Author Topic: Name That Crust  (Read 2165 times)

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Offline Sweetpea63

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Name That Crust
« on: September 30, 2011, 07:01:04 PM »
Here is the story.  I grew up on this pizza every Friday night as a kid (48 now).  Enjoyed it into my mid-twenties when I believe the owners retired.  (sniffle, sniffle).  My description may sound like the most god awful pizza there ever was but it was good to us.

I've held off telling you that thiswas in St. Louis to keep you from dismissing this inquiry.  This was NOT the cracker crust, but it was thin.

 My dad would pick the pizza up on his way home from work.  It came on a cardboard disk slipped into a paper sleeve stapled shut.  I tell you this because I never ate this pizza fresh from the oven... I can only describe how it was when Dad plopped it on the table & we chowed.

The crust had cornmeal on the bottom from sliding it off the peel.  The bottom of the crust was golden &    while I am sure it was crispy served in the pizzaria, when it got to our house it was foldable.  The crust would have air bubbles - some as big as a half dollar and as tall as a nickle.  So the crust had two distinct layers but still thin.  The portions that didn't have the air bubbles would be soft & a little gummy-yet didn't taste undercooked.

As for the rest of the pizza, the tomato sauce was minimal & tasted like it was fresh.  We always got the italian sausage that offered a generous amout of fennel seeds (parden me while I dab the drool on my chin).  The cheese was mozarella but no longer stringy by the time we got to dive in....lol. As a matter of fact, on a slice you could pinch the cheese & lift & pull up and you would have a kina rubbery block of moz. cheese embedded with sausage chunks with a thin coat of tomato sauce on it's bottom. 

The now naked crust had a barely there veil of sauce, the raised bumps of dough with the sauce on them reduced to a dry glaze and the kinda gummy wanna be bumps that had tried to puff up but now were dimpled little craters from the weight of the toppings.

It still is STL & this round pie was cut in the required squares.     

I'm sure you all are wondering WHY ON EARTH I would want to duplicate this...... But....sigh....I do.


Offline chickenparm

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Re: Name That Crust
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2011, 10:53:30 PM »
I did not grow up on Pizza like that,but I understand your passion.Your story is a big reason why so many of us even came here in the first place!

Many of us had a childhood/young adulthood Pizza experience we want to duplicate or learn more.

The pizza you posted sounds a lot like the type of thin crust pies I have heard about existing in Indiana. I believe they are a Chicago style form of thin crust.I could be wrong,maybe Tom or Peter will know.

Also,There was a Pizza place in Indianapolis,Indiana,that my wife LOVED.She is from there.Mostly everything you described,sounds so much like the pizza place she grew up with.I had it one time and it was very good,considering I'm a NY style lover,and have a,"There's no other",type of mentality.

It was called Andy's pizza.Thin crust,not cracker crust,nice sauce,fennel seeds everywhere,incredible sausage all around,cheese would pull off once it cooled,and square slices.Also came in a white bag that was stapled or tied down in bakers rope.

Andy's closed a few years ago from what I found out.However,there's another place,that makes something similar,from what I was told.I do not know this personally.

I was told its alot like Andy's by the relatives in Indy.They have a website and you can even mail order frozen overnight pizza from there but I hear its very expensive.Here is the link.


Anyways,sorry I cannot help you duplicate this at home.Maybe someone can.I just wanted to share in your story.My wife wants me to figure out how to make Andy's.I'm not sure I can since I only had it one time.

Good Luck!




Offline FeCheF

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Re: Name That Crust
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2011, 11:18:04 PM »
I too know that feeling of growing up with something that no longer is around. For me its was a pizza place called Angelo's pizza. They made the best Fried dough w/cheese i have ever ate. Most places either never heard of fried dough w/cheese, or heard of it and either dont know how to make it, or are afraid to make it because they know there dough recipe wont hold up in the fryer.

Sadly when angelo died, his pizza place and his recipes died along with him. But I still hold onto the memory of going there with my friends, eating fried dough and playing the pinball machines in the arcade room. Good times.  :'(


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Re: Name That Crust
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2011, 03:45:48 AM »
Kelly, what you're describing, from what I can ascertain, is pretty much a picture perfect NY Style pizza. Crispy from the oven, but foldable after sitting, golden, puffy, thin, but not cracker-y, large bubbles, gummy layer of sauce when the cheese is removed.  I'm not sure that 'rubbery' is the best adjective to use for the cooled cheese, though.  If the cheese hasn't melted quite enough and bubbled, then it might actually be a bit rubbery, but properly bubbled mozzarella isn't rubbery, but more, for lack of a better word, firm or chewy.  You basically end up with a web of firm cheese interwoven with milkfat.  It's almost like the kind of framework you see in a high fat hamburger, but, instead of brown strands of meat surrounded by pockets of fat, you've got milky white strands of cheese. There's no stringiness to it when you pull the slices apart, but the cooled cheese has a very complex string-ish structure inside.

I went to college in the St. Louis area from 85 to 89.  I highly doubt this is the same place, but I distinctly recall St. Louis having at least one half decent NY style pizzeria.  No idea what the name was- all I can recall was that the exterior and interior had a ton of red brick and that the pizza was good- not as good as what I grew up with back in NY, but still good.  If St. Louis could have one good NY style pizzeria then, they could certainly have had more.

Offline Pizzamaster

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Re: Name That Crust
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2011, 04:17:41 AM »
I had a crust from my childhood too. Little italian club pizza made by little italian ladies. All took it to the grave.


Offline BTB

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Re: Name That Crust
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2011, 08:50:06 AM »
Very nice story, Sweetpea.  We must be a sentimental group that recalls similar experiences.  On my first double date, we went after the movies (there were always 2 movies at the theaters back then) to a new type of restaurant called a "pizza parlor."  For the first time I tasted "strips" (similar to squares, but longer) of something called pizza.  I was reluctant at first, but not wanting to be embarrassed in front of my date  :-[, I tried some.  And I've been "hooked" on it ever since.   ;D
Near 100% of the great pizza places back then were what's referred to as Mom & Pop shops.  Now they are few and far between.  Why?  Among many reasons is the fact that the newer generation either doesn't think the work is dignified enough or doesn't like to get dirty with flour and stuff.  And why work so hard when the giant pizza chains can undercut your prices (but not your quality) by a mile and too many people apparently don't mind buying junk chain pizzas for their families and friends.  Let us always remember to skip the chain pizzas and always patronize the Mom & Pop shops so our grandchildren will still have some around to experience like we did.

Offline chickenparm

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Re: Name That Crust
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2011, 02:06:38 PM »

While I read her description about the pizza,and it does sound like NY style,I was always told and thought these type of pies out central were more of a Chicago Influenced,thin crust style,but not exactly chicago either.Guess that makes it NY then? Im gonna confuse myself and everyone now.

There is a place,still open, in Indianapolis,Indiana called Aunt Polly's pizza.They are a lot like NY style,but something is not exactly the same as NY but its very good.They also cut their slices in squares.The crust is very soft and easily foldable.They have a fantastic sauce too.It screams NY style when you taste it.I order a pizza from there when I visit family and friends in that area.

Sorry,I know these areas I spoke of is not St Louis,but wanted to share the additional info for others that might be near the Central/Midwest areas and haven't heard about those places.



Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Name That Crust
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2011, 07:57:54 AM »
What you have described is a Chicago style thin crust, not to be confused with the thin cracker.Here is a good formula for making the dough:
Flour: Ceresota 100%
Salt 2%
Oil 3%
Compressed yeast 1%
Water (65F) 48%

Procedure: Put water in the mixing bowl, add salt, then flour, yeast and the oil, mix until the dough just comes smooth, then set aside to ferment for 4-hours, divide the dough into desired weight pieces and form into balls, set aside and allow to proof for about 90-minutes, or until you can roll the dough out without too much difficulty. Roll the dough quite thin (about 1/8-inch thick), place onto corn meal dusted peel and dress as desired, bake at 450 to 475F about 20 to 25-minutes on a baking/pizza stone.
For weights: decide how much flour you want to use, this will be 100%. Then, using your calculator, enter this weight X 2 (press the "%" key and read the weight of salt to use. Repeat this for each ingredient and you will have your formula in weights.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor