Top Pizza CrustsScot Consentino
Top Pizza Crusts. “Any pizza is better than no pizza” is a favorite saying of mine, along with beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Food tastes are varied and regional, however, the universal appeal of pizza has brought the many different styles and recipes to all the corners of the earth. Probably the best known and most duplicated is the New York Style with its high gluten flower and slow bake, usually made in brick-lined deck ovens. The signature characters are the chewy crust that passes the “fold test” meaning each slice of the gigantic 18″ plus inch pies can folded in half for eating on the run in a slice of wax paper and the shredded mozzarella on top of a sauce covered dough. It seems pepperoni is hands down the most popular topping for this kind of pizza. Just look at the number of pizza places across the United States and the world calling themselves New York Pizza or selling “Authentic New York Style Pizza” and you get the enormity in popularity of this type of crust.
Next in line is the Neapolitan style pizza which is beginning to move away from its original roots and regulations of completely handmade dough, hand stretched, cooked in a traditional brick oven and under 13 inches with a buffalo cheese. The reason for this break from tradition has become obvious since the United States of America is by far the largest consumer market for pizza with industry sales topping the billion dollar a year mark according to Pizza Today Magazine and American pizza places are all about high production and speed so the Italians let the handmade part slip when it comes to selling Neapolitan to the American market.
Gaining momentum lately is the Detroit style crust featuring a square Sicilian looking pie that is often baked not in a pizza pan but in Industrial automotive parts pans that were common in Detroit. The main feature of this double baked pie is the well oiled or sometimes butter coated crust which makes a very crisp or fried crust surrounding the soft thick inner crust.
Next up is the Chicago deep dish style crust that is baked in a round steel pan with a very thick crust that is usually prepared with the cheese and toppings placed on the dough before a thick layer of tomato sauce is added due to the longer bake times to avoid burning the cheese.
Another Italian style pizza is Focaccia or a flatbread pizza usually in a thin rectangle shape without the sauce layer on the dough, usually just a light oil with toppings. This is gaining followers in the artisan pizza world.
Lastly, we have the New York Style Brick Oven Pizza made famous by the boys from Goodfella’s Brick Oven Pizza New York and the Pizza School New York and is now featured all over the United States as great pizza for both dine in and delivery. Since the semolina and high-gluten flour dough pizzas are baked in brick ovens at a fast pace, they are perfect for dine in and hold their texture and consistency well for pick up and delivery, an important aspect of many new businesses concentrating on pizza and the fast casual pizza model. Any pizza is better than no pizza so go out and get a slice of your favorite and don’t be afraid to give other styles of pizza crust a try.
Happy pizza to you!