Last week, we learned that pizza has a long and storied history, with the first modern-day pizza generally believed to have been made during the 1800s in Naples, Italy. (If you manage to miss out on our blog post last week, check it out here!)
Since then, we have witnessed so many variations of pizza across the globe — especially when it comes to the crust. The crust of a pizza is foundational to both the pizza as well as the recipes used to make it. It partially dictates the taste, texture, thickness, and topping selection. It also affects prep, baking, appearance, and presentation. It's no wonder, then, that the crust is usually the catalyst for pizza innovation. Let's explore the many variations of pizza crusts out there right now - we definitely have our favourite! Read on to find out which one it is! Thick Crust Traditional Pan Pizza Definitely not thin crust, and the least thick of the thick crust pizza varieties at about half an inch, the traditional pan pizza is a happy medium for most pizza lovers. Made widely popular by Pizza Hut, this style of the crust is characterised by a buttery, pan-fried taste and texture on the outside, with a soft and chewy centre. The perfect foundation for custom flavours, a traditional pan pizza crust is a universal customer favourite. Deep Dish Pizza The crust for deep dish pizza (commonly known as Chicago-style deep dish) has a ledge that allows for a generous portion of toppings, cheese, and sauce — and by generous, we mean pizza slices up to 2 inches thick. The pizzas are baked in an oiled deep-dish pan to create a crispy, sometimes buttery, fried effect on the outside of the crust. Deep dish pizza crust commonly contains cornmeal, semolina, or food colouring to give it its distinctive yellow tone and enhance its unique taste and texture.
Neapolitan Pizza Given that pizza is purported to have originated in Naples, it's no surprise that Neapolitan pizza is believed to be the "original" Italian pizza, and you guessed it, our personal favourite. We pride ourselves in crafting authentic Italian-style pizza using the signature Neapolitan pizza dough which you all know and love if you're lucky enough to try one of our delicious, wood-fired pizzas! To achieve its signature light, slightly crispy texture, the Neapolitan pizza must meet a very specific set of requirements. A true Neapolitan dough is hand-kneaded (no mechanical preparation whatsoever!), no more than 35 centimetres in diameter, and no more than one-third of a centimetre thick at the centre. It is baked in a wood-fired, domed oven. Classic styles include the Margherita and Marinara, and given the impossible-to-replicate flavour and texture of Neapolitan crust from a wood-fired oven, this is the perfect crust for those who want an authentic Italian pizza!
New York-Style Pizza Often sold by the slice in big, wide wedges, New York-style pizza has been the trademark pizza style of New York City and the entire Northeast U.S. since the early 1900s, with regional variations found across the country. New York-style crust is slightly crispy on the outside, yet soft and pliable enough to fold the big slices in half, making it easier to eat. New York-style pizza crust gets its unique flavour and texture from its high-gluten bread flour and the minerals present in New York City water, which some out-of-state pizza makers actually "import" for authenticity. Flatbread Crust While there is no real agreement on what defines a "flatbread," typically this crust style is lighter and airier, making it ideal for less-filling appetisers and personal-sized pizzas. Oftentimes, the artisan look of flatbread crusts makes them an appealing option for gourmet and trendy toppings like balsamic and spinach.
Focaccia Unlike other crust types, focaccia is different in that it often is not sauced. This thick, bread dough is infused with herbs and brushed with olive oil before baking, then covered with cheeses, herbs and spices, and minimalistic toppings, allowing the crust’s flavour and texture to shine. Focaccia crust is perfect as a meal accompaniment or appetiser, but can also be used as a traditional pizza crust for a truly unique and savoury flavour.
Photos of the different types of pizza crusts mentioned in this blog. Starting from the top left and across: traditional pan pizza, Chicago deep-dish pizza, New York-style pizza, Neapolitan pizza, Flatbread and Focaccia (sourced from Google Images and Pizza Haven).