Pizza Making Forum

Pizza Making => American Style => Topic started by: stamina888 on June 02, 2020, 06:22:19 PM

Title: What exactly is "American" pizza?
Post by: stamina888 on June 02, 2020, 06:22:19 PM
From the posts I've read on here, I see these traits in common:

* Low hydration (i.e. 50-58%)
* High oil content (i.e. 4-8%+)
* Oil tends to be flavor neutral (i.e. canola, vegetable)
* Uses sugar (2-4%) ; yeast % lowers as sugar % increases
* ~500 degrees ; ~5-10 mins baking time (similar to NY style pizza)
* Some spices in the sauce (compared to NY and Neo which often just use tomatoes)

Is this accurate?  Any other traits I missed?
Title: Re: What exactly is "American" pizza?
Post by: Yael on June 02, 2020, 11:37:18 PM
I'm not the best specialist in American pizza here, but as you don't have any reply yet, let me try one: I think that first of all, there is not only one American style pizza. To me, NY style pizza is obviously a sub-branch of American pizza.

Regardless of the sub-branches, I'd say that "American pizzas" are often bake a lower temperatures (compared to Italian's), thus dough often has sugar and oil. Drifting of evolution made these amounts bigger and bigger.
Title: Re: What exactly is "American" pizza?
Post by: TXCraig1 on June 03, 2020, 08:16:14 AM
To me, the defining characteristic of "American Pizza" is cutting any and all corners to reduce the need for skilled labor and to get the cost as low as possible.

Personally, I would not call NY-Style "American Pizza." Where there certainly is much similarity in the ingredients, toppings, assembly, etc., I'd argue there is almost no similarity in the philosophy. To the extent there is examples of "NY-Style" that fits into my definition above, I'd call them American Style, not NY-Style.
Title: Re: What exactly is "American" pizza?
Post by: TurkeyOnRye on April 19, 2021, 12:33:20 PM
To me, the defining characteristic of "American Pizza" is cutting any and all corners to reduce the need for skilled labor and to get the cost as low as possible.

Personally, I would not call NY-Style "American Pizza." Where there certainly is much similarity in the ingredients, toppings, assembly, etc., I'd argue there is almost no similarity in the philosophy. To the extent there is examples of "NY-Style" that fits into my definition above, I'd call them American Style, not NY-Style.

That pretty much nails it. I think a more fitting name might be "industrial style", "corporate style", or "mass production style" pizza as there are countless high quality restaurants and bars serving pizza in styles that are unequivocally American without emphasizing that kind of production model at all. In addition, there is little to no meaningful American cultural significance to the industrial style. By contrast, New York, Chicago, and many of the countless off-shoot styles do have cultural significance. So, I kind of cringe when that style of industrial pizza is associated with being "the American style".
Title: Re: What exactly is "American" pizza?
Post by: Zing on April 20, 2021, 02:00:02 AM
I note the description of this American style section of this forum states "Pizza americana is a medium to thin crust pie that is crispy on the outside, yet soft inside. Found at popular pizzerias throughout the U.S. including Papa John's, Domino's, and Pizza Hut."

Using that criteria, I agree with TXCraig1 and TurkeyOnRye's definitions.

But an interesting exercise is to do a search for American Style Pizza just of this section of the forum. Log in, click on Advanced Search on the upper left corner of the page. Next, in the Search for section put in American Style Pizza and leave Match All Words to the right of the search term. Leave the * in the By User as is. Leave Search Order as Most Relevant Results First. Under Options, check Show Results as Messages. In the board selection, uncheck all. Then click on Click a Board to Search In. Click on American Style in the right hand column. Then click Search on the lower right corner of the page. You will get 3 pages of "hits" with all sorts of other definitions for the term American Style Pizza.