If you have paid some attention to pizza, you know that there are different pizza crusts.
Diehards from New York swear by the thin crust, Chicagoans believe thin crusts aren’t filling enough and want their deep-dish crust while those from Detroit just like a thick crust pizza, nothing complicated.
This might be confusing to you since, for you, pizza is just pizza. What exactly is a deep dish, thick and thin crust?
Thin crust is all about a balance of everything. The toppings, cheese, sauce, and crust are equal. This means every bite has an equal amount of everything. This leads to the minimalist concept in a thin crust.
Image: Slice Pizzeria
The crust is crunchy with some char, just like in the traditional Neapolitan pizza. Thin crust originated from Italy. Unlike in other pizza crust, you spread a thin-crust on a thin sheet. The sauce put is sweet but a bit tangy and spiced.
As the name suggests, this pizza crust is less than a third of a centimeter thick. Not cracker-thin, but a foldable chewy thin. This dough hardly rises during baking; therefore, it is almost flat.
You will find this kind of crust in Neapolitan-style pizza, New York-style pizza, and St. Louis pizza.
In a thin crust, the sauce comes first, then the cheese.
Why do we love thin pizza so much?
Some pizza critics have argued that deep-dish is not a pizza because its crust is not as thin and crunchy as a thin pizza crust. The crust size is enough to make one decide to either love a pizza or not.
This light pizza ensures that you enjoy everything every time you take a bite, including the toppings, cheese, and sauce, equally.
The cheese is at the top.
It is ingrained in our brains that cheese should be on top of all the other pizza ingredients. This explains why some people have a problem with Deep dish pizza.
In a thin crust, there is no need to put the cheese at the bottom. Therefore it placed at the top with all its glory.
One of the things New Yorkers love about their pizza is the ability to fold while eating. Most of the time, you eat a thin-crust pizza, you eat it as a snack. You eat it on the go.
Since toppings can sometimes fall off because of the thin crust, most people fold the pizza and eat it that way. It is an excellent way of eating pizza.
Cooks very fast
When you cook a thin crust, you will need an oven with up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. This fires up the pizza, and it is usually ready in less than 3 minutes.
When you remove your pizza, it will have some nice char. This means by the time one deep dish or thick crust is ready, you will have more than ten thin crust pizza ready.
If you are in a hurry and want a quick lunch, you should order thin crust pizza.
If you visited pizzerias that sell both thin and deep-dish pizza, you would notice that thin crust pizza is cheaper than its deep-dish counterpart.
This means that you are almost sure that you will be able to enjoy a pizza despite your pocket size.
Deep-dish is the pizza crust for people who love the extremes. This crust is thicker than both thin and thick crust hence accommodates lots and lots of toppings. Some have argued that this is not a pizza but a pie.
Image: Slice Pizzeria
The deep-dish originated from Chicago.
Deep-dish is a crust that is you make on a pan. It takes the shape of the pan hence providing a lot of space for lots of toppings. Because of the crust’s thickness and toppings, you will find it more filling than a thin crust.
This pizza is not foldable, and you will need cutlery to eat it. You also do the layering differently here. The cheese comes before the sauce and toppings.
It takes longer to prepare than thin crust since the thick crust has to cook well. You also use lower heat for cooking it since high temperatures could make it burn. It is not as crispy as a thin crust, but it is still a delicious meal.
Why do we love Deep-dish so much?
So many Americans love deep-dish. But I do not judge them. This pizza crust has me going crazy too, and this is why:
This pizza crust has a lot of everything. The crust is thick and accommodates lots of toppings of different types. You can have a complete meal with this crust.
This is not a pizza that you eat as a snack, but you sit down to eat it because it will keep you full for so many hours to come.
Additionally, because of its density, one pizza can be enough for the whole family. This means you will spend less and eat more with this pizza crust.
Variety of cheese
Unlike in other crust types, you would find various cheese on a deep dish pizza crust. Most of the thinner crusts use shredded cheese, which is usually mozzarella cheese.
But in a deep dish, you use slices of cheese. This means it can make use of other cheese types like Romano and Ricotta. This uniqueness is what you want to feed your tastebuds.
Lots and lots of toppings
Think of pizza that you can add as many toppings as you want without fear of the crust breaking.
The deep dish is the pizza for you. This kind of flexibility is not possible in a thin crust since it does not have enough surface area.
Some restaurants even allow you to choose the toppings from a list of toppings. Most of the toppings are usually seasonal.
The choice for proper people.
Deep dish forces you to sit down at a table and eat your pizza like any other meal. Yes, we love the ability to eat pizza on the go that thin crusts present.
But there are times we want to settle down and take our time to enjoy a meal. Then this is when a deep dish comes in.
Additionally, you have to include your table manners and use cutlery to eat. This makes it less messy than thin crusts. You will not have grease and sauce dripping from pizza as you eat it.
You chew more.
We have all had instances where you have ordered a whole pizza with a friend or not. Then you end up eating it so fast. It is gone in a matter of just a few minutes.
Then after that, you realize you are uncomfortably full. This happens only with a thin crust. Cravings can make you overeat, and since there is so little to chew on a thin crust, you end up eating more than you can handle.
In a deep dish, the opposite happens. There is so much to chew on; hence you chew longer. According to scientists, when you chew for a longer period, you get fuller faster.
Who knew pizza could help you to portion and check weight? Now you know.
Some people eat pizza for its crust, while others do it for the toppings. As there are people who would die for the crunchy crust in a thin pizza, some cannot eat the crust.
They claim it is too harsh on their gums. This is where deep-dish crust comes in.
The crust is buttery and soft. It is gentle on your gums but still gives you the doughy taste you will want in your pizza.
The crust is also airy. Due to lots of toppings, you will not notice the wheat if it is not your thing.
Exist in many forms.
To make an original deep dish, you put cheese immediately after the crust. Then you put the toppings and a coat of sauce at the top of everything. To some people, this is an abomination. They want to see and taste their cheese at the top of everything else.
Putting cheese on top toppings cannot work in an original deep dish. This is because the pizza stays in the oven for so long; hence the cheese will burn.
However, today you can find a variety of deep dish. Some restaurants can serve you your deep-dish with cheese on top. They bake the pizza twice.
First, you cook your pizza the usual deep-dish way. Then remove it when the crust is bronzed and ready. Then add some slices of cheese and then return it to the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
You can also find pizza that is stuffed and has a double layer of dough. Additionally, there are pan pizzas that are semi-cooked before being frozen.
No one knows where thick crust originated from, but some claim it came from Chicago. It is prepared the same way as a thin crust. The only difference is the dough’s viscosity and the thickness of the crust.
Image: Slice Pizzeria
When you roll this dough to create the circular crust, it is left an inch thicker than the thin crust. The edges are even sturdier.
This thick dough accommodates many toppings; this is more than a thin crust but a little less than a deep-dish pizza. This is because thick crust can support a lot of toppings. The toppings could be the reason why we love this pizza so much.
Why do we love thick pizza so much?
Personally, when I sit down to eat, I eat to get full. I am not one to snack a lot, and there are so many like me out there. A thick crust pizza is a meal, not a snack.
When you eat it, expect to get full. This is because of the thick crust and lots of toppings.
Use cutlery or not
This pizza gives you the ability to choose between using cutlery or not. It is not as thick as deep-dish; therefore, you do not have to use a fork. But if you are one to be proper, then, by all means, use a fork and knife.
Lots of toppings.
If you love a lot of toppings on your pizza, this is the pizza for you. You can put as many toppings as you want if the pizzeria allows it. Else if you are making yours at home, then this is the time to clear your fridge of all leftovers.
The soft, airy crust.
The crust of a thick crust pizza is more of bread. The crust is thick but chewy, soft, and airy. Some have a flavor that makes them more exciting. You will still get to enjoy your crust as you bite into your favorite toppings.
Thick crust is still more affordable than deep dish. You will notice that they will ask you which kind of crust you want and charge the same despite whether it is thin or thick in some pizzerias.
A Deep-dish is priced differently. Therefore, this should be your go-to pizza whenever you are si hungry but short on cash.
Difference between thin crust, thick crust, and deep-dish
Size of crust
Thin crust pizza is thinner than both thick crust and deep dish. This is because you stretch it out more than the rest, and it hardly rises during baking. Some thin-crust pizzas recipes do not use yeast. This shows how of little importance is yeast in a thin crust.
A thick crust is a bit thinner than a deep-dish crust. The thick crust looks like a thin crust, except it is thicker. However, a deep-dish has a shape like a dish or a bowl.
A deep-dish pizza is baked almost immediately after making the dough. Give it an hour or two to rise, then bake it. This means that the yeast is still active even during baking.
For thin crust, the dough is left to rest for up to 24 hours. By the time you are baking the pizza, the yeast is no longer active, meaning it will not swell as much.
Additionally, thin-crust pizza like Neapolitan cooks in very high temperatures. At these temperatures, yeast activity cannot continue since the yeast die immediately.
Thick crust pizzas are meant to grow. This helps in making the crust airy and soft. That is why like a deep-dish crust, you will leave it to sit for two hours to double in size.
The look of the crust
In a deep-dish pizza, you press the dough in a round pan. The parts in contact with the pan are an inch taller than the rest of the crust. This results in a bowl-like crust that can easily hold hefty toppings.
A thin crust has its dough overly stretched. The thickness at the center is the same as the thickness on the sides. When you bake this dough, the sides might puff just a bit because of the toppings.
A thick crust, on the other hand, is about an inch thick. It is flat like the thin crust, but its sides are also puffier because of the central area’s weighty toppings.
To bake a thin crust, you only need 3 minutes. You cook this pizza in the high heat of almost 1000°F. Since it is light, it will result in a crunchy crust at the sides, but it will be chewy and delicious at the center.
For a deep-dish crust and thick crust, you have to bake them for a while. Give the pizzas at least 45 minutes to cook. This is important to give the crust enough time to cook well.
Also, the deep-dish and thick crust pizza has lots of weighty toppings. All this needs a lot of time to cook. Since you bake it for an extended period, you will use lower heat than the thin crust.
Examples of thin style pizza
Many pizza styles have a thin crust. They include:
This is real Italian pizza. This pizza is said to have originated from Naples in Italy. To make the crust, you need to use your bare hands. This pizza has a very light, crunchy, somewhat crispy crust. The pizza is usually not larger than 14 inches, and its thickness is only 4 mm.
Restaurants make this pizza in a wood-fired brick oven.
Examples of pizzas that boast of this crust are Marinara pizza and Margherita pizza.
St Louis Pizza.
This Midwestern pizza is known for its uniqueness. This is one pizza crust with a lot of controversies. Most think it should be called a taco. Others believe it is the worst pizza on earth. But to some, this is the only pizza that should exist.
First, it is unleavened. This means it does not rise. You stretch it out to form a skinny layer of round dough.
When you bake this dough, it forms a cracker-like crust. Pizzerias serve this pizza in rectangles.
Because of the cracker-like thin crust, it can handle many toppings, compared to the rest of the thin crusts. Therefore, if you love many toppings but hate thick crusts, this is the pizza for you.
New-york style pizza
This pizza came into existence in the early 1900s, brought by the Italian immigrants living in New York. This explains its similarity to the Neapolitan style pizza. You make this pizza in an extremely high-temperature oven like the Brick oven.
A whole pie is usually gigantic. A typical new york style pizza diameter ranges from 18 to 24 inches. This explains why you buy it per slice.
These slices are big with crispy edges. The central part is chewy and soft. New Yorkers are known to fold this pizza whenever they eat it.
Examples of deep-dish pizza
Chicago-style deep dish
This is the mother of the deep-dish pizza. It is bowl-shaped since you cook it in a deep-dish, allowing it to accommodate a lot of cheese, toppings, and sauce.
Chicago-style pizza is made using cornmeal or yellow food-color to give an attractive yellow tone. This pizza is only 12 inches in diameter size and more than 2 inches thick.
Examples of thick pizza
The traditional pan pizza is about a half-inch thick. To some, it is not a thick pizza crust. However, it does not qualify to be a thin crust. It is the pizza for people who are looking for a medium.
The crust has a buttery taste and is soft, airy, and chewy. It is pan-fried.
Sicilian pizza has a unique, rectangular, and at least an inch thick crust. This pizza style originated from Sicily, and Sicilian immigrants brought it to the united states.
This pizza style is mostly available in the East coast and the upper midwestern regions.
Detroit style pizza
Similar to Sicilian pizza, Detroit style has a crust that is more than an inch thick. The people from Detroit call this pizza the Square pizza.
The unique thing about this pizza is where it is baked. You cook it in industrial blue steel pans that people from Detroit initially used to store auto parts.
Additionally, unlike in Sicilian style pizza, here the toppings come first, then the cheese finally the unique red sauce comes last. This has led it to be called the Detroit Red Top.
This crust is chewy with its edges and bottom a bit fried. This is because you have to apply oil to the pan first before you put your dough. The end product is a soft, airy crust.
The cheese used in Detroit style pizza is the Brick cheese pizza. Breekecheese has more character and taste than mozzarella cheese. This is why this pizza stands out so much.
America is a land of a lot of culture and variation. This is evident in the pizza industry, especially in the pizza crust. We cannot say which crust is better than the other since they all have their strengths. Why don’t you try all of them and let us know what you think?