I was born in raised in Hanover, Massachusetts, a very small community south of Boston. If you’re not familiar with the area, you may be unaware that it is a high density region for a pizza phenomenon known as bar pizza. Bar pizza isn’t necessarily fancy fare--it’s called such because it’s a particular type of pizza served at bars. But don’t let that fact take away from the magic for you, because this pizza is special. On the smaller side (10-12 inches) and intended for one or two people, these pies have a crispy, thin crust and humble toppings. This is simple pizza done right.
The epicenter of killer bar pizza tastiness, for me, is Lynwood Cafe. Located in Randolph, Massachusetts, it’s about eight miles away from my office. The pizza is always excellent, and I’m constantly trying with zero luck to get a glimpse in their kitchen so I can snag their pizza secrets.
I was left to reverse engineer the bar pizza, and I think we’re pretty close with this recipe. The dough is typically very thin, super crispy and cooked almost well done, but not exactly burnt. Bar pizza pans are specialized round steel pans, but you can create a similar effect by baking your pizza in a generously oiled cake pan set atop your Baking Steel. The pie bakes for a few minutes in the bar pizza pan, and then is transferred directly to the Baking Steel to finish. If you were to try to wait for a table on a friday night at Lynwood Cafe, you’d be waiting 2-3 hours; to make this pizza, all you need is about 15 minutes once you have the dough on hand.
1 ball bar pizza dough
50 grams (2 ounces, or about 1/4 cup) tomato sauce
50 grams (2 ounces) favorite cheese blend- we use half low-moisture mozzarella, half fontina
To top: These are traditional toppings that you might see listed on the wall of a joint serving bar pizza. Stick to one of these for the authentic bar pizza experience.
Green Pepper chopped
Linguica (a garlicky Portuguese sausage)
Sausage, removed from its casing
Boston Baked Beans
BBQ chicken strips
Tomato sauce, (at home, use our no cook tomato sauce (p.000), and add dried oregano, sugar and red pepper flakes to taste)
Preheat the Baking Steel on the top rack for 1 hour at 500 F
Generously coat the bottom of your bar pizza or cake pan with olive oil. Stretch out your dough to make a 10 inch round. Carefully place the dough inside the pan, stretch so that the entire dough covers the bottom of the pan. Press the dough into the pan so that the dough travels up the sides of the pan about ¼ of an inch.
Evenly distribute tomato sauce over the surface of the dough, covering the dough all the way to the edges of the pan.
Sprinkle your cheese mixture evenly across the top of the pizza, and top with your toppings of choice.
Use a pizza peel or oven mitts to launch your pan onto the Baking Steel and bake for 8-9 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, carefully remove the pizza and transfer it onto a lightly-floured pizza peel. Use the peel to launch the pizza directly onto your Baking Steel. Bake for 1-2 minutes more, until bottom is crisp.