I've been feeling homesick lately and when I do I try to recreate some of the foods I grew up with in St. Louis. One of my all time favorite food is St. Louis style pizza, the most famous being from Imo's Pizzeria. I thought about ordering some and having them shipped, but the cost just wasn't worth it. I found out from my nephew that there is actually a recipe online for the entire pizza! crust, sauce even the cheese.
I went to the website he recommended
http://www.cookscountry.com/recipes/St-Louis-Style-Pizza/23080/ Leave it to a yankee to come up with the perfect St. Louis pizza knock off.
There are a few things I like about this recipe is: 1) It uses things that you have readily available in the pantry, 2) the dough doesn't have to rise 3) it makes TWO pizzas and 4) It's thin, thin, thin....nothing like the pizza we get here in NY.
So if you'd like to try a St. Louis classic here's what you'll need:
8 ounces of tomato sauce
3 Tablespoons of tomato paste
2 Tablespoons of fresh basil
1 Tablespoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
(This one place I differed with the Cooks Country recipe. I used canned pasta sauce since it already had the all the seasoning in it and that's what I had.)
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 of olive oil
(I would follow this exactly. There is no yeast so the dough is very thin and will bake up crispy. Also since there is no yeast there is no need to let it rise. The dough can be used immediately.)
This is another place I differ from the recipe a little. In St. Louis we have a cheese called provel, not provolone, but provel. It's a mixture of cheese: swiss, cheddar and provolone. To make 2 pizzas grate about 1/2 cup each of swiss and cheddar and then add a 1/4 cup of provolone so that it melts well.
Heat the oven to 475 degrees. Roll out the dough (which has been divided in half) into a 12 inch round. Spread with sauce getting all the way to the edges. Cover it with cheeses and top with whatever topping you'd like.
Here's a few tips to make your pizza authentic:
Roll it out onto parchment paper using a little (none would be better) flour. Use a pizza stone that has been preheated in the oven. Slide the entire pizza and paper on to the stone. Bake for 9-12 minutes. The most important thing-- don't forget to cut it into squares. St Louis pizza is always cut into squares.
I hope you'll try a piece of my hometown-- St. Louis. The pizza is quick and delicious!
Have a childhood favorite food?
Have a favorite pizza recipe you'd like to share?