What are the most common pizza styles?
Updated: Dec 31, 2020
Choosing a pizza style can be tricky. With so many options to choose from, it can be tempting to try them all! Let’s take a look at the most common pizza styles and what makes each one unique.
Neapolitan. Neapolitan crust pays homage to pizza’s origins: Italy. The perfect thickness of the crust and the heavenly airiness of each bite takes you straight to a little pizzeria in Roma. This pizza style is cooked in an oven heated to between 700F-730F degrees for two to two and a half minutes. Traditionally, Neapolitan pizzas only had three toppings, all of which came from Italy. These days, you can put nearly anything on them, but the traditional Margherita toppings (San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil) are most popular.
Chicago. Also known as “Deep Dish,” this dough uses less than 58% hydration making it dryer and more biscuit-like than the other styles. It is rolled out very thin and placed in a pan. All of the topping ingredients (such as meat and vegetables) are placed inside. A layer of mozzarella is placed on top, followed by a layer of tomatoes or tomato sauce. This type of pizza is very much like a “pizza pie”, with the eater often needing a knife and fork to enjoy all the delicious layers of topping and crust.
St. Louis. A smaller, crispy crust loaded with toppings, some would argue that the St. Louis pizza style has more in common with nachos than a pizza. If you like a light crust, a personal-sized pizza, and lots of toppings, the St. Louis style pizza is the right one for you!
Detroit. This pizza style uses the same dough as the Sicilian style but is distinguished by its topping and border. When preparing the Detroit style pizza, brick cheese from Wisconsin is sprinkled along the sides of the pan between the pan and the crust to make a very crunchy, ever-so-slightly charred crust. The sauce and cheese are also applied differently, with the cheese going on first and then the sauce.
New York. Probably the most famous pizza style, this pizza style is often seen in films and TV shows with actors consuming the wide wedged slices of New York-style pizza. The crust is crispy on the outside, the inside is soft and doughy, allowing pizza lovers to easily fold the large slices in half to eat more easily. Virtually any topping in any quantity works well on these oversized slices, and it only takes a few slices to fill up even the hungriest of pizza lovers!
Roman. Although this pizza style is relatively new to Americans, it’s not any less delicious! This pizza style features a long rectangular crust that is light and fluffy, but substantial enough to hold meat and cheeses without falling apart. The unique crust texture is created with a process called cold fermentation. During this process, the dough is refrigerated for up to 72 hours to slow the yeast fermentation process. When chilled, yeast takes longer to produce carbon dioxide and gluten has more time to develop, in turn creating a more complex gluten network. This leads to more carbon dioxide can be locked in while baking, meaning the end result is a lighter, more flavorful crust.
Bar Style. We saved our favorite for last! Though the origin of this type of pizza is disputed, bar-style pizza has been a fixture in the South Shore area for decades. The pizza is always personal sized and crispy. The cooking method is also different than other types of pizza. It is usually cooked in individual pans which gives the crust a cheesy char on the outside. You can find bar pizza throughout the Northeast but you don’t have to travel too far to get the best.
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