quick St. Louis thin crust

St. Louis Style Pizza: Take 2

This recipe made the changes that I had planned to make to my first attempt. It made for a crispier crust but still not my favorite. For me the best thing about this pizza is the cheese blend.

Ratings, percentages, and more

rating: 5/8 slices

5 out of 8 rating shown with 5 pizza slices

hydration: 62%

Flour to water icon

difficulty: easy

1 out of 5 — the lowest difficulty rating

Ingredient percents

IngredientStandard %Baker’s %
Flour (241g)*53.67%100%
Salt (5g)1.11%2.07%
Sugar (8g)1.78%3.32%
Cornstarch (15g)3.34%6.22%
Baking Powder (5g)**1.11%2.07%
Water (150g)***33.41%%62.24%
Olive Oil (25g)5.57%10.37%
*I converted 8.5 ounces to grams and got 241.
**That’s not a typo — this recipe uses baking powder, not yeast.
***I measured out my water instead of weighing it. I also added a little more than called for because the dough was not coming together. The dry winter air was likely to blame. All this to say that 150g of water is an estimate. My dough was just starting to stick to the rolling pin and counter, even with a dusting of flour.

This chart shows the standard ingredient percentages — how you’d normally calculate percentages — in the second column. For the standard percent, I added up all the ingredients and then divided that number by each individual ingredient and rounded to the second decimal (i.e. 567g flour / 1064g total = 53.29%) The third column shows the “baker’s percentage,” which this post explains well.


  • A very fast and easy to make style
  • Thin crust
  • Additions lead to crispier version compared to King Arthur’s

See Recipe on the Washington Post

Giving St. Louis Style Pizza a Second Shot

Overhead shot of a homemade St. Louis style pizza.
I put pepperonis on the first pizza I made with this recipe, but they dominated the cheeses’ more subtle flavors. So, I made a plain cheese pizza for the second iteration. The Swiss, cheddar, and provolone combo is surprisingly good!

This is my second attempt at St. Louis style pizza. I didn’t love my first effort, but it did leave me curious enough to try again. I chose this Washington Post version not because it’s well rated (it isn’t), but because the crust recipe offered several additions that I felt would improve the main weakness of King Arthur’s recipe: a pale and less than crisp crust.

Overhead shot of St. Louis style pizza slice turned upside down to show browning.
A few ingredient modifications led to better browning and a crisper crust.

First, the Post’s recipe includes sugar, which usually helps with browning. It also adds corn starch, presumably to make the crust crisper. Finally, and maybe most importantly, it calls for a five-minute par bake of the crust before adding the toppings. I had considered several of these edits to the King Arthur recipe, so I felt confident that this recipe would offer something better, closer to what St. Louis style pizza is meant to be.

All the additions listed above, plus a few I made, paid off in a well-browned and crisp crust. What edits did I make? I used my cast iron skillet instead of a pizza stone. I made the first pizza on parchment, per the recipe. The second, I put right on the skillet. I preferred the second pizza. I also left the oven at 500 for the entire process. With the oven at 500, I found the timings accurate and put the bare crust in the oven for around 5 minutes for the par bake, followed by 7-8 minutes after topping.

If you read my King Arthur review, then you know that I didn’t use the recommended cheese combo of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone. (An effort to mimic Provel, discussed more in the first St. Louis pizza post.) The Post’s recipe didn’t offer proportions for the cheese blend, so I roughly followed King Arthur’s suggestion of two parts cheddar to one part provolone and one part Swiss. I topped the first pizza with pepperoni, but found it masked the cheese flavor. So I only put cheese on the second pizza. I liked it — much more than I thought I would. The Swiss offers a subtly, unexpected complexity, and, more surprisingly, the three flavor profiles blend together well.

The Verdict

While my second attempt greatly improved on my first, it still wasn’t great. I now feel confident in saying that this isn’t my favorite pizza style. The crust lacks complexity and flavor. And, doesn’t have as many different textures as some of my favorite pizzas. I’d say St. Louis is tender and crisp. There’s no softness or no chew.

However, the fact you can get go from start to finish so fast with this pizza is appealing, and I may come back to it again simply for its ease and speed of preparation. I also might try a variation with pie crust, which this crust reminds me of. (My mom used to top left0ver pie crust with cheese.) What I’ll take away from this recipe and continue to use because I like it, not because it’s fast, is the cheese combo. I wonder how it would work on other pizzas?

The Lesson

While I thought it might be a miss, it turns out that on pizza, I love Swiss.

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