A Guide to the Wonderful World of Pizza Styles
Get ready to go on a mouth-watering expedition, from the sizzling streets of New York to the sun-soaked pizzerias of Naples. We'll take you on a cheesy journey through the diverse and delicious universe of pizza styles.
Whether you're an all-in deep-dish devotee or a classic Neapolitan connoisseur, there's something for everyone. So, grab a napkin; it's going to get deliciously messy!
Oh, and here's a little secret to make your pizza-making journey even easier: use Babadoh to prove your dough. Check out our step-by-step guide to learn more!
Enter the world of Babadoh's favourite pizza, the Neapolitan, considered by many to be the OG of all pizzas. Pizzaiolos love its tradition, high quality ingredients, and the distinct preparation process giving it an unmistakable taste and texture.
Origin: Naples, Italy
- A thin, soft, and slightly charred crust.
- Minimalistic toppings including crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil, and a pinch of salt.
- Cooked in wood-fired ovens at high temperatures for less than 90 seconds.
- Authentic Neapolitan pizzas are relatively small compared to other pizza styles, typically about 11 inches (28 cm) in diameter.
- In Italy, diners are expected to use a knife and fork to cut and eat their slices so be warned!
Did you know?
The Neapolitan pizza's authenticity is preserved under strict guidelines, and it has even been awarded UNESCO status. The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) is an organisation committed to maintaining the pizza's authenticity, and pizzerias adhering to these guidelines can receive certification.
To make a truly authentic Neapolitan pizza, you must use a certified process that includes specific types of flour, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. The dough must be made with "00" flour which is finely milled and has a low protein content, while the tomatoes should be San Marzano, and the cheese should be either Fior di Latte or Buffalo mozzarella. The cheese is responsible for the gooey, creamy layer on top of the pizza, while the tomatoes add a touch of sweetness. The pizza is cooked in a wood-fired oven at extremely high temperatures, resulting in a thin, soft crust and slightly charred exterior while the toppings stay fresh and vibrant. Best served immediately, hot from the oven.
If you're looking to make your own Neapolitan pizza, check out Babadoh's dough guide. If you’re struggling to source San Marzano tomatoes, Roma or plum tomatoes are a good alternative, and add a pinch of sugar to mimic the sweetness of San Marzano.
Lately, we've been all about the Detroit-style pizza craze! It's like the pizza world's comeback kid, winning the hearts and taste buds of foodies and pizza lovers everywhere.
Origin: Detroit, USA
- A thick, chewy crust with a crispy exerior and generous toppings.
- The cheese is spread to the edges of the dough, so it melts down the sides to create an incredible crispy, caramelised crust around the edges.
- Toppings are generously piled on top of the cheese and sauce.
- Cooked in square or rectangular metal pans in a hot oven.
- Known for its hearty and satisfying qualities.
The history of Detroit-style pizza is often associated with Buddy's Pizza chain, founded in 1946 by Gus Guerra. He used repurposed blue steel automotive parts as pizza pans! These trays were perfect for making the unique crust and cheese caramelisation that is now synonymous with Detroit-style pizza.
The pizza itself is like a cross between focaccia and chewy pizza goodness. Going all out on the cheese, it bakes to form a crispy cheesy border that will make you drool. And instead of slathering the tomato sauce directly on the dough, Detroit-style pizza has chunky tomato sauce drizzled over the cheese in thick rows. Talk about a rebel!
We particularly love this pizza style as the combination of the crispy, caramelised cheese crust, tender interior, and delicious toppings makes it a real crowd-pleaser. Plus, the rectangular shape makes it easy to slice into individual portions, perfect for sharing with friends and family. It's the go-to pizza choice for Babadoh parties and family get-togethers.
Ready to give it a try? Follow our Detroit-style pizza recipe.
New York Style
Origin: New York City, USA
- Famed for its distinctively large, thin, hand-tossed crust.
- Usually served in wide slices that can be folded in half, making it perfect for eating on-the-go.
Did you know?
New York-style pizza is all about the fold, baby - a trademark move that screams 'I'm a true New Yorker!'
This iconic pizza is made with a high-gluten flour, yeast, water, sugar and olive oil. Unlike the simple Neapolitan with crushed tomatoes and slices of mozzarella, a New York sauce is made with tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt and herbs and the cheese is typically grated mozzarella. New York-style pizzas are often decked out with tantalising toppings such as pepperoni, mushooms, onions, or extra cheese.
Read our NYC Pizza Tour blog to see how we rated different New York slices around the city.
Origin: Chicago, USA
- A hearty deep-dish pizza, with a thick, buttery crust.
- Piled high with chunky tomato sauce, cheese and toppings and baked in a deep, round pan.
Unlike most pizzas, Chicago-style pizza is deeeep and often eaten with a knife and fork!
It was first created in the 1940s by Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo, who were determined to whip up a pie that would stand out from the thin crust styles in Chicago at the time. Enter deep-dish Chicago-style pizza, the heavyweight champ of the pizza world.
This tasty titan comes in two epic forms: deep-dish and stuffed. The deep-dish version has a thick, buttery crust cradling all the toppings in a single layer. The stuffed version has an extra layer of dough over the toppings, creating a pie-like appearance. The dough is made with flour and cornmeal to give a flaky and flavourful crunch, then pressed into a deep round pan. Cheese goes on the bottom, followed by meat and vegetables, and topped with a chunky tomato sauce.
Check out Ooni's recipe.
Origin: Sicily, Italy
- A thick, rectangular crust with an airy, bread-like interior and crispy edges.
- Generously topped with tomato sauce, cheese, and a variety of ingredients.
- Often served in squares, perfect for sharing.
Did you know?
Sicilian pizza or sfincione in Italian, coming from the Latin for 'sponge', has a thick, soft rectangular crust with a slight crunch on the outside.
The dough is usually seasoned with olive oil and herbs, giving it a flavourful and aromatic quality. A chunky tomato sauce is slathered over, then topped with a variety of ingredients including onions, anchovies and cheese before baking in a rectangular pan.
If you're in the mood for something extra special, try out the 'Sicilian Grandma' pizza, crowned with a unique combination of breadcrumbs, garlic, and olive oil.
It might not be as well known in the UK as New York or Neapolitan pizza, but the Californian-style pizza has secured a special spot in the hearts and stomachs of pizza lovers across the USA.
Origin: California, USA
- A light, crispy, and slightly chewy texture, like a combo of New York and Neapolitan styles.
- Creative and unconventional toppings using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
- An emphasis on seasonality and experimentation (who said pizza can't have a little flair?)
California-style pizza is all about the farm-to-table philosophy.
Born in the '80s, this pizza style is like the Picasso of pies, totally rocking the pizza scene with wild toppings and a serious crush on all things fresh and local. It's all about blowing your pizza-loving mind by mixing and matching flavours like there's no tomorrow.
California-style pizza makers take their dough seriously, throwing in all kinds of cool alternative flours with the regular wheat stuff. And when it comes to toppings, they don't hold back – we're talking fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, and cheeses straight out of a foodie's dream. It's like a canvas of pizza, painted with bold and unexpected flavors. Get ready to have your taste buds blown away!
Let's give a nod to the unsung hero of Italian cuisine: the calzone! It's like a cozy pizza hug, made by folding dough in half and stuffing it with all sorts of deliciousness. Tangy tomato sauce, gooey cheese, spicy pepperoni, sizzling sausage, or how about veggies and creamy ricotta cheese all tucked inside a pizza pocket. The calzone deserves more love!
Get ready to drool over our Terry's Chocolate Orange Calzone this Christmas...
Did you know that in Italian, 'calzone' means 'trouser' or 'pants leg'? Yup, you heard it right! The name comes from the way the pizza dough is folded over, making it look like a folded pair of trousers. So, when you sink your teeth into a calzone, you're basically devouring an edible pizza pocket that's as snug as your fave pair of trousers!
And there you have it. Whether you're a traditionalist or a pizza pioneer seeking new horizons, there's a slice out there just waiting for you.
The world of pizza is as diverse and exciting as the people who enjoy it. In the end, regardless of the crust or toppings, pizza has an incredible ability to bring joy and satisfaction with every bite. In the pizza wonderland, every slice is a slice of happiness!