The Different Types Of Pizza Crusts

Each type of crust has its character, and there are as many preferences as there are people. You can't have a good pizza without a good pizza crust.

The Different Styles Of Pizza Crust

Pizza is a beloved food in many places, but especially in the United States. The reason that there are so many different kinds of pizza is that there are so many different types of pizza crusts.

Each type of crust has its character, and there are as many preferences as there are people. You can’t have a good pizza without a good pizza crust.

What Makes the Perfect Pizza Crust?

Everyone has their own opinion on what tastes best, but at the end of the day, when it comes to pizza crust, there are only two decisions to make: thin crust or thick crust.

What Makes the Perfect Pizza Crust

The perfect crust is crispy outside, soft and chewy inside. It should be flavorful enough to stand on its own, but not so strong that it dominates the flavor of the toppings. In a word, it should be delicious.

Identifying the types of pizza crust, from the thin to the thick and from the crispy to the soft will help you find your perfect crust.

The most popular ones are the New York style, the Chicago style, and the Italian style. The pizza crust is very controversial. The crust of a pizza is the base of every pizza.

The perfect pizza crust is golden brown on the outside and fluffy and chewy on the inside. It’s flavorful and never soggy or burnt. It’s the foundation of every great pizza.

It’s a versatile canvas upon which any number of quality ingredients can shine.

What Are the Important Qualities Looked for in Pizza Crusts?

Taste

When it comes to pizza, the most important quality looked for in a crust is taste. The best pizzas have a crust that tastes as good as it can when baked, with a texture that’s simultaneously crispy and chewy.

Topping

The second most important quality in a pizza crust is its ability to withstand the baking process without becoming soggy or brittle.

The final quality of a pizza crust is its ability to support the layers of Toppings and cheese that constitute the bulk of what makes a pizza.

The more topping on top of the pizza, the more weight there is pulling the crust down. The more topping, the thinner the crust will be.

A pizza topped with one extra piece of mozzarella cheese will be thinner than a pizza topped with a single extra piece of pepperoni. The more toppings on the pizza, the less room for crust.

While the same amount of crust still exists, the pizza becomes less dense.

This can affect how the pizza spreads, and ultimately, how the toppings distribute themselves. The more toppings, the more the average diameter of the pizza decreases.

Texture

The texture is very important to crust quality. The most important factor is the density of the dough. Bread baking has a lot of similarities to pizza dough, and the dough used for making bread is the same as what is used for making pizza.

Bread is a type of dough, and if you have a bread machine, you can use a bread recipe to make your pizza.

Water

The difference in crust volume is determined by the amount of water in the dough. The more water, the more water will remain in the dough, making it thicker. The more dough you use; the more crust you will have. This means that if you want more crust, you will need more water.

Types of Pizza Crusts

When it comes to pizza, however, one thing that can’t be denied is that there is an almost endless variety of different kinds of crusts on which to build your favorite pie.

From the traditional and most commonly recognized pizza crusts like the Neapolitan and Roman styles to the more unique and less conventional pizza crusts such as naan, pita, and tortilla pizzas, there’s something out there for everyone.

Thin Crusts

Thin Crust
Thin Crust

There are several different types of pizza crusts including thin, deep-dish, pan, and stuffed. Thin-crust pizzas are the classic pizzas that one typically thinks of when thinking of a pizza.

Such pizzas are typically a little bit crispier than other crusts and because of this, many people enjoy the thin crust.

New Haven Style Pizza

New Haven Style Pizza White Clam Pizza
New Haven Style Pizza White Clam Pizza

In the late 1800′s, New Haven-style Pizza was created in New Haven, Connecticut. It has a thicker crust that is more similar to a deep-dish pizza than a thin crust.

Many people enjoy the New Haven-style pizza because it is typically topped with a ton of cheese. It is also somewhat crunchy and crispier than other crusts.

St. Louis Style Pizza

Homemade St. Louis Style Pizza
Homemade St. Louis Style Pizza

The St. Louis style is one of the simplest and most recognizable types of pizza. It’s a thin pizza. The dough is stretched very thin and spread with a tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.

It’s baked at a very thin temperature, usually in a pan, so that the cheese on the crust turns golden and brown.

Neapolitan Style Pizza

Neapolitan Style Pizza
Neapolitan Style Pizza

The Neapolitan style is a typical pizza in Italy, with a thin, crispy crust (about 1/4-inch-thick) on which the pizza is folded. It is topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, or other toppings, but not with cheese.

The crust is usually topped with a basil leaf (sometimes known as the Napoli pizza).

New York Style Pizza

New York Style Pizza
New York Style Pizza

The New York-style crust is a thin crust pizza dough that is formed using a kneading technique, which gives it a very specific texture and flavor.

The kneading process itself is what separates it from the standard Chicago-style thick crust pizza dough, which is formed using a rolling pin instead of one’s hands.

The New York-style pizza dough will also use yeast as the leavening agent, which creates a very light crust, instead of baking powder or baking soda that the Chicago style dough uses.

The yeast will also give the dough a very specific flavor that cannot be duplicated with any other leaven.

Thick Crusts

Thick Crust
Thick Crust

Thick crust pizza is usually characterized by its doughy, bready texture which can be chewy or crispy depending on the type of pizza.

The sauce on the top of the pizza is also thicker than traditional pizza sauce, and the cheese fills in any crevice in the dough which prevents toppings like pepperoni or sausage from falling off.

The dough is often baked at a higher temperature than thin crust pizza which makes it brown more quickly.

Double-Dough /Stuffed-Crust Style

Double-Dough /Stuffed-Crust Style
Stuffed-Crust Style

The double-dough pizza was created in the 1980s by Roberta Flack who said:

“I wanted the pizza to be a very good crust. I didn’t want to use any commercial dough, because then it would be too soft for a good crust, but I didn’t want to use my hand, which means it needs to be a pretty stiff kind of dough. So I mixed up a flour and water recipe and added yeast”.

In the double or stuffed-crust pizza, the bottom crust is thicker and often baked at a lower temperature than the top.

This allows the pie to be soft through and through, almost as if it were made of dough rather than just a crust.

It can be cooked at higher temperatures than a typical pizza, which allows the crust to brown quickly and be crisper, but not as high as you might find with a thick-crust pizza.

When you have a thick-crust pizza you can also put anything you want in it, and the crust will not break.

Detroit/Sicilian Style Pizza

Detroit/Sicilian Style Pizza
Detroit/Sicilian Style Pizza

A Detroit-style pizza is cooked in a rectangular shape in a steel conveyor oven, resulting in a thin, crispy crust that has a chewy texture. The dough is stretched out, then placed in the oven where it bakes until puffy and crispy.

The sauce and cheese are then added, and the pizza is finished until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

The first thing that strikes you when you bite into a Detroit-style pizza is the crust. It’s thick, crispy, and best of all has a chewy texture. The crust is made with a special technique where the pizza is baked twice.

The first time, the pizza is only partially baked, so that the pizza dough rises and becomes fluffy.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

The thick, deep-dish pizza is a popular Chicago dish. The first version of deep-dish pizza was invented in 1943 by Ike Sewell at his bar and grill, Pizzeria Uno.

He created the dish because he had a lot of tomato sauce leftover from serving spaghetti and the only available dough was thick. Sewell originally called his creation “pizza pot pie”.

The secret of the Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is in the crust, which must be made from high-gluten flour, water, yeast, salt, and cornmeal. The dough is kneaded by a machine, but it must be allowed to rise by hand.

The resulting crust is thick, flaky, and crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.

To create the perfect Chicago deep-dish pizza, the pizza must be baked in an oven at a certain temperature for a certain amount of time. The pizza must be placed on a pan with a slight slope to allow the excess water to drain off.

The pizza should be put on the oven rack at the top where the heat is the hottest, not on the bottom where the heat is the coldest. The pizza should be baked until it is golden brown on the bottom and top, and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Flatbread/Focaccia Pizza

Focaccia Pizza
Focaccia Pizza

Flatbread or focaccia pizza crust, recipe contributed by Jeanne Strack, courtesy of the Minnesota Grain Marketing Program. Pizza dough is an excellent way to use up extra bread dough.

It also makes a quick and easy dinner for those unexpected drop-in guests. Pizza dough can be made ahead and frozen for later use.

Focaccia is a flatbread from Italian cuisine. It may be topped with herbs or other ingredients. The dough is usually olive oiled and allowed to rise, giving focaccia its characteristic dimpled appearance.

It is sometimes baked in a wood-fired oven but more commonly baked in an electric oven.

Custom Crusts

Gluten-Free

Gluten-free pizza crusts are made by substituting flour (wheat, rice, and corn) for one that is free of gluten. Because gluten-free flours are not like regular flour, the crust has a different texture and consistency from regular flour.

Gluten-Free Pizza
Gluten-Free Pizza

The gluten-free crust can be made with a wide variety of flours. Some people with celiac disease can tolerate wheat, but cannot tolerate the gluten in wheat, so they can eat gluten-free pizza crusts.

Vegan-Friendly

The definition of a vegan-friendly pizza crust is a pizza crust that is free of animal products, such as meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. This is because animal products are not allowed in a vegan diet.

For example, a gluten-free pizza crust cannot contain any gluten, because that is the main ingredient in wheat-based foods. However, a vegan-friendly pizza crust can contain non-vegan ingredients but must contain no animal products.

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