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#1 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 04:15 PM

10 Different Pizza Crust Varieties: Which is Best for You?
June 6 2018
by Nick Charles
AKCrust.com

<More Here>

This article was originally published in December of 2015 and has been updated for 2018 to include 10 crust varieties.

As every pizza maker knows, pizza has a long and storied history. And while there's a little debate over who actually made the first one, there's a general consensus that it happened some time during the 1800s in Naples, Italy. Since then, chefs from all around the world have created their own take on this popular dish, each bringing something new and interesting to table. Whether it's a Chicago-style deep dish or a California flatbread with calamari and basil pesto sauce, pizza has taken on many different forms since its original inception — especially when it comes to the crust.

As the foundation of both the pizza itself and the recipe used to make it, the crust has always been a main target for pizza innovation due to its ability to entirely change the dynamic of a pizza. Not only does it help dictate taste, texture, thickness, and topping selection on your pie, but it also affects the presentation and appearance as well as your prep work and baking. For pizza makers who are creating or expanding their menu, experimenting with different crust types is a great way to generate interest and buzz around new menu items, and can help draw new customers to your locations.

To help you decide which crust is best for your recipe, here's a breakdown of the many different types of pizza crusts:

Thin Crust

Neapolitan Pizza — Getting back to our history lesson from above, Neapolitan pizza is credited as being the original Italian pizza. Characterized by its light, slightly crispy texture, Neapolitan pizzas must meet a very specific set of requirements in order to truly be considered an authentic Neapolitan. A true Neapolitan is baked in a wood-fired, domed oven with dough that must be hand-kneaded (no mechanical preparation whatsoever!), no more than 35 centimeters in diameter, and no more than one-third of a centimeter thick at the center. Classic styles include the Margherita and Marinara, and given the impossible-to-replicate flavor and texture of Neapolitan crust from a wood-fired oven, this is the perfect crust for those who want an authentic Italian pizza.

New York-Style Pizza — Often sold by the slice in big, wide wedges, New York-style pizza has been the trademark pizza style of the Northeast U.S. since the early 1900s, with regional variations also existing across the country. New York-style crust is slightly crispy on the outside, yet soft and pliable enough to fold the big slices in half, making it easier for customers to eat. New York-style pizza crust gets its unique flavor and texture from its high-gluten bread flour and the minerals present in New York City water, which some out-of-state pizza makers actually transport across the country for authenticity.

St. Louis Pizza — Another regional specialty in the Midwest, St. Louis pizza is characterized by its round, thin, unleavened, cracker-like crust and slices cut into squares or rectangles rather than wedges. This cutting style, often referred to as a party or tavern cut, is very popular in Midwestern pizza parlors and bars where friends and families can gather to share a few pies.

Flatbread Crust

Flatbread pizza has seen an uptick in popularity over the past decade or so, as American consumers start to be more health-conscious about the foods they eat. While there is no real consensus on what constitutes a "flatbread," typically this style is lighter and airier making it ideal for appetizers and personal-sized pizzas. Because it isn't as filling as other crust types, and makes health-conscious customers feel less guilty about eating pizza. Often times the artisan look of flatbread crust also makes them an appealing option for gourmet and trendy toppings like balsamic and spinach.

Thick Crust

Traditional Pan Pizza — Definitely not thin crust, and the least thick of the thick varieties at about half an inch, the traditional pan pizza is a happy medium for most pizza lovers. This is the style of crust that was made widely popular by Pizza Hut, and is characterized by its buttery, pan-fried taste and texture on the outside, with a soft and chewy center. It's a crust that's loved by people all across the country, regardless of the region, and it's perfect for adding custom flavors.

Deep Dish Pizza — Also commonly known as Chicago-style deep dish, this pizza's deep ledge allows for a generous portion of toppings, cheese, and sauce, and isn't uncommon for pizza slices to be up to 2 inches thick. The pies are baked in an oiled deep-dish pan to create a crispy, sometimes buttery, fried effect on the outside of the crust. The crust commonly contains corn meal, semolina, or food coloring to give it its distinctly yellow tone and add to its unique taste and texture. This style of pizza is particularly popular in the Midwest.

Sicilian Pizza — Much different from the thin, crispy crust in Naples, Sicilian pizza is known for its thick, rectangle-shaped crust, often over an inch thick. Sicilian immigrants brought these recipes with them to the United States, and Sicilian-style pizzas are most popular in large metro areas across the upper Midwest and East coast. Detroit-style pizza, which has been gaining popularity in recent years, is a derivative form of pan pizza.

Authentic Wood Fired Crusts

(snip)

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#2 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 04:17 PM

I thought this deserved its own thread after the fast food one started a tangent...
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#3 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 04:23 PM

For me, it's a neopolitan-style crust, although I don't need it wood-fired. I just like thin and crispy pizza crust. I may eat other style pizzas in a pinch, but not usually if I had a choice.
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#4 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 04:25 PM

Papa Murphy's has a NY-style pizza including the high-gluten flour. However, if I cook it an extra minute or two, it becomes crispy all the way through. Pizza Hut has a really good thin and crispy crust. There is also a local place in Austin called Home Slice that has a GREAT thin and crispy crust.
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#5 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 04:29 PM

View Postarticle, on 12 August 2019 - 04:15 PM, said:

Thick Crust

Traditional Pan Pizza — Definitely not thin crust, and the least thick of the thick varieties at about half an inch, the traditional pan pizza is a happy medium for most pizza lovers. This is the style of crust that was made widely popular by Pizza Hut, and is characterized by its buttery, pan-fried taste and texture on the outside, with a soft and chewy center. It's a crust that's loved by people all across the country, regardless of the region, and it's perfect for adding custom flavors.

Deep Dish Pizza — Also commonly known as Chicago-style deep dish, this pizza's deep ledge allows for a generous portion of toppings, cheese, and sauce, and isn't uncommon for pizza slices to be up to 2 inches thick. The pies are baked in an oiled deep-dish pan to create a crispy, sometimes buttery, fried effect on the outside of the crust. The crust commonly contains corn meal, semolina, or food coloring to give it its distinctly yellow tone and add to its unique taste and texture. This style of pizza is particularly popular in the Midwest.

Sicilian Pizza — Much different from the thin, crispy crust in Naples, Sicilian pizza is known for its thick, rectangle-shaped crust, often over an inch thick. Sicilian immigrants brought these recipes with them to the United States, and Sicilian-style pizzas are most popular in large metro areas across the upper Midwest and East coast. Detroit-style pizza, which has been gaining popularity in recent years, is a derivative form of pan pizza.


The choices of heathens...
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#6 User is offline   Tikk 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 04:57 PM

There's a chain called Mellow Mushroom that (I think) started in Athens, Georgia. They opened a place near me in Arlington, TX some time ago.

Best. Pizza. Ever.

Now, there are other locations. But people have said, "oh it's ok." So I think there is something about the location near me. They claim to use water for their dough from a single source. I don't know.

I have taken others to the place. And all of them have said that it was the best pizza they have ever had. All of them.

The crust is done so well that people eat the whole thing. No pizza "bones" of uneaten crust left behind.

It's a New York style (I guess), with a high gluten stretchy/crispy/airy soft dough. Their toppings are excellent. You can taste the fennel in their sausage. Their bacon is smokey thick cut. etc.



The other place was the "i Fratelli" I mentioned in another thread. They used to have a restaurant in Irving, TX where they began. And their's is a rigid St. Louis style. Again, top notch ingredients and well done crispy crust. Don't get their delivery (trust me on this, really). Try to have it at their sit down restaurant.

Actually, I just looked them up. Their sit down restaurants don't exist anymore. Oh well.
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#7 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 05:02 PM

View PostTikk, on 12 August 2019 - 04:57 PM, said:

There's a chain called Mellow Mushroom that (I think) started in Athens, Georgia. They opened a place near me in Arlington, TX some time ago.

Best. Pizza. Ever.

Now, there are other locations. But people have said, "oh it's ok." So I think there is something about the location near me. They claim to use water for their dough from a single source. I don't know.

I have taken others to the place. And all of them have said that it was the best pizza they have ever had. All of them.

The crust is done so well that people eat the whole thing. No pizza "bones" of uneaten crust left behind.

It's a New York style (I guess), with a high gluten stretchy/crispy/airy soft dough. Their toppings are excellent. You can taste the fennel in their sausage. Their bacon is smokey thick cut. etc.



The other place was the "i Fratelli" I mentioned in another thread. They used to have a restaurant in Irving, TX where they began. And their's is a rigid St. Louis style. Again, top notch ingredients and well done crispy crust. Don't get their delivery (trust me on this, really). Try to have it at their sit down restaurant.

Actually, I just looked them up. Their sit down restaurants don't exist anymore. Oh well.


Holler if you ever get to Austin. I'll take you to Home Slice.
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#8 User is offline   gravelrash 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 05:05 PM

Orsi's in Omaha has a French bread style crust. It's a nice chewy change of pace.
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#9 User is offline   Tikk 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 05:11 PM

View PostMTP Reggie, on 12 August 2019 - 05:02 PM, said:

Holler if you ever get to Austin. I'll take you to Home Slice.


Likewise if you're up in the DFW area.

PS I'm often sent to training in Austin. Was there in January and in April.
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#10 User is offline   Squirrel 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 05:24 PM

Where in dallas is home slice? I’m from the Midwest and I hate to say it the best pizza near my north Dallas suburb is the last existing godfathers down here in lake dallas. And that’s in a gas station. There used to be some place in Denton Texas that moved to Sanger before going out of biz. I forget the name my wife went to college there and introduced me to them. Thier deep dish was literally like a pie slice as deep as a thin lasagna. Mellow mushrooms down the street here but I wasn’t sold on it. It was Ok but I hate thin crust

This post has been edited by Squirrel: 12 August 2019 - 05:28 PM

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#11 User is offline   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 05:24 PM

View PostMTP Reggie, on 12 August 2019 - 04:15 PM, said:

Deep Dish Pizza — Also commonly known as Chicago-style deep dish, this pizza's deep ledge allows for a generous portion of toppings, cheese, and sauce, and isn't uncommon for pizza slices to be up to 2 inches thick. The pies are baked in an oiled deep-dish pan to create a crispy, sometimes buttery, fried effect on the outside of the crust. The crust commonly contains corn meal, semolina, or food coloring to give it its distinctly yellow tone and add to its unique taste and texture. This style of pizza is particularly popular in the Midwest.

Sicilian Pizza — Much different from the thin, crispy crust in Naples, Sicilian pizza is known for its thick, rectangle-shaped crust, often over an inch thick. Sicilian immigrants brought these recipes with them to the United States, and Sicilian-style pizzas are most popular in large metro areas across the upper Midwest and East coast. Detroit-style pizza, which has been gaining popularity in recent years, is a derivative form of pan pizza.


Somewhere in between these two.

There USE TO BE a chain based in central Indiana called Noble Roman's. They called their Pizza "Sicilian" but it was really "Deep Dish"; Difference being GENUINE Sicilian uses a foccacia dough rather than "pizza" dough and is chewy almost to the point of being tough.

Anyway, Noble Roman's had the recipe "right". They had the "atmosphere" right. Unfortunately, they had the franchising wrong and everything the Wikipedia link implies about "Corporate" being A-holes is probably correct (I used to know some of the principals):

"During the 2000s and 2010s, the company became embroiled in multiple lawsuits with its franchisees.[5][6] Franchisees have described the company as "distinguished...by its high franchisee failure rates, and its insistence on suing franchise owners once they fail." Other franchisees allege that the company "has used litigation as a revenue source" and as of 2009 was "involved with litigation with every one of their franchisees."[7]...During this time, Noble Roman's had 800 franchised locations plus contracts to sell pizzas in 2,000 supermarkets.[9] As of August 2016 the number of dedicated Noble Roman's restaurants is approximately 16"


Now, I don't know every single point in the Wikipedia article to be true, but having known the principals, none surprises me. R.I.P.

"Chicago Style"? I've been to the ORIGINAL "Uno" in Chicago in the late '70s / early '80s. They had, as I recall, 2 or 3 in the Chicagoland area but weren't yet a "Chain / Franchise". Mrs. Smithee and I were at an Uno in Fort Collins CO in the early '00s Portland ORE in the mid '00s. Definitely NOT the same as original.

Honorable Mention: Paramount Music Palace in Indianapolis (R.I.P. 1995). Deep dish pizza. "Mighty Wurlitzer" pipe organ that could rattle the tables in the place. You really went there for the 'experience' but the pizza was better than you'd expect for such a place. Not quite Noble Romans or Uno, but more than adequate.

Indianapolis Star (2017): Whatever happened to: The Paramount Music Palace organ?
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#12 User is offline   Tikk 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 05:33 PM

View PostDean Adam Smithee, on 12 August 2019 - 05:24 PM, said:

Somewhere in between these two.

There USE TO BE a chain based in central Indiana called Noble Roman's. They called their Pizza "Sicilian" but it was really "Deep Dish"; Difference being GENUINE Sicilian uses a foccacia dough rather than "pizza" dough and is chewy almost to the point of being tough.

Anyway, Noble Roman's had the recipe "right". They had the "atmosphere" right. Unfortunately, they had the franchising wrong and everything the Wikipedia link implies about "Corporate" being A-holes is probably correct (I used to know some of the principals):

"During the 2000s and 2010s, the company became embroiled in multiple lawsuits with its franchisees.[5][6] Franchisees have described the company as "distinguished...by its high franchisee failure rates, and its insistence on suing franchise owners once they fail." Other franchisees allege that the company "has used litigation as a revenue source" and as of 2009 was "involved with litigation with every one of their franchisees."[7]...During this time, Noble Roman's had 800 franchised locations plus contracts to sell pizzas in 2,000 supermarkets.[9] As of August 2016 the number of dedicated Noble Roman's restaurants is approximately 16"


Now, I don't know every single point in the Wikipedia article to be true, but having known the principals, none surprises me. R.I.P.

"Chicago Style"? I've been to the ORIGINAL "Uno" in Chicago in the late '70s / early '80s. They had, as I recall, 2 or 3 in the Chicagoland area but weren't yet a "Chain / Franchise". Mrs. Smithee and I were at an Uno in Fort Collins CO in the early '00s Portland ORE in the mid '00s. Definitely NOT the same as original.

Honorable Mention: Paramount Music Palace in Indianapolis (R.I.P. 1995). Deep dish pizza. "Mighty Wurlitzer" pipe organ that could rattle the tables in the place. You really went there for the 'experience' but the pizza was better than you'd expect for such a place. Not quite Noble Romans or Uno, but more than adequate.

Indianapolis Star (2017): Whatever happened to: The Paramount Music Palace organ?



They used to have an Uno here in Arlington, TX. Same story. I was underwhelmed. The dough seemed like it wasn't cooked all the way through.

But they had a great in-house made salad dressing.

Gino's East claims to be Chicago style. But that was the worst pizza I've ever had. The wasn't any salt in the dough.

So, I can't say I've had true Chicago style. The examples I've had (3 so far from different locations) have been terrible. Not just not good. But awful. Like turn-me-off-of-pizza-as-a-genre-of-food-for-a-week bad.
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#13 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 05:35 PM

View PostMTP Reggie, on 12 August 2019 - 04:29 PM, said:

The choices of heathens...


OogaBooga!

Thick fat pizza, the way God intended. Except for the Sicilian, which sounds like the crust is way too thick.

:yes:
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#14 User is offline   The Punisher 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:11 PM

I like all kinds of pizza. One big question i have is why not put the toppings on the sauce and the cheese on top? That would stop the toppings from falling off when you pick up a slice. How many times have you snagged a hunk of pizza and most of the toppings fell off before you get it to your pie hole?

Pizza pie, pie hole. That's a joke son. "Foghorn Leghorn"
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#15 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:17 PM

View PostSquirrel, on 12 August 2019 - 05:24 PM, said:

Where in dallas is home slice? I'm from the Midwest and I hate to say it the best pizza near my north Dallas suburb is the last existing godfathers down here in lake dallas. And that's in a gas station. There used to be some place in Denton Texas that moved to Sanger before going out of biz. I forget the name my wife went to college there and introduced me to them. Thier deep dish was literally like a pie slice as deep as a thin lasagna. Mellow mushrooms down the street here but I wasn't sold on it. It was Ok but I hate thin crust


Home Slice is in Austin only. It's a single store/location and not a chain.
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#16 User is offline   Ladybird 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:50 PM

New York Style

Italian Pavilion, in my old neighborhood, is kind of a hole in the wall that hasn't changed in 50 years. Pizza is awesome.

https://s3-media2.fl.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/_Z1_KHfValsmOujknScYYA/l.jpg

:(


I live upstate now. Some pizza joints have been close on the crust, but the sauce is either too sweet or too bland.

This post has been edited by Ladybird: 12 August 2019 - 06:58 PM

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#17 User is offline   Magic Rat 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 07:15 PM

View PostLadybird, on 12 August 2019 - 06:50 PM, said:

New York Style

Italian Pavilion, in my old neighborhood, is kind of a hole in the wall that hasn't changed in 50 years. Pizza is awesome.

https://s3-media2.fl.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/_Z1_KHfValsmOujknScYYA/l.jpg

:(


I live upstate now. Some pizza joints have been close on the crust, but the sauce is either too sweet or too bland.

Aren't local parlors the best? I like the spicier sauce too. Unless I'm with someone I want to impress, I want to clean an oven with my breath after I eat.
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#18 User is offline   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 07:30 PM

View PostLadybird, on 12 August 2019 - 06:50 PM, said:

New York Style

Italian Pavilion, in my old neighborhood, is kind of a hole in the wall that hasn't changed in 50 years. Pizza is awesome.

https://s3-media2.fl.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/_Z1_KHfValsmOujknScYYA/l.jpg

:(


I live upstate now. Some pizza joints have been close on the crust, but the sauce is either too sweet or too bland.


Best sauce, IMHO, is not canned 'pizza sauce' per se but just plain Contadina "tomato sauce". Maybe a tad more fresh basil . And Oregano. And more fresh basil.

Basil - Tomato - Cheese. You just CAN'T go wrong. You want a hint of "sweetness"? Basil + the right tomatoes will get you there, no need for sugar or HFCS.
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#19 User is offline   erp 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 08:11 PM

View PostTikk, on 12 August 2019 - 04:57 PM, said:

There's a chain called Mellow Mushroom that (I think) started in Athens, Georgia. They opened a place near me in Arlington, TX some time ago.

Best. Pizza. Ever.

Now, there are other locations. But people have said, "oh it's ok." So I think there is something about the location near me. They claim to use water for their dough from a single source. I don't know.

I have taken others to the place. And all of them have said that it was the best pizza they have ever had. All of them.

The crust is done so well that people eat the whole thing. No pizza "bones" of uneaten crust left behind.

It's a New York style (I guess), with a high gluten stretchy/crispy/airy soft dough. Their toppings are excellent. You can taste the fennel in their sausage. Their bacon is smokey thick cut. etc.



The other place was the "i Fratelli" I mentioned in another thread. They used to have a restaurant in Irving, TX where they began. And their's is a rigid St. Louis style. Again, top notch ingredients and well done crispy crust. Don't get their delivery (trust me on this, really). Try to have it at their sit down restaurant.

Actually, I just looked them up. Their sit down restaurants don't exist anymore. Oh well.

I’m in Atlanta, and not all mellow mushrooms are equal. There one close to my house that's amazing, and one close that is not.

However, best pizza I have hafnis in Birmingham Alabama, arba place called Davenports. That is best ever!!
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#20 User is offline   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 08:26 PM

View Posterp, on 12 August 2019 - 08:11 PM, said:

I’m in Atlanta, and not all mellow mushrooms are equal. There one close to my house that's amazing, and one close that is not.

However, best pizza I have hafnis in Birmingham Alabama, arba place called Davenports. That is best ever!!


Yup.

In Cobb Co, Mellow Mushroom on S. Powers Fy @ Windy Hill. Trivia night on Tuesdays. Feel free to join. The food? Well, lets just say you won't starve and leave it at that.
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