower 48.”
But the Birrittella business has humble roots in Tarrytown, where the first generation lived above the bakery. Family lore claims Mitchell’s father, Michael, was the biggest baby born in Tarrytown, at 14 pounds. (Weighed on a baking scale, “someone had a heavy thumb?” quips Mitchell.)
More recently, four of Michael’s sons, Mitchell, Michael, Myles, and late brother Matthew, refined the business. Mitchell even has how-to YouTube videos in which he demonstrates (among other topics) stretching dough like a pizzaiolo or, in pizza parlance, “slapping out some skins.”
“We focus on one area and just do it really, really good,” says Mitchell. “The dough is a family recipe. [Making pizza] is a family-friendly thing to do.”
Birrittella’s Pizza Dough