What Makes Bar-Style Pizza Unique?

Bar style pizza cut in squares
Bar style pizza cut in squares - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

If you've eaten pizza at a bowling alley, tavern, or bar, you've probably encountered a cheesy pizza with a super thin, crispy crust and delicately charred edge. You may have been lucky enough to have a good one, or, perhaps not and the crust was more like a piece of cardboard. Or, if this isn't one of the pizza styles you're familiar with, buckle up. We're about to dive into the world of bar-style pizza.

Also known as tavern-style pizza, bar-style pizza is unique in that it has a slightly chewy, very crisp, cracker-thin crust with toppings spread edge to edge. The thin crust means that you're filling up less on the carbs in pizza and more on, well, the carbs in your beer. You won't be getting anything groundbreaking with a bar-style pizza, although some places have transformed bar pizza into an art form using choice ingredients. But most bars and taverns serving up this style of pizza like to keep things simple -- standard pepperoni and mozzarella, canned mushrooms, and some crumbled Italian sausage. And, they're easy to make, so they can keep slinging beers for customers.

Read more: The 101 Best Pizzas In America

Bar-Style Pizza Is Also Unique Because Of The Dough

Sliced bar-style pizza
Sliced bar-style pizza - Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

A bar-style pizza is a good pizza for beginner cooks to master. If making pizza is something that intimidates you, this is the pie to start with because it's quite forgiving. These pizzas are simple to make, but you can't use a standard pizza dough to get the right crust. Instead of the 00 flour or bread flour usually used in pizza making, bar-style pizza uses all-purpose flour, which will produce a more tender crust than other flours. Anything with a higher gluten protein content will produce a tougher crust when it's this thin.

The simple pizza crust can be rolled out with a rolling pin or pressed into an oiled pan -- instead of gently stretched like a Neapolitan or Sicilian-style pizza -- to achieve that super thin, cracker-like crust. Sauce and toppings should be spread edge to edge, maybe even spilling over so the edges are charred, and the outer crust hidden. The result is bubbled, baked cheese around the edges that's crunchy yet doesn't taste burnt. The bottom should be crisp and almost cracker-like, while the part of the crust that meets the sauce should be chewy. It's a pizza of opposing textures, which makes for an interesting culinary experience.

Even Bar-Style Pizza Sparks Competition

Bar-style pizza from Star Tavern
Bar-style pizza from Star Tavern - @star_tavern / Instagram

Forget the New York-style versus Chicago deep-dish pizza debate. Like with any kind of pizza in the world, there is of course some ado about which bar-style pizza reigns supreme. It comes down to two hyper-localized areas; Orange, New Jersey, just outside New York City, and the South Shore region of Massachusetts, not far from Boston. Everyone's loyalty hinges on where they grew up, and at which pizza place they ate.

They're both considered bar or tavern-style pizzas, but the ingredients vary. In Massachusetts, you're more likely to find cheddar on your pizza or even a mix of cheddar and mozzarella -- something you won't find on a bar pizza from iconic New Jersey pizzeria Star Tavern. But, like sports, the debate about which bar-style pizza is best will continue to rage, and should probably be left to the Reddit threads and op-eds in local newspapers. All we know is, they both taste great with a pitcher of beer and a few friends.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.