Kenji López-Alt Spent 5 Months Studying Chicago Thin-Crust Pizza. Here’s What He Learned.
In one of the many tasting sessions at his restaurant, he turned me on to how dry thin-crust dough can be. Mr. Roof's recipe calls for around 56 percent hydration — that is, for every 100 grams of flour in a batch of dough, you'd add 56 grams of...
Kenji is awesome; highly recommend his YouTube channel for home cooking! Looking forward to trying this pizza recipe
Nice article. I was surprised to find how seemingly unique this style was elsewhere. Being a native, I just always figured this was how pizza was. It seems like it’s catching on and people now don’t just associate Chicago pizza as stuffed or deep dish. We have the best pizza imo even without the addition of stuffed / deep dish. Thin / tavern style is just the best
Happy to see an article in NYT regarding the awesome pizza in Chicago.
I love Kenji’s big cook book and his methods of relentlessly trying different variations of the same recipe hundreds of times to share with us the perfect result. It’s an incredible combination of cooking and science and suits my left brain nature perfectly.
The tavern-style thin crust Chicago pizza is so overlooked and underappreciated. Kenji is a treasure.
So glad that Chicago-style* thin crust FINALLY gets the attention it deserves!
I grew up in Chicago but have lived on the East Coast for years now. I try to explain that we don't just eat deep dish all the time; we have a whole separate thin crust pizza which is the typical "I'm picking up a pizza for dinner, honey" or "Let's order a pizza before the Bears game starts" workhorse pizza. And that this workhorse pizza is absolutely DELICIOUS.
No one understands, no one believes me that Chicago isn't just dominated by deep dish, and meanwhile the Bostonians fight each other over which floopy, dribbly $9 pizza triangle is the best.
I am so glad that thin crust gets the front-and-center, over the top-detailed coverage it deserves, from Kenji Lopez-Alt no less. I had no idea about the intricate biochemical details that give thin crust a crispy bottom, but doughy top. I hope more people at least recognize this whole other absolutely excellent pizza offering for the world.
*I'll acknowledge Chicago-style thin crust isn't truly unique to "Chicago", but can be found all over the Rust Belt. I appreciate Kenji's ventures into Milwaukee and deep treatment of bar pizza's working class origins.
Sheesh... One of the comments from the article. Imagine gatekeeping pizza this hard:
That's not pizza. Call it "Italian Nachos" or something, but that's not pizza. And, worse, is "Saint Louis-style pizza"; same theme - thin, round, cut into small squares - but with a distinct frankencheese called "Provel". Trust me, I am an expatriate New Yorker living in the Saint Louis area. Neither of these Chicago pizzas - deep dish ersatz lasagna or "Italian Nachos" - is a pizza.
It may taste OK, ... ... but it's not pizza.
Live in LA now, really miss Chicago style pizza. All the pizza out here sucks.
As part of the Barnaby's cult, I'm obligated to state Barnaby's. Therefore, Barnaby's. Also I'll be stopping by your house to state arguments as to why Barnaby's is the best tavern style pizza in the area.
Feels like NYT has been doing more pieces on local Chicago food lately, rather than the normal "Here's where to get deep dish pizza in Brooklyn" stuff
Does anyone have his Chicago thin crust sauce recipe? I've got the dough, but now I need the sauce recipe to get this party started. (I don't have NYT sadly)
Vito & Nicks on 84th & Pulaski wrote the book on cracker thin crust tavern style pizza.