To show off their new Sicilian crust, Home Slice Pizza invited me and a couple friends to the restaurant for dinner. I’ve got Celiac’s Disease, so I can’t eat pizza–but my trusty sidekicks tasted everything. And while there, we also got the inside scoop from Home Slice Kitchen Manager Phil Korshak.
After some appetizers, the pizza was served. Unlike traditional round New York Style pizza, aka Neapolitan pizza, the Sicilian is square. But the shape is just the first nibble of several differences.
Instead of smothering the pie with cheese, the Sicilian has very thin slices of cheese. And while this gives the pizza a slightly barren look, it allows you to enjoy the subtle flavors in the sauce and the cheese. It also let’s you enjoy the biggest difference, the crust.
Crisp and crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, my guests really loved the Sicilian crust. In fact, I often caught them tearing the crust and eating it like bread, piece-by-piece. We even ordered olive oil and vinegar for dipping.
According to Home Slice’s Kitchen Manager Phil Korshak, this difference comes from the way it’s prepared. Neapolitan dough takes a beating, getting manhandled, pounded, and kneaded for a longer period of time. This makes the dough stronger and stretchier, giving the pie a more cracker-like character after it’s cooked.
The Sicilian, on the other hand, has a shorter mixing time. And while Neapolitan dough is made to sling slices quickly, Sicilian dough is left to sit so that the chemistry has time to work. This is the part that comes from tradition.
Phill Korshak Tells the Story of the Sicilian Style Pizza:
Sicilian pies are the result of Sicilian grandmothers in New Jersey and Brooklyn trying to find unique ways to use all the leftovers. Throughout the week, they’d take the leftover pieces of dough and put it in a bucket. At the end of the week, they’d take that dough and make a new pizza. That’s why you’ll often hear the square shaped-pizza referred to as the Grandma Slice.
Home Slice mimics this process by letting the Sicilian dough rise in cold for a full day before getting cut. Then it’s left to rise at room temperature for another 12 hours. They cook it in the pan to get the shape and the body. Then they take it out of the pan and put it directly on the stone. The result is a pie with a crunchy outside on the skin of the crust with a soft underbelly inside, making Sicilian pizza more like Focaccia.
On the whole, this pizza was really made to be enjoyed. My guests didn’t inhale it like they usually do with pizza. Rather, they really took their time to savor the breadiness of the pie. If you like Focaccia bread, you’ll love it.
After testing it out for 5 months, Home Slice is ready to go share the Sicilian with the world. For now, the Sicilian is only available on Mondays. And since it’s not on the menu, be sure to ask your server!
Disclosure: Although Home Slice treated us to 3 courses and wine, I wouldn’t have written the piece had my guests not enjoyed the pizza.