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July 2, 2013

St. Louis Style Pizza (Thin and Crusty Pizza)


Pizza crust is a very personal thing.  Thin, thick, pan, deep-dish, etc.  You love what you love.  I'm a St. Louisan - I love THIN crust pizza.  Like, cracker thin!  I've tried a few different thin crust recipes, and since they're pizza they're enjoyable, but when I saw this recipe on Cook's Country while watching some old videos I knew I needed to try it immediately.  Made it a few days later and it was fantastic.  This is definitely my new go-to cracker thin pizza crust recipe.

What I loved best about this recipe is that it was so simple.  A handful of ingredients, no advance prep needed, no unique ingredients, simple.  Literally anyone that can combine a few ingredients together could make this recipe.  And because you don't need to prep it in advance, you could make the dough, sauce, top it and bake the pizza on many given weeknights!  A huge win for our house!

St. Louis Style Pizza (Thin and Crusty Pizza)
Ingredients for two 12-inch pizzas
Sauce-8 oz. tomato sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons dried oregano

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

Cheese - 
(If you are in the St. Louis area use Provel, but for those not in the area this replicates the unique flavor of Provel really well)
2 cups shredded white American cheese (can find at the deli counter)
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2-3 drops liquid smoke (be careful not to spill more - not fun!)

Directions
Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat a pizza stone or inverted baking sheet while prepping the pizza.

To make the sauce - whisk together tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, sugar and oregano in a small bowl and set aside.

To make the cheese - toss shredded cheeses with liquid smoke and set aside

To make the dough - combine flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Combine water and olive oil in a liquid measuring cup, stir in water mixture into flour until dough starts to come together.  Turn dough onto lighlty floured surface and knead a few times until cohesive.

Divide dough in 2 equal pieces.  Working with one piece at a time, press into a small circle on top of lightly floured parchment paper.  Using a rolling pin, roll and stretch dough for form a 12-inch circle.  Repeat for second pizza.

Top each dough round with half of the sauce and cheese, and any additional toppings desired.  Move assembled pizza, still on parchment paper to the preheated stone or baking sheet.

Bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is completely melted, about 10-12 minutes.  Cut and serve immediately.

Traditionally St. Louis style pizza is cut in squares!

Note: The dough can be made in advance.  Wrap in plastic and keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Source: Cook's Country

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