St. Louis Style


I have got one word for you all, Provel! I had never even heard of this cheese in all my years until reading the Pizza Bible. I am astonished this cheese is not in every grocery store/market. What an amazing cheese. It melts and forms a layer of awesomeness like nothing else. At first it tasted like provolone, then a mild taste of cheddar that gave way to swiss and loops back to provolone. The people at Imos, the go-to company in St. Louis who deal in it, are good and friendly people with excellent prices. The delivery courier dropped the ball on my delivery and then it got stuck in a warehouse because of winter storm Goliath. To think, I shoveled snow for almost two hours to make a path for the delivery driver because the delivery service said it was coming, and it did not come, I was not happy about that. One call to Imos, no problem, they overnighted me a whole new order, free-of-charge - world class service!

St. Louis Style is one of the first times I have used a roller and a dough docker to make a pizza. I can see why Tony suggests getting a heavy duty roller, with ball bearings and handles. Rolling the dough definitely takes an acquired skill and watchful eye. Thank goodness for me the Master Dough Recipe with no Starter makes three doughs for this style of pizza. Unfortunately, two doughs from my first batch did not make it. I think it was partially attributably to the fact I froze my dough, because of the cheese incident mentioned above. This was also the first time I have frozen dough and de-thawed with water. I should have better dusted the peel and my pastry mat before rolling. The excess water basically glued the dough on the little bit of flour on the pastry mat. Round two proceeded a little more nicely. Until I went to slide the dough off the peel - it got half way onto the stone and then got completely stuck where the dough was to thin. I tried to use the spatula to get it off, no such luck. I got to experiment with removing cooking dough and sauce from one of my stones. It was round three and dinner was riding on my success. I was determined to not make the same mistakes. I dusted the pastry mat and peel first with a little more Semolina than normal. Next, I floured both sides of the dough disk and let it sit for a few minutes to absorb the excess water. It worked the dough worked up nicely. I rolled side to side, cut a nicer looking circle, pressed the edges down and docked the dough. Next the sauce and the moment of truth, it slide right onto the stone. Success, sweet success - literally.

Here are some pics of St. Louis Style with bacon and pepperoni. The bacon did great with the sweetened sauce!

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Matthew D.
posted almost 4 years ago

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That was a little bit of an adventure! Pizzas that requiring rolling out the dough have definitely been the hardest for me too. My first or second time I made a cracker thin crust might have brought me to tears and me threatening to throw the dough out and cancel dinner ;-) These types of doughs are a lot STICKER! I’ve learned also to dust the board and rolling pin more heavily. I’ve always cooked them on parchment paper on the pizza stone and haven’t attempted to slide the raw dough off a peel. Parchment paper works great for this. I’d be very interested in hearing Tony’s thoughts on parchment paper and how it might change the crust.

I lived in St. Louis for six years for grad school and never liked provel. I had it on a bad pizza and salad when I first moved there and said never again! They sold it in these ropes at the grocery store. The best pizza in St. Louis definitely wasn’t Imo’s but Pi; however, they modeled themselves after Little Star in San Francisco. Your pizza looks so good though that I might give it another try where I know all the other ingredients (dough, sauce, toppings) are excellent and tasty.

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Paul S.
posted almost 4 years ago


Thanks for the comment! I thought about using parchment paper but I have not yet. God knows it works wonders for cookies, why not pizzas! I have not seen where it is mentioned to use or not to use anywhere in the Pizza Bible. I would assume its okay to use. Do you roll the dough on the parchment paper and then put the parchment, with the pizza on it, on the peel. I might try that for my first few rounds with the Chicago Cracker Thin Crust.

I think Provel does go bad easily for several reasons. I am no expert, but it is made from melting and mixing three already made cheeses: provolone, swiss and cheddar. I watched an on-line video about how to make Provel at home by melting, mixing and cooling, but I opted against it considering it was cheaper to just buy Provel, than to buy the actual ingredients. Not to mention, I did not know the exact ratios, or which goes first, second, etc. So, already made cheese being re-melted, mixed with other cheeses, cooled and refrigerated - how long does it stay good for or at least tasty? When I called about the order and asked what to do with the cheese if it was still usable, the representative said to not use it, to throw it away that it has to stay frozen, or be thawed and used. The first cheese came and it was room temperature to warm. The replacement cheese came completely frozen, I mean it was so cold it hurt my hands to touch and put in the refrigerator to begin thawing. Maybe the shelve-lives of the original cheeses are reduced because of the processes necessary combine them into Provel. I can think of a few things that I can't stomach at all because of bad experiences, cottage cheese being the foremost on that list.

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Matthew D.
posted almost 4 years ago


No, I’ve rolled the dough on a marble pastry board and then lifted it onto the parchment paper (which is laying on the peel) and repositioned the dough back into shape. I don’t think Tony ever mentions parchment paper in the Pizza Bible. I read about it early on with other pizza sites. It’s probably time I graduate to releasing off the peel with each pie. I plan on buying a Big Green Egg (BGE; kamado style ceramic outdoor grill and smoker) soon so I make Napoletana style pizza on a 600-800 degree stone. Tony mentions the BGE in the pizza bible and the good results he had with it. I won’t be able to use parchment paper on such a hot stone.

I’ll remember your tips on Provel and spoilage.

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Paul S.
posted almost 4 years ago


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