St. Louis-Style Pizza

From Cook's Country | February/March 2010
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Why this recipe works:

With its wafer-thin crust; thick, sweet tomato sauce; gooey Provel cheese; and signature square slices, St. Louis-style Pizza is unmistakable. Adding cornstarch to the dough absorbed moisture and allowed the crust to crisp in a conventional oven. Because cornstarch has no gluten, it also… read more

With its wafer-thin crust; thick, sweet tomato sauce; gooey Provel cheese; and signature square slices, St. Louis-style Pizza is unmistakable. Adding cornstarch to the dough absorbed moisture and allowed the crust to crisp in a conventional oven. Because cornstarch has no gluten, it also helped to keep the crust tender.

We doctored a simple pizza sauce by adding sugar, tomato sauce, dried oregano, and fresh basil. The fresh herb wasn’t typical, but it gave the St. Louis-Style Pizza a flavorful lift. Smoky, melty Provel cheese was difficult to find outside the St. Louis area. We crafted a respectable substitute with American cheese, Monterey Jack, and liquid smoke.

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St. Louis-Style Pizza

You can make terrific pizza without yeast.

Watch the Video

Makes two 12-inch pizzas

We like to use a baking stone (also called a pizza stone), which heats evenly and helps crisp crusts, but if you don’t have one, bake the pizzas on an inverted, preheated rimmed baking sheet.

Ingredients

  • SAUCE
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • CHEESE
  • 2 cups shredded white American cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 drops liquid smoke
  • DOUGH
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. 1. MAKE SAUCE Whisk together tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, sugar, and oregano in small bowl; set aside. Toss cheeses with liquid smoke in medium bowl; set aside.

    2. MIX DOUGH Combine flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Combine water and olive oil in liquid measuring cup. Stir water mixture into flour mixture until dough starts to come together. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead 3 or 4 times, until cohesive.

    3. ROLL DOUGH Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, place pizza stone (or inverted baking sheet) on rack, and heat oven to 475 degrees. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, press into small circle and transfer to parchment paper dusted lightly with flour. Using rolling pin, roll and stretch dough to form 12-inch circle, rotating parchment as needed. Lift parchment and pizza off work surface onto inverted baking sheet.

    4. ASSEMBLE PIZZA Top each piece of dough with half of sauce and half of cheese. Carefully pull parchment paper and pizza off baking sheet onto hot baking stone. Bake until underside is golden brown and cheese is completely melted, 9 to 12 minutes. Remove pizza and parchment from oven. Transfer pizza to cooling rack and let cool few minutes. Assemble and bake second pizza. Cut into 2-inch squares. Serve.

    MAKE AHEAD: The dough can be made in advance. At the end of step 2, tightly wrap the ball of dough in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Easy as (Pizza) Pie

St. Louis-Style Pizza has a paper-thin crust. Here's how we transfer the dough from countertop to oven without tearing.

1. Roll out the dough on parchment paper, so it doesn't stick and you can move it easily.

2. Place the parchment and dough on an inverted baking sheet, then top it with sauce and cheese.

3. To get the pizza into the oven, slide both parchment and pizza onto the hot baking stone.

Pizza Toppings

Jazz up your pizza with these toppings. Each recipe tops 1 pizza (and can be doubled to top a full recipe of 2 pizzas).

 

PEPPERONI

Prepare St. Louis-Style Pizza sauce and dough. Arrange 3 1/2 ounces thinly sliced pepperoni on paper towel-lined plate. Cover with 2 more paper towels and microwave for 2 minutes. Let cool. Proceed with recipe from step 4 arranging pepperoni on pizza before sprinkling with cheese.

 

PEPPERS, MUSHROOMS, AND ONIONS

Prepare St. Louis-Style Pizza sauce and dough. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook 1 medium onion, sliced thin; 1 red pepper, sliced thin; and 8 ounces thinly sliced white button mushrooms until browned, about 10 minutes. Proceed with recipe from step 4, distributing vegetables over pizza before sprinkling with cheese.

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