Author Topic: Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?  (Read 20983 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Laura

  • Guest
Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« on: April 09, 2003, 12:28:13 PM »
Anyone know how to make a thin St. Louis Style crust - like Imo's Pizza?  Also, they use a cheese called "Provel" (not provolone), which has been very hard to find where I live and ordering it online is very expensive.  Any suggestions for a similar cheese?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1050044400 »


Offline DKM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1684
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Texas
  • Chicago - Now that's Pizza!
    • The Emperor.net
Re:Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2003, 12:00:18 AM »
I must admit, I'm not sure what that is.  Can someone describe it for me.

DKM
I'm on too many of these boards

Offline Steve

  • Steve Zinski
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 1944
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Richmond, VA
    • pizzamaking.com
Re:Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2003, 07:51:30 AM »
Provel Cheese

A St. Louis original. Provel cheese is a pasteurized process cheddar, swiss, and provolone cheese. Provel cheese is great on pizzas, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and just about anything. (found this info at http://foodcraver.com/5lbprovchees.html)

And, found this: This is the cheese mixture that has made Imo’s the original St. Louis style pizza and has continued to help make Imo’s the number one pizza choice in St. Louis. Use it on your salads, in your eggs, casseroles, whatever to perk up any dish. at the following website: http://shop.store.yahoo.com/stlouisstylepizza/shredprov8oz.html


It would seem to me that it'd be very easy to make at home since it's merely a blend of three different cheeses.
Pizzamaking.com is a member-supported public resource. Click HERE to become a Supporting Member.

Offline DKM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1684
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Texas
  • Chicago - Now that's Pizza!
    • The Emperor.net
Re:Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2003, 01:01:12 PM »
I've probably done a low budget version of the cheese blend before with out even knowing it or the ratios.

I have never knowing had a St. Louis style pizza before.  What is the cust line.  It looks similar to classic Italian crust.

What can you tell about it?

DKM

I'm on too many of these boards

Grant

  • Guest
Re:Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2004, 03:22:02 PM »
Here's the basics:
http://www.stlpizza.com/about.html

It's a super thin cracker crust, very few if any bubbles, bordering on being burnt sometimes - nearly no crust edge at all (as you can see in the picture on that page).

Provel cheese is very, very tangy, I've tried the cheese blends before and it will come close, but ultimately it's not the same.

And then of course, most importantly, cut into squares. . .

 ;D

I think I need to order some shipped out here now. . .

Offline DKM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1684
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Texas
  • Chicago - Now that's Pizza!
    • The Emperor.net
Re:Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2004, 04:10:30 PM »
I might have a recipe that works for the crust, but it will be some time before I can try it.  I'm behind as it is.

DKM
I'm on too many of these boards

Offline Randy

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2020
  • Age: 67
  • Pizza, a great Lycopene source
Re:Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2004, 04:53:26 PM »
I wonder if it would be close to my thin crust?
It is very thin and no bubbles.

Randy
Thin crust
7 oz. warm water(120F-130F)
1 package SAF Perfect Rise yeast
1 pound KA bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Classico olive oil.

Mix together the flour and salt.  Place roughly half the flour mixture in the mixing bowl then add the yeast to the bowl.  Measure the very warm water and add the honey to the water. Pour that into the mixer and mix on stir for a few minutes.  Add about ¼ of the remaining flour mixture and go to kneading speed on your mixer.  Knead for 5 minutes.  Add remaining flour, and both oils then knead for 10 more minutes.  Place in greased bowl overnight in the Fridge.  

Remove two hours in advance and flatten into a thick disk say a foot in diameter.  Let it rest covered with plastic until the final rolling.  Use bread flour to keep it from sticking.  After rolling prick a lot of holes in the dough.
Prebake at 500F for 4 ½ minutes.  Add toppings then bake for 8-10 minutes.




Offline DKM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1684
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Texas
  • Chicago - Now that's Pizza!
    • The Emperor.net
Re:Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2004, 08:54:26 PM »
That is very close to the one I was thinking of.  Mine is simply labled thin crust.

1 cup warm water (120F)
1 package yeast
3.5 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon salad oil
1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions are about the same.
I'm on too many of these boards

mister

  • Guest
Re:Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2004, 02:01:59 AM »
Stl style is made with low gluten flour, since the object is to have minimal rising. All of the places that I am aware that make this style of "pizza" use shells that are pre-made and frozen.  :o I've also seen the shells at an italian market on "The Hill," which is an italian neighborhood.

To those of you who haven't tried it, the shell is about the thickness of two flour tortillas, both before and after baking. Basically, its role is as a conduit for getting the provel (processed) cheese, and in the local custom, no fewer than 4 toppings-preferably all meat-into one's mouth. As someone who isn't from St. Louis, I find this style really nasty and an insult to the word, pizza. On a more positive note, it's the primary reason I started making my own at home, though in the last 5 years a couple of respectable NY style pizzarias have opened in Stl. ;D

Offline gperls

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6
  • I'm a llama!
Re:Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2004, 04:54:11 PM »
In case anyone's still following this thread:

I came from St. Louis, and love Imo's pizza. We have them here in KC also, now.

I've been successful  in buying the provel cheese directly from an Imo's restaurant. They come in 5 lb. blocks and cost about $5/lb. They keep pretty long in the fridge.

Last night I made a thin crust from the recipe on this board, and used the provel and a homemade sweet sauce. Finally got the Sir Lancelot flour, too. Made the best pizza I've ever had.


Offline ClayTR

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2
Re: Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2008, 12:14:55 AM »
I've found this. I'm going to try it out next week:

Imo's St. Louis-Style Pizza

Imo's pizza isn't simply a crust, or a sauce, or the cheese, it's the perfect balance and blending of the three.

The foundation of the Imo's Pizza is a cracker style crust that doesn't use any yeast, like just about every other pizza crust out there. It's a very thin and crispy crust; it's never soggy... Imo's is the exact opposite of limp and olive oil laden "New York Style" pizza. The crust may be very plain, but is the perfect accompaniment and merely serves as a transport for the sauce, toppings and cheese.

Crust:
In large mixing bowl combine:
2 cup + 2 TBL AP flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Baking powder
2 tsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Dark Corn Syrup
1/2 cup + 2 tbl water
Mix until thoroughly combined - Dough will be very stiff. makes enough for two (2) 12" pizza pies. The dough is ready to use "as-is" No need to rise or kneed. Divide the dough in half, shape into a round ball and roll out paper thin.

In order to move the crusts around a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal works well.
After the crust, it's the sauce that begins the first real steps towards forming the total Imo's pizza experience. Imos uses a tomato sauce mixture that has a sweet taste, but it's not so overly sweet to hide the rich tomato flavor or spices.

Sauce:
16 oz can  whole tomatoes (diced into fine pieces)
6 oz can  Tomato paste
1-1/2 tbl sugar
1 tsp crushed basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp thyme
Combine together and it's ready to use - do not pre-cook the sauce!  This Makes enough sauce for about four (4) 12" pizza pies, so that should give you some idea of how much to use on each pizza.

On top of the sweet sauce Imo's uses Provel Cheese, which is simply a blend of Cheddar, Swiss and Provolone cheeses with some liquid smoke flavoring. If you can't find Provel in your local market, it can be easily created.

Cheese:
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup shredded provolone cheese
1 tsp liquid hickory smoke flavoring
Toss until cheeses and smoke flavoring are completely incorporated. Typically it's enough cheese for two (2) 12" pizza pies, but if you like extra-cheese you'll want to make more.

Authentic Imo's pizza toppings include: Extra-Cheese, Onion, Green Pepper, Sausage, Hamburger, Pepperoni, Anchovy, Bacon, Black Olive, Mushroom, Canadian Bacon, Jalapenos, Pineapple, Banana Peppers, and Tomatoes.

In a professional pizza oven the meat toppings (Hamburger, Sausage, Bacon, etc.) can usually be put on raw, but at home you'll want to fully precook the meat before assembling the pizza.

Now you have the correct style crust, sweet sauce, smoky cheese, generous toppings, it's now ready to be lightly sprinkled with some Italian seasonings.

Italian Seasoning:
2 TSP Oregano
2 TSP basil
1 TSP thyme
Combine all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and blend well.

While in the restaurant the pizza is baked in a pizza pan, at home you'll have the best results using a pizza stone and an oven temperature around 450 degrees. If you don't have a pizza stone, use the thinnest baking sheet you have and the lowest over rack position. The pizza is done when the underside of the crust is a dark golden brown, and the cheese is has a slight golden tint to it.

Underbaking the crust will result in a limp crust, overbaking will result in a hard, tough, burnt-tasting crust, getting the right baking time to produce a crisp crust will require a bit of experimentation. The amount and type of toppings you use will also affect the total baking time. A rule-of-thumb is to check the pizza after about 10-12 minutes and adjust baking time from there accordingly.

And, as a final touch to truly replicate Imo's Pizza at home, is to cut the pizza into tile-like squares instead of the traditional triangle slices.


Offline JAM

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1
Re: Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2010, 09:26:52 AM »
I came from St Louis and every time I go back I have to go to Cecil Whittakers.

I used the recipe clay has posted it tasted awesome, did add some Colby cheese.

I've heard CW adds Colby.

Try it you'll LOVE IT!!

Offline barathrum

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2
Re: Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2010, 02:00:56 PM »
Despite the fact that the St. Louis style crust appears to be a simple, bland cracker, I have yet to find a recipe for it that comes anywhere close to being accurate.  The recipe Clay posted above has been bouncing around the internet for years and I've tried it many times.  In my opinion, it isn't anywhere close to the real thing.  It should be a pretty easy crust to duplicate; however my efforts thus far have been moderately successful at best.

Here's the closest I've come up with:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/8 cup water
1/8 tsp instant dry yeast (this is just enough to make the crust light & crispy without it rising)
1 tbsp corn oil (I've also used other types of oil; it doesn't make any difference)
1/2 tsp salt

Mix water and yeast, then add approx. half the flour and salt, add the oil, then add the remaining flour.  Mix by hand.  There is no need to let the dough rest; rising will only hurt the dough.  Spread dough by hand to 12 inch diameter on sheet of lightly greased aluminum foil and add toppings.  While still on foil, transfer to pizza stone and bake at 450 degrees.

I typically make enough dough for 8 pizzas and keep each one in the freezer in a ziplock sandwich bag.  I thaw them in the refrigerator and do not bother bringing the dough back to room temp. before using.

Like I said, this recipe isn't perfect, so if anyone has any improvements to suggest, I've love to hear them.

Offline tekkychick

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 4
Re: Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2012, 04:58:05 PM »
I tried the recipe posted by ClayTR. Should mention here when I lived in St. Louis I didn't eat at Imo's; I went to Two Nice Guys. Also found a restaurant in KCMO that had similar pizza. I've been craving pizza, and due to limited options where I live (rural town) wanted to make it; but my husband is trying to cut down on carbs. So I remembered St. Louis style pizza - seemed like it would work for both of us!

So I gave this recipe a try - two thumbs up for the crust - it's right! And came out good the first time I did it! but Two Nice Guys actually put some herbs underneath the crust, so I'm experimenting with basil and thyme or rosemary there.

The sauce on the recipe was way sweeter than I remembered; second time I made it, I left out the sugar. Much better! Next time I'll blend it to smooth out the tomatoes...should be perfect.

And you just have to use Provel cheese; the suggested workaround of three cheeses did not work. Sadly, I had to order a minimum of 10 pounds of Provel when I mail-ordered it - 2 five-pound sticks. One is in the freezer; hope it keeps. Any suggestions for other dishes that would take Provel cheese?

Second time I made the pizzas I also remember to sprinkle the spices on top; that's pretty vital. & I cut up the pepperoni much smaller (four pieces per slice). Think it's important to keep the toppings small on this style.

Anyway, thanks for posting; definitely hitting the mark! I just wanted to report my experience with the recipe. Now if only I could roll out the friggin' dough better! but that's a personal issue.....

Offline farmkid

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 3
  • Location: Olympia, WA
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2013, 09:12:54 PM »
I've heard that St. Louis Pizza is something that outsiders either get, or don't get.

Though I grew up in Central Illinois, I wasn't exposed to it until I arrived on a business trip, at the age of 56.

I didn't grow up with Provel, and it had no childhood connotations for me.  But as  pizza researcher, in pursuit of regional pizzas, it quickly became apparent that this was something to try.

And to fall in love with.

Yeah, I love all the classics, like Neapolitan, NYC, New Haven, Chicago; but STL pizza deserves it's own place in the Pizza Hall of Fame.

Now, I beseech you all:

How can I recreate Provel on the West Coast?  I know the basics: Provolone, White Cheddar, and Swiss.  But questions remain: what are the proportions of the various cheeses?  And is Liquid Smoke necessary, or is this a substitute for smoked Provolone?

The proportions that I've found so far require something like 2 parts Provolone to one part each of the other two.  But this proportion varies, and the issue of smoked/non-smoked remains not only unanswered, but unmentioned.

I thank you in advance for promoting St. Louis cheese technology into new territory,

Greg

Online Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9574
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Easy peazzy
Re: Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2013, 10:09:27 PM »
I've heard that St. Louis Pizza is something that outsiders either get, or don't get.

Though I grew up in Central Illinois, I wasn't exposed to it until I arrived on a business trip, at the age of 56.

I didn't grow up with Provel, and it had no childhood connotations for me.  But as  pizza researcher, in pursuit of regional pizzas, it quickly became apparent that this was something to try.

And to fall in love with.

Yeah, I love all the classics, like Neapolitan, NYC, New Haven, Chicago; but STL pizza deserves it's own place in the Pizza Hall of Fame.

Now, I beseech you all:

How can I recreate Provel on the West Coast?  I know the basics: Provolone, White Cheddar, and Swiss.  But questions remain: what are the proportions of the various cheeses?  And is Liquid Smoke necessary, or is this a substitute for smoked Provolone?

The proportions that I've found so far require something like 2 parts Provolone to one part each of the other two.  But this proportion varies, and the issue of smoked/non-smoked remains not only unanswered, but unmentioned.

I thank you in advance for promoting St. Louis cheese technology into new territory,

Greg
Why don't you just buy the 3 types of cheese and do some combinations with them until you find what you like?  When you think you are close post up some pics of it cooked on your pizza if you still need/want suggestions....I'll bet then me or someone else can get it dialed in for you.  :chef:
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline tekkychick

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 4
Re: Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2013, 10:32:44 PM »
I tried the three cheeses - was not successful. I also wish Provel would show up on the west coast...

pretty sure smoked cheese and the liquid smoke should not be used; but maybe that's just me.

Online Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9574
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Easy peazzy
Re: Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2013, 10:36:21 PM »
Did you try the unsuccessful blend on a pizza tekky and if so do you have a pic of that pie?

Bob
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline tekkychick

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 4
Re: Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2013, 09:40:21 AM »
Hi, Bob - I did try the blend per the instructions (including the smoke) and it just was not as good. Well, the pizza turned out fine - it just didn't taste like St. Louis style pizza. I had also used sugar in the sauce on that set of pizzas, which I don't like. I don't think Two Nice Guys used the same sauce as Imo's.

I didn't take a pic - sorry.

After that attempt, I got 10 pounds of provel from Imo's and used that in future pizzas. It's a pain to store, though, especially since I didn't do it right (I just stuck the second box in the freezer - I should have chopped it up into 1 pound blocks so that I could just thaw one pound instead of five).  Using provel, and no sugar in the sauce, the pizza comes out the way I remember!

Online Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9574
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Easy peazzy
Re: Thin St. Louis Style Pizza?
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2013, 11:46:30 AM »
Sounds good tekkychick, maybe someone with more insight will come on here today now that you've revived this thread.
Sorry to hear about the frozen mass of cheese but glad that you do have something you like to work with. Have you tried a hacksaw with a fresh blade in it. I've used that with meat before and I'm still alive.  :D
Good luck tekkychick! :chef:

Bob
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"


 

pizzapan