For my last night in Missouri I made homemade St. Louis Style Pizza. I can’t do this on the gulf coast since there is no provel cheese down there. The instructions below will make two 12″ pizzas.
for the dough:
3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 teaspoon active-dry yeast
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
for the toppings:
(If you are using meat toppings you will need to precook them)
Set the oven to 500°F or as hot as it will go and let it heat for at least a half an hour before making the pizza. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the lower-middle part of the oven now.
Combine the water and yeast in a mixing bowl, and stir to dissolve the yeast. The mixture should look like thin miso soup. Add the flour and salt to the bowl and mix until you’ve formed a shaggy dough.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface along with any loose flour still in the bowl. Knead until all the flour is incorporated, and the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. I admit to kneading the dough right in the mixing bowl, but I am a bit like The Anal Retentive Chef (as portrayed by Phil Hartman on SNL) and clean like a scrubby dutch as I go. If it is not necessary to dirty up another surface or dish I don’t do it. The dough should still feel moist and slightly tacky. If it’s sticking to your hands like bubble gum, work in more flour one tablespoon at a time until it is smooth.
Divide the dough into two equal size balls. I cover the dough and let it rise for at least an hour but this is not necessary. You can also refrigerate the 2nd dough ball for up to three days or freeze it if you want to just make one pizza.
Lay out a piece of parchment paper that is roughly 13″ long and using a rolling pin roll the dough out until you have about a 12″ pie. The dough will stick to the parchment paper, which makes it easier to roll out.
Mix some grated provel into your pizza sauce, enough cheese so that basically you just have sauce coated cheese. Spread the sauce/cheese mixture over your pizza crust. Add toppings of your choice. Meat toppings need to be precooked. I make cheese pizza so I added more cheese. BE VERY CAREFUL when you are using provel cheese. A little bit goes a long way and you will have more cheese than think. Too much will cause a cheesesplosion in the oven which will cause a very smoky kitchen.
Using a pizza peel or a cookie sheet, slide the pizza (still on the parchment paper) onto the pizza stone. If you don’t have a pizza stone, bake it on a baking sheet.
Bake for about 8 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese looks toasty. Do NOT overcook the provel cheese. It has a very low melting point and burns easily.
Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes (so cheese won’t run) before slicing and serving.
Note: You can use 2 cups all purpose flour if you do not keep wheat flour in your pantry. It won’t be as good though. You can also use any type of cheese you want. But the provel makes it St. Louis Style.
Look at that crust detail! That is why I use wheat flour in my pizza dough.