Dear Pizza Eaters,
We make ordering as easy as pie, but, sometimes, eating pizza with friends and family results in some tough choices.
Don’t worry, “Hey Slice” is here to deliver answers to all of your most pressing etiquette queries and concerns.
Without further adieu, let’s dig in:
HEY SLICE: What is the best slice in the U.S.? – @bizzie_smalls
HEY BIZZIE SMALLS: We’ve had the luxury of sampling the finest slices the country has to offer. Lunches, brunches, noshes by the pool (Pizza ain’t easy, but it sure is fun.)
It’s hard to narrow it down to just one slice, but let’s give it a whirl.
- The pepperoni and white slices from Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s Best Pizza both rank up there for us.
- In Manhattan, there’s Keste‘s uniquely smoky Montanara pizza and Focaccia Di Recco.
- There’s a case to be made for Sally’s Apizza, which might have the best white clam pie in New Haven, Connecticut.
- Labriola, a relative newcomer in Chicago, has some of the most delicious and inventive takes on deep dish that you’ll find anywhere.
- Though, you can also get a tremendous deep dish pie about 2,000 miles west, in Los Angeles, at Masa of Echo Park.
If our figurative feet were held to the oven fire, we’d have to pick Best Pizza as our fav to end all favs.
But, still, pizza variety is the spice of life and we’d never limit ourselves to just one for eternity. We could never play the “What if you were left on an island?” hypothetical with pizza, even if that island was Staten Island and we could only order from the phenomenal Joe & Pat’s.
We’ll say this: life is too short to settle for bad pizza. Why go from first class to coach?
HEY SLICE: How long does it take for pizza to bake? – @adamhubbard80
HEY ADAM: An excellent query, though there is no one single answer for this burning question. Your mileage may vary when licking your way to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop and the same goes for pizzaiolos preparing pies.
A Neapolitan pie, for example, is typically baked between 60 and 90 seconds at temperatures ranging from 700 to 1000° F. New York-style pizza, usually baked at 500 to 550°F, takes about 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, Chicago Deep Dish takes about 30 minutes to achieve its ultra-cheesy perfection at relatively low temperatures of 350-425°F.
And, of course, that’s not counting the prep work that goes into making a pizza, that’s just the active cooking time. It’s a labor of love, but a labor none the less. That’s why, usually, it’s best leave it to the pros.
HEY SLICE: What do pizza chefs mean when they talk about feeding their starter? – @randyman6514
HEY RANDY: Unfortunately, when chefs say they’ll feed their starter, they’re not referring to a designated kitchen taste tester. Though, if that position does come about, we’ll have our cover letters at the ready.
First, for those that don’t know, here’s a quick primer on starters: A starter is formed by fermenting a mixture of flour, water, and yeast. After a fermentation period, it’s combined with dough to create unique flavor profiles.
Some pizzerias will allow their dough to ferment for days to create complex flavors and aromas. However, not all chefs view that as a necessary process, and not all shops have the space to make that work. That’s where a starter comes in, though it’s hardly a simple shortcut to success.
The “feeding” refers to the incorporation of the water and flour into the starter. To create a proper jumpstart for dough, these ingredients cannot simply be combined at once – the chef must feed the starter periodically at specific intervals.