Making St. Louis-style pizza from scratch is fast and easy
This week I’m the substitute baking teacher. Baking isn’t my usual thing. I can do it, but sometimes I lack the patience to carefully measure the ingredients – baking is as much a science as it is an art. I like tossing things together, especially when I’m going through leftovers. But the class I’m signing up for is a pizza class, and that’s totally in my wheelhouse.
The class is part of a series on “yeast dough”. There are many types of pizza. The New York style is usually the most common in the US, a thin, hand-tossed crust with a variety of toppings. Neapolitan is the original style from Italy, a thin crust baked over high heat with just tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella and olive oil. Chicago deep dish is a very popular style created by Ike Sewell, an Italian immigrant who wants to create something new – which eventually led to Pizza Uno. The Detroit style is growing in popularity. A light batter is pressed into a heavily greased or buttered brownie pan – an auto parts pan is used in Detroit – then “brick” cheese is layered to the brim, creating a cheese crust. The sauce is put on after it comes out of the oven.
There are many other styles: Sicilian, which is made on a focaccia-like batter; Californian style with exotic, seasonal toppings. But St. Louis-style pizza is extremely popular in the Midwest. It is baked on a wafer-thin crust without yeast. Once you have the batter together, you can start making your pizza right away! Even the sauce is just mixed and not cooked at all. While reviewing my pizza recipes for the class, I found this recipe and remembered I really liked it. However, the crust is so thin that I don’t recommend using more than two toppings (without cheese).
Preheat your oven and pizza stone before you start mixing. If you don’t have a stone, you can use a large baking sheet. If you don’t have a pizza bowl or giant spatula, you can use the back of a baking sheet or rimless baking pan. Traditional St. Louis pizza is cut into squares or “tavern slices”. Feel free to cut however you want.
St. Louis style pizza
• 10 ounces of shredded tomatoes
• 3 ounces of tomato paste
• 1 tablespoon of sugar
• 1 tablespoon of fresh, chopped basil and more to sprinkle
• 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano plus more to sprinkle
• 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
• 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt, divided
• 2 cups + 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon of baking powder
• 2 teaspoons of olive oil
• 2 teaspoons of corn syrup
• 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of water
• 4 cups of grated Provel cheese, about 3/4 pound
• 1 cup of an additional ingredient such as hot peppers, sausage or vegetables
1. Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat it to 550 ° F.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together tomato paste, tomato paste, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, basil, garlic powder, and oregano. Put aside.
3. Whisk the flour, remaining salt and baking powder in another bowl. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk the water, oil and corn syrup together. Mix in flour mixture until combined. Knead gently to bring together. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and roll out each piece to make a 12-inch cake.
4. Place on a pizza bowl (large spatula that can hold a whole pizza) covered with corn flour. Spread half of the sauce on each pizza. Cover with cheese and the toppings you want. Season with a little basil, oregano and kosher salt.
Bake on pizza stone for 8-10 minutes until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted, bubbly and golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes before cutting.
Quick two-ingredient crust
• 1 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt
• 1 cup of self-rising flour
Preheat oven to 425 ° F. Mix the two ingredients together and roll out a 14 inch cake. Place on a lightly greased baking pan. Top with the desired ingredients and bake for 12-15 minutes.
Sean Keeley is a culinary specialist at Lincoln Land Community College.
Would you like to know more?
Lincoln Land Community College offers associate degree programs in culinary arts and hospitality management, culinary arts certificates, and baking / pastry and non-credit community courses through the Culinary Institute.
Ask? Email [email protected]