St. Louis Style Pizza

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St. Louis-Style Pizza

from Cooks Country TV

February/March 2010

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.

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. 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.

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