I am embarrassed to tell you how many times I have made this in the last month. But I think I am even more embarrassed to tell you that I don't make just two as the recipe is written. I make four. My husband and two older children claim they can take one whole pizza, fold it in half, and stuff their faces full. Although they haven't yet tried that gluttonous technique, they do manage to put quite a few pieces away in one sitting. My youngest and I eagerly rob each pizza of its corners ☺. (There is just something special about those corners.) And the leftovers are packed away in school/work lunches.
I didn't grow up with this style of pizza, but with the frequency that I have been making it, I am apparently making up for lost time. The crust is very thin and almost cracker-like. There is no yeast in the dough and the only leavening agent is baking powder. This dough is perfect for those of you who are wary of working with yeast. The original sauce was quite bland and way too sweet for me, so I dialed back the sugar and added a few herbs and garlic (you just gotta have garlic in pizza sauce). Then I brightened up the tomato flavor with a little red wine vinegar. The original cheese blend was Cheddar and American, but after a little research, I learned that a true St. Louis style pizza uses Provol cheese. It is a blend of Cheddar, Swiss, and Mozzarella. I can't find that in my local markets, so I use my own ratio of the three cheeses. The secret ingredient to the cheese blend that makes this pie stand out is liquid smoke. Not much-- just three drops. It adds a nice, subtle smokiness.
Bake it in a hot oven until golden brown. Cut it into squares (pie shapes are a no-no) and fight over the corners.Printable Recipe
St. Louis Style Pizza
makes two 12-inch pizzas
For the Sauce
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 clove garlic, finely grated on a micro-plane
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
For the Cheese
4 ounces aged white Cheddar cheese, grated
3-ounces Swiss cheese, grated
3-ounces Mozzarella cheese, grated
3 drops liquid smoke
For the Dough
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
For the Sauce and Cheese
In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato sauce, paste, basil, oregano, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper; set aside. In a medium bowl, toss the cheeses with the liquid smoke; set aside.
For the Dough
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Combine the water and oil in a liquid measuring cup. With the motor on low speed, pour the liquids into the flour mixture. Mix until the dough comes together. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and cohesive. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half. Form each half into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least a half hour. (The dough can be made in advance, wrapped in plastic wrap, and refrigerated for up to two days.)
Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position, place a pizza stone on rack and heat oven to 475º F. Working with one piece of dough at a time, press into a small circle and transfer to a sheet of parchment paper that is lightly dusted with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll and stretch the dough to form a 12-inch circle, rotating parchment as needed. Lift the parchment and dough and place on a pizza peel or inverted baking sheet.
Top the dough with half of the sauce and half of the cheese. Slide the parchment and pizza onto the heated stone and bake until the underside is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted, about 9-12 minutes. Remove the pizza and parchment from the oven. Transfer the pizza to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes. Assemble and bake the second pizza. Cut the pizzas into 2-inch squares. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Cooks' Country, March 2010