Finding a favorite pizza is like coming home. It’s warm and welcoming, and it quickly becomes a haven. You can have pizza when you’re feeling blue or when your family can’t all agree on a restaurant.
Yet even among pizza lovers, there are discrepancies about what makes pizza the best. Towns have coveted pizza restaurant awards, and the arguments are as strong as chili cookoffs about which is best.
Below you’ll find all different types of pizza crust for all occasions and diets so that no one has to argue. Enjoy!
Different Types of Pizza Crust for Food Allergies
It’s hard to eat pizza if you have food allergies. Although celiac disease isn’t technically an allergy, we include it here because gluten-free is such a common request.
Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
If you eat GF that means no flour, at least not traditional flour that comes from wheat. The gluten-free crust can include nut flours like almond or cashew. Coconut or tapioca flours make the great gluten-free crust, too.
The problem is the elasticity of pizza crust comes from the gluten in the flour. It’s hard to get the same texture and ability to hold toppings if you’re using gluten-free ingredients. More on that below when we address crust thickness.
The best solution for a gluten-free crust is to choose a combination of flours. Often gluten-free flour mixes include xanthan gum, which is a binding agent that helps create an elastic texture.
Yeast-Free Pizza Crust
Another common allergy is to yeast. Yeast is a leavening agent used to make pizza dough rise. You can make yeast-free pizza dough if you use baking soda or another leavening agent to help the dough rise instead of yeast.
Regular flour doesn’t contain baking yeast, although bread flour or cake flour may have yeast, so you’ll want to check labels. You can also find yeast-free dough if you use other ingredients like chicken or cauliflower (see Crusts for Losing Weight below).
Sourdough pizza may be another way to make yeast-free crust because it uses the natural wild yeasts and lactic acid already present in flour to leaven the dough.
Some pizza eaters are allergic to dairy. That means they can’t use traditional types of cheese for pizza, like mozzarella or parmesan. Instead, they need pizza that’s dairy-free.
You can buy dairy-free cheese if you’re making pizza at home, or you can ask for your pizza without cheese if you’re eating at a restaurant.
Monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is a flavor enhancer and it’s used in spice combinations and in preserved meats to enhance flavors. It is also called yeast extract, autolyzed yeast, or torula yeast on food labels.
While some people don’t have any trouble with MSG, others are allergic and have to seek out pizza toppings that don’t contain it. In most cases, that means vegetarian pizza.
Other types of pizza toppings combinations can be found here. If you avoid pepperoni, bacon, ham, and sausage, you may be able to avoid MSG. Ground beef and chicken are usually safer than meats with preservatives.
Pizza Crusts for Losing Weight
Anyone trying to lose weight may need a low-carb pizza crust. Keto diets rely on high-protein alternatives, like chicken crust. Another option is to make your own cauliflower crust. You can buy cauliflower crust pizza, but check labels because store-bought ones can still be high in carbs.
The pizza argument is generations old: is Chicago style or New York style better? What about homemade? Comparing each style is impossible because each of these types of pizza is its own phenomenon.
Deep dish pizza is one way to make your pizza crust delicious. With thicker crust and edges that climb the pan, you fill the pan and your stomach. Those who prefer this type of crust find it chewy.
That chewiness comes from gluten in the flour. Using bread flour can help increase the gluten, and therefore give your crust more elasticity and stretchiness.
What sets Chicago-style pizza apart isn’t just the deep dish crust. Traditional Chicago pies have cheese first, with toppings layered on top. They end with the sauce, rather than putting the sauce directly on the crust.
Often there are multiple layers of toppings, as much as will fit inside the pie. These pizzas also take much longer to cook because of the thickness, which means the experience at the restaurant is a big part of eating Chicago-style pizza. You take your time and enjoy the company of the friends you came with because your food won’t arrive for at least 45 minutes.
Preference for the thin crust is one of the biggest arguments against Chicago pizza. Some argue that it’s more authentically Italian (although pizza didn’t actually come from Italy). Traditional thin-crust pizza is crispy and serves mostly as a vehicle for the toppings.
Flatbreads fall into the thin-crust category. These are often made with pita bread or tortillas.
This is handy if you focus on the toppings as an art form. One reason for taking the focus off the crust is to create unique toppings combinations, like:
- Jalapeños and honey
- Feta and kalamata olives
- Breakfast pizza
- Butternut squash and crème fresh
Still, others insist on buying top-of-the-line ingredients for toppings. This means you get prosciutto instead of bacon or ham. You’ll find fresh mozzarella slices on your Margherita pizza.
Gourmet selections may also include new herbs or greens like arugula and fresh rosemary or basil rather than dried herbs.
New York Style
What’s the difference between thin-crust pizza and New York-style? Thin crust is thin and crispy all the way to the edge, but New York-style pizza has a thicker crust around the edge. It keeps the thin crust in the middle of the pie.
These slices are intentionally floppy by design. The best way to eat a New York-style slice of pizza is by folding it in half. Then unceremoniously lob it into your mouth before it can flop where you don’t want it.
The Best Pizza Choice
Of all the different types of pizza crust listed here, the best one is the kind you love. Try them all for different seasons of your life. The best part of pizza is that it brings people together, so if you find a recipe that everyone can enjoy no matter their diet or allergy, you’re already winning.
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