Brooklyn-Style Pizza Is The Massive Inverse To Deep Dish

From Neapolitan to Romana, and Detroit style to Chicago deep dish, pizza comes in all different shapes, sizes, and styles. But have you ever tried a Brooklyn-style pizza? While many believe New York City pizza is the best, Brooklyn-style pizza has developed its own distinct personality over the years. They have their similarities: Both have a thin, hand-stretched base, for example, but the Brooklyn style is stretched thinner than the classic New York style, tends to use less mozzarella in its topping, and can sometimes be served cut into square or rectangular slices rather than the standard triangles. But when compared with deep dish pies, Brooklyn-style pizza couldn't be more different — from the appearance to the way it's assembled, cooked, served, and eaten. 

The first thing that sets Brooklyn pizza apart is the huge size, which is anywhere between 18 and 45 inches in diameter; a Neapolitan pie, by contrast, is traditionally no larger than roughly 14 inches, and whereas deep-dish pies can vary in size, usually coming in at 12 to 14 inches, they're instantly recognizable by a thickness of at least two inches deep. And this massive difference in size and thickness makes for a very different pizza-eating experience.

Brooklyn-style pizza is thin, hand-stretched, and foldable

With its hand-stretched dough, the thin base of a Brooklyn-style pizza — topped with sauce and then cheese — means it's lighter, with the large, flat slices perfect for folding to eat. This is nearly the opposite of a classic deep dish pie — where the thick crust is layered with cheese, fillings, and then sauce on top, and baked in a deep, high-sided pan, meaning you almost certainly require a knife and fork to eat the messy-yet-delicious result.

And the dough itself is also key. With a Brooklyn-style pizza, made with bread flour and perhaps cornmeal for added crispiness, the dough is stretched thinly by hand and cooked hot and fast. Whereas a Chicago-style deep dish, made with wheat flour or sometimes semolina flour, needs a sturdier crumb to house the dense filling and requires a much longer baking time (of up to 45 minutes). The crust also has a richer, more buttery flavor, as the base almost fries in the oiled pan.

Another key difference is the topping. While a low-moisture type of mozzarella is commonly used in deep-dish pies, Brooklyn-style pizza has a mixture of 55% provolone and 45% mozzarella, giving it a creamier consistency. But while deep dish is loaded with cheese, the larger, flatter Brooklyn style uses much less, with additional toppings usually kept to a minimum, too. So whether you prefer your pizza huge yet light and thin, or deep and loaded, one thing's for sure: Size is important, just in very different ways.