There are hundreds of different types of pizza across the world, and in the United States, we have at least eleven! While there are still some parts of the country that only have a choice between thin crust or thick crust, those of us who are lucky enough to live in Missouri are also lucky enough to have access to a local favorite: the St. Louis-style pizza!
Those who are new to the city may be thinking “isn’t St. Louis-style pizza just another way to say thin crust?” We need to go on the record, right here and now, to defend the honor of one of our most important contributions to the canon of American food. No, St. Louis-style pizza is not just another name for thin crust!
We understand the confusion, and we’re here to explain—and once we’ve gone over the basics, we highly recommend that you try some St. Louis-style pizza and say hello to your family’s new favorite pizza style.
We’ll start with the crust because that’s where the confusion starts. While traditional thin crust pizza dough is made from flour, yeast, oil, and salt, St. Louis-style pizza has an ultra-crispy, cracker-like thin crust made from unleavened, yeast-free dough. This gives the crust some serious structural integrity, so it can support lots of toppings piled high, which isn’t usually possible with a traditional thin crust pizza.
Not as thick as Detroit-style, not as thin as New York-style, St. Louis-style sauce is ideal for swirling edge to edge on that cracker-thin crust! A little savory and a little sweet, with a little extra oregano added to the seasoning, this sauce helps to balance the flavors of any toppings you could want—whether you prefer traditional, modern, trendy, or limited-edition options.
Traditionally, St. Louis-style pizza uses a proprietary 3-cheese blend called Provel. Pizza bylaws prevent us from revealing the confidential trade secrets behind this marvel of dairy engineering, but what we can say is Provel is a blend of white cheddar, provolone, and Swiss cheese. Here at Dogtown Pizza, we dared to improve on perfection with our own proprietary 3-cheese blend: we just think mozzarella really pulls the pizza together!
St. Louis-style pizza is traditionally served sliced into squares, with about 16 pieces of varying size per pizza (this can also be called “party cut”). Of course, we can’t tell you what to do in the privacy of your own home with a St. Louis-style pizza you baked in your own oven, but we do strongly recommend you embrace tradition on this one.
The smaller slices are easier to pick up and bite into, plus you can justify all the toppings you want if you’re not thinking about how they’ll balance on a longer, thinner slice. Besides, this also means you’ll be able to do something you haven’t done since middle school: eat four slices and then go back for more!
The original St. Louis-style pizzas, like most early pizzas in America, were made by Italian immigrants using recipes based on the Neapolitan-style pizza. Common toppings included tomatoes, basil, anchovies, and mozzarella. In the following decades, it was discovered that more foods could be converted into pizza toppings merely by the process of making the foods bite-sized and adding them to a pizza crust.
We now live in a future that would be unimaginable to the original creators of pizza, one where all vegetables, and all meats, can be eaten on pizza. We have Hot Wing pizza, and Hamburger pizza, and if you add beans, salsa, and sour cream, isn’t a St. Louis-style pizza almost genetically identical to an open-face quesadilla?
Speaking of the best toppings on St. Louis-style pizza, look for Dogtown Pizza in your local grocery store freezer section for a vast selection of topping options.
Go traditional with our Tomato Basil Garlic or Pepperoni Pepperoncini pizzas; get spicy with our Hot Wing pizza; try our Sausage & Pepperoni pizza with Salsiccia sausage made local and delivered directly from The Hill, or get double the savory, smoky, salty bacon on every slice with our Bacon Bacon pizza!
Picky eaters at your house? Our cheese pizza is a favorite for a reason—it’s made with our creamy, tangy, white cheese blend that’s always stretchy, never stringy.
Whatever toppings you’re in the mood for, they all taste their best on a St. Louis-style pizza with the ideal proportions of crust, sauce, and cheese to make the toppings the star of your meal. And when you’re in the mood for a St. Louis-style pizza at home that fits into your schedule by going from freezer to table in under twenty minutes, now you’re talking about Dogtown St. Louis-style Pizza!
The Morning After
Another thing that’s unmistakably St. Louis-style? It’s just as good the next morning as the night of! When your pizza is St. Louis-style, you won’t be looking forward to limp-slice leftovers topped with congealed cheese (and not just because St. Louis-style is so good you won’t have any leftovers!).
That crispy, cracker-thin crust stays crisp, and the ooey-gooey, creamy, melty, stretchy deliciousness-incarnate that is the Provel cheese blend stays just as delicious hanging out in the fridge overnight as it was fresh out of the oven. If your slices make it to morning, it’s a sure bet they won’t make it much longer than that!
And as a bonus, St. Louis-style pizza goes great with coffee, due to its contrasting textures and flavors, and the smaller, square-cut slices help it blend in with the daintier, sweeter options on the pastry tray (or are we the only ones bringing pizza and donuts to the weekly breakfast meeting?).
Is there something that sets St. Louis-style pizza apart from other—dare we say lesser— pizzas that we left out? How do you explain St. Louis-style pizza to people from out of state? What’s your favorite style of pizza, and why is it St. Louis-style? Let us know in the comments below!