The first pizzas graced the Earth in the 1800s. In a short amount of time, they have evolved far beyond their original form. Pizzas are signature dishes defined by region, toppings, and crust.
The crust of a pizza is hugely variable depending on where you are. Many pizza connoisseurs swear by certain types of crust. Do you know how to discern between different types of pizza crusts?
Maybe not yet, but we are about to break it down for you. Keep reading for a lesson on the defining characteristics of different crusts!
Neapolitan Pizza Crust
The Neapolitan pizza is said to be the original pie. It originated in Naples in the 1800s and continues to be a regional staple today.
The crust for Neapolitan pizza is so thin that it is usually consumed with a fork and knife. According to tradition, it is no thicker than one centimeter in the middle.
This thinness means that these crusts only support a few ingredients. Neapolitan pizzas achieve delicious flavors using simples profiles. You can thank Neapolitan pizza for the “Margherita” flavor, characterized by mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil.
Neapolitan pizza is cooked for barely over a minute in a very hot oven. As such, the crust is defined by its blistered and sometimes puffy rim. Professionals call this a “cornicione.”
Made from just yeast, flour, water, and salt, don’t be fooled by Neapolitan pizza’s simple recipe. The complexity is all in the technique if you want the perfect pizza crust. Traditional Neapolitan pizza is only ever hand-kneaded by skilled chefs.
It is easy to burn this crust in the very hot oven, but the end result is worth the risk. Once you have had the real thing, you will agree. Neapolitan crust is a classic for a reason.
New York-Style Pizza
New York pizza is infamous for its flavor and its wide, foldable slices. This crust has a crispy outer side and is praised for its chewy texture without being too thick. High gluten bread flour is used to achieve this texture.
New York-style crust has more sugar than other doughs, giving it its signature sweet taste. Many other types of pizza don’t use sugar in their crust at all.
Many places outside of New York attempt New York-style pizza. But die-hard fans of the style claim that the mineral content in New York’s water makes the pizza impossible to replicate elsewhere.
Departing from the thin style crust, Sicilian pizza crust is pillowy, chewy, and thick. Sicilian pizza is the highest standard for thick crust pizzas. It is frequently more than an inch thick.
Sicilian pizza is cut and served in square slices, which also sets it apart from other types of pizza.
Detroit-style pizza is very similar to Sicilian-style crust. It is thick and chewy while being nice and airy on the inside. It is also served in square pieces.
An oiled square pan lends these styles a delicious fried bottom. There is some lore associated with Detroit-style crust. It says that the square shape is because the pizza was traditionally cooked in auto parts trays.
Whether it is true or not, it is certainly a cool nod to the region’s close ties to the auto industry!
St. Louis Style Crust
Fans of crispy thin crust crave the St. Louis style crust for their pizza. St. Louis style crust is thin like a cracker. While many pizza crusts err on the thinner side, St. Louis pizza is the king of thin crust.
How does it achieve its cracker-like consistency? It is one of the only pizza crusts that is unleavened. In other words, makers of this pizza do not put yeast in their dough.
Like a Neapolitan, this means that you typically won’t see this pizza overloaded with ingredients. But that is okay because the texture of the crust is so delicious you won’t find it lacking at all.
Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza Crust
Many residents of the windy city swear by deep-dish pizza. This dish is really more like a pie, with pizza ingredients in the middle and on top.
Not only is there more crust used in this pizza style, but it is a hearty crust that can handle a full load of ingredients and bunches of melty mozzarella. You will need a fork and knife to eat this pizza!
In the last decade, more and more people have adopted a gluten-free diet. At first, that meant that they could not eat bread products at all. And then, talented chefs began experimenting with gluten-free recipes.
Today, there are lots of delicious options for gluten-free pizza crust! Some of them are made from gluten-free flour blends, containing things like brown rice flour and tapioca starch. But others even use vegetables to make a delicious and chewy pizza crust.
A popular option is a gluten-free crust made of cauliflower. Intrigued? Learn more at https://wiseguypizzapie.com/.
Enjoy All the Different Types of Pizza Crusts
Now that you know how to discern the different types of pizza crusts, you can enjoy any or all of them. Is there a particular crust that you are drawn to? Whatever your personal preference, the wide world of pizza crust offers something for everyone.
We have the word on all things “food.” If you want to know more about pizza or Italian cooking, we have some more articles for you. Visit our Recipes section and keep reading!