Are you looking to learn about the different types of pizza crust? In this article, I will go over what makes the perfect pizza crust, as well as going through the 8 most popular types.
Why is Pizza Crust So Important?
Many people think the toppings are the most important part of a pizza and they are but what about the crust? After all, if the crust is bad, it ruins the entire pizza. No one wants a pizza that has a soggy base or a crust that is too doughy. Lets face it, the crust of a pizza is what makes it a pizza.
What Makes The Perfect Pizza Crust?
One of the reasons why pizzas are so popular is because of the varied toppings, you can find a type of pizza that everyone enjoys. This is exactly the same as the crust, everyone has their own thoughts on what makes the perfect pizza crust.
There are many different things that can impact the crust, whether it’s the ingredients or how it’s prepared. Below are a couple of things that are important when it comes to the pizza crust;
There are many different recipes when it comes to pizza dough and this gives the crust very different flavors. If you add a little sugar to your dough then this can add some additional sweetness. Even the way the pizza crust is cooked can alter the way it tastes. For example, if you bake the pizza in a normal oven compared to a wood-fired oven, you will notice the crust tastes very different.
Different types of pizza crust will have a different type of texture, this is something all pizza lovers will notice. For example, some crusts might be crunchy, whereas others could be much softer. There is a big difference in crust between a Chicago Deep-dish and a Neapolitan style.
There is nothing worse than having a pizza that is not able to handle the toppings. Normally thicker crusts such as Sicilian or a detroit is used to hold heavy loaded pizzas, however thin crusts such as Chicago Deep-dish can still hold a decent amount of toppings. If you are wanting to find the perfect pizza crust, it has to be able to handle the toppings you want to use.
Thin vs Thick pizza crust
Below you will find a difference on thin or thick pizza crust;
Thin Crust pizza
In thin-crust pizzas, the dough is gently stretched out to form the edges, leaving the Pizza with a slimmer center. Pizzas with thin crusts include the New York-Style Pizza and the Neapolitan Pizza; these do not take heavy toppings.
Health experts recommend thin crust pizza, saying they contain fewer calories than the regular pie slices. For example, a Domino’s large thin crust has 60 percent fewer calories than a thick crust pizza.
Thick Crust pizza
Thick crust pizzas are made thick throughout to handle more sauce and toppings. Thickness ranges anywhere from 1/8-inch to ¼-inch.
Types of pizza crusts
Did you know there are many different types of pizza crusts, below I have listed 8 of them?
Now, these are in no specific order and will include details on what makes them different and the types of toppings you might find on them.
1. Neapolitan Pizza
This is the original Pizza that dates back to 18th century Naples, Italy.
It was a favorite among the natives because it was prepared with simple and fresh ingredients; just basic dough, fresh Mozzarella, tomatoes, olive oil, basil leaves, and oregano, making it one of the cheapest foods in this seaside city.
They called it Pizza Napolitana
Nowadays, Neapolitan Pizza has evolved into a few variations depending on the toppings used, but still, the method of preparation hasn’t changed.
It does not use fancy toppings and only takes 90 seconds to cook in an 800F-900F. It is thin and does not support heavy toppings.
It also often features more sauce than cheese.
DEPENDING ON TOPPINGS, VARIANTS OF NEAPOLITAN PIZZA INCLUDE:
- Pizza Marinara: Has tomatoes, oregano, extra virgin oil, and garlic as toppings.
- Pizza Margherita: Has sliced Mozzarella, basil, tomatoes, and extra virgin oil.
- Pizza Margherita extra: Has Campania in addition to sliced Mozzarella, basil, tomatoes, and extra virgin oil.
2. Chicago Pizza
Known for its crispy, golden-hued crust, a slice of the Chicago deep-dish tastes delicious.
This pizza style was created for Italian immigrants in Chicago back in the early 1900s when they were looking for something with a taste close to the Neapolitan they knew and loved.
The Chicago deep-dish was first created by Ike Sewell; it had a thick crust, raised edges, and slices of Mozzarella followed by meat, veggies, and finally tomatoes as toppings.
The Ike pizza became so popular it led to the creation of the Pizzeria Uno chain of restaurants. Nowadays, the Chicago deep-dish is known for its crispy, golden-hued crust as a result of adding butter or corn to the dough and coating with cheese and chunky sauce.
Traditional toppings for Chicago pizza include ground beef, mushrooms, onion, pepperoni, sausage, and green peppers.
As this is a thick crust, the recommended baking time is 30-35 minutes.
3. New York Style Pizza
Since New York is a busy city, you want to get hefty pizza slices for a perfect lunch.
Starting as a variation of the Neapolitan style pizza, the New York-style pizza has evolved into the now popular hefty foldable slices and crispy crust formed by hand-tossing high-gluten dough into the air then treating it with some sauce and grated Mozzarella.
Most people cook New York-style Pizza in wood or coal ovens for a delicious crispy crust, but if you don’t have these types of ovens, a gas deck oven will also do just fine.
For toppings, these pizza styles can handle more than the Neapolitan Pizza; you can use pepperoni, mushroom, sausage, anchovies, mozzarella cheese, and more.
4. Sicilian Pizza
The Sicilian Pizza is a square-cut pizza with a crunchy crust and features robust tomato sauce.
Sicilians don’t make their Pizza like the natives of the mainland do; no, the Sicilian Pizza is not the round, thin-crust Pizza, it is made using pillowy dough and robust tomato sauce then cut into square slices.
You can opt between the original Sicilian that does not feature Mozzarella or go with the newfangled Sicilian that uses Mozzarella.
Other options for toppings include anchovies, onions, and herbs.
5. Greek Pizza
This is a variation of the Italian Pizza, created by the geeks. It’s thick, with more sauce than cheese and usually baked in shallow, oiled pans giving it a chewy crust.
While it has a thick, chewy crust, it is not as thick as the Sicilian or the Chicago deep-dish. This type of Pizza only uses cheese as a topping
6. California Pizza
The California pizza, also known as the gourmet, uses the same style of dough as the Neapolitan Pizza then topped an endless list of unusual ingredients.
There are no traditional toppings for this Pizza, anything from smoked salmon to artichokes and eggs will do. After all, it is the leading state of creativity.
7. Detroit Pizza
It is known for its thick, super crispy crust that is airy and tender on the inside.
The first Detroit pizzas were cooked in square steel pans that had just been retired from the city’s auto factories.
The dough is set, followed by pepperoni, and the whole thing is smothered in cheese to the brim, and then the sauce is lightly applied.
Mushrooms and olives can be used as toppings too.
8. St. Louis Pizza
The St. Louis Pizza is a thin crust pizza made without yeast, just a thin crust followed by a layer of sweet sauce and Provel cheese.
Provel cheese is just a mix of Swiss, cheddar, and provolone.
The St. Louis pizza has a crispy crust and is usually cut into rectangle slices known as avern’ or arty’ cuts.
Toppings include sweet tomato sauce and a robust dosage of oregano.
As you can see there are 8 different types of pizza crust and it all boils down to which is your personal favorite.
A lot of the time it does depend on what toppings you have. If it’s going to be loaded up then you need to have a crust that can handle the weight.
If I’m having a pizza for lunch then I might also go for a thin crust as it’s lighter, whereas if it’s an evening meal then a thick crust would fill me up more.