The 411 on Yummy Pizza Crusts
In a world full of unprecedented events – and more time spent in our kitchens than ever before – pizza is the great equalizer. Whether it’s pick-up from your favorite Italian restaurant (ahem, Spizzico) or homemade with leftover ingredients in the refrigerator. Happiness is just a slice of pizza away. And, it’s not just an all-time favorite food, but a consistent source of comfort and joy in the form of a cheesy, doughy circle. Plus, making your own pizza crust at home can even help pass the time while you stay safe in quarantine. So, share a memorable experience and get the kids involved while they learn to cook, mix, and measure ingredients! Before you get started, we’re breaking down the 411 on yummy pizza crusts below.
The Main Ingredient: Flour
Pizza crust has a big job to do; it’s the outermost solid shell that holds together all of those delicious toppings. Fortunately, cooking and perfecting your pizza crust is a relatively basic process. All you need is some flour, yeast, sugar, water, salt, and a touch of olive oil. But, what flour is the best for making pizza dough? Well, that all depends on the type of crust texture that you want to achieve and the consistency of your pizza. Here’s a quick breakdown to help you choose the right pizza flour:
- All Purpose Flour – Think of it as a ‘one size fits all’ for pizza crust. It’s commonly used to create thin New York-style crusts, Neapolitan-style pizzas, and deep-dish pizza crusts. However, it can sometimes be more difficult to stretch out all-purpose flour as it may tear more easily.
- Bread Flour – The second most commonly used flour for homemade pizza crust. Bread flour adds extra crispiness to thin crust and New York-style pizzas. It will make your crust crispy on the outside and chewy and textured on the inside. But, keep in mind, while bread flour won’t tear as you stretch it out, it can be hard to form into the desired shape due to its high gluten content.
- Caputo Tipo 00 Flour – Perfect for a Neapolitan-style crust that is thin in the middle and puffs up around the rim. Just be aware that if your oven can’t handle temperatures above 500 degrees, this flour may not brown and char enough to deliver a crispy crust.
Thick vs. Thin Crust Pizza
We don’t want to ruffle any feathers here – the thick vs. thin crust pizza debacle surely has no winners in sight. At the end of the day, it’s all about your individual preference. The ingredients are often the same. The only difference is how you mix them together and how the dough is baked.
The New York-style slice, or thin crust, grew out of Neapolitan-style pizza when Italian immigrants brought pizza to America in the early 1900s. The characteristically thin crust is made with hand-tossed dough that comes out crispy along the edges, but is soft and foldable on the inside. This is in part due to the added sugar and olive oil in the high-gluten bread flour, yeast, and water used to create the dough.
Conversely, Chicago-style, or thicker, deep dish pizza, was founded in 1943 by pizzeria owners, Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo, who sought out to create their own Italian-American version. Their creation featured a new style pizza with a deeper dish, gooey crust and inverted layers. The cake-like crust features a base layer of a white flour dough mixture, a layer of sliced mozzarella with vegetables and meats, Italian sausage, and a final sweet layer of crushed tomatoes. More like a savory layer cake, deep-dish pizza is undeniably a knife-and-fork affair (unlike its foldable New York-style counterpart). Learn how to create your own homemade thin or thick crust pizza using these simple recipes.
Have Fun Making Pizza at Home!
Making yummy pizza crusts at home is the perfect way to bond with the family while eating well! There are plenty of ways to get fancy, too! You can add spices into the crust mix like oregano, thyme, paprika, and basil. Or, pile on the untraditional (or traditional) toppings for added flavor, such as pineapple, spinach, bacon, buffalo chicken, barbecue sauce, caramelized onions, or even mac and cheese.
Now, all that’s left is to get cookin’! And, if you ever feel like skipping the dough making, pick up a take-home pizza kit from Spizzico. Our $10 kit comes with one topping of your choice and it’s easy to assemble. Just give Spizzico Italian Kitchen a call and we’ll have your kit ready for pick up at our Arnold location.