South Shore Bar Pizza Recipe

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barpizza laced edges
Yields: 4 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 6 Hr Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 6 Hr 15 Mins

A detailed guide on recreating an ultimate South Shore Style Bar Pizza from home, wood paneling not necessary.

South shore bar pizza laced edges mozzarella cheddar 3

Boston Bahh Pizza

Everybody should be able to make an authentic New England style bar pizza no matter their location. I’ve heard the horror stories of what’s out there for pizza outside of the Northeast and its not good.  As a result most of the bar pizza joints around here have caught on and began selling frozen pizzas.  But they just aren’t the same.   Now, with everyone being stuck in their houses during the COVID-19 Pandemic, I’ve decided to create an entire website dedicated to making the ultimate homemade bar pizza from the comfort of your own sweatpants.  It’s a work in progress but I’ll update as time fits.

South shore bar pizza pepperoni laced edges mozzarella cheddar overhead

I am a pizza fanatic. Bar pizza has run through my blood since my father first introduced me to ground linguica pizza at Cape Cod Cafe. As a hobby I’ve always enjoyed making pizza and had always wanted to figure out how I could replicate my favorite pizzas in my own kitchen.  There are hundreds of dough recipe’s online and I’ve tried most of them.  They where either too chewy, too cardboardy or unable to even stretch out in the pan.   The dough recipe below is unlike any other I’ve found online and is the result of a lot of trial and error.  It is easily stretched along the pan, tastes great, and is as close you will ever get to recreating a classic south shore bar pizza inside your own home kitchen.

Laced Crust Burnt Edges Linguica Bar Pizza
Ground Linguica w/Burnt Edges
South shore bar pizza laced edges mozzarella cheddar plain crust closeup 2.jpg
70/30 Cheddar/Mozzarella blend with Pastene Ground Peeled Tomatoes, Laced Edges

World Famous Bar Pizza

Cape Cod Cafe, Lynwood Cafe, Town Spa, and Venus are just a few of the greats near me and they all have a slightly different flavor profile, crust texture and cheese mix.  There is always plenty of debate over who is best.  I love them all.  They’re all good and they’re all slightly different.  I think a lot of it comes down to nostalgia and consistency when people choose a favorite.  These places have been making the exact same pie’s for over 40 years now.

big crust homemade bar pizza
Lynwood style big crust from pushing the dough up the edges of pan

What makes a bar pizza a bar pizza?

For starters, these pizzas are cooked in a well seasoned 10″ pan.  A flaky buttery crust sits beneath a crushed tomato sauce.  Topped with cheddar cheese and just about anything else you’d like to throw on top (like french fries, pickles or mozzarella sticks) you are in for a world of deliciousness.  Pairs perfectly with an ice cold beer.  The bars these pizzas come from usually have some sort of wood paneling on the inside, most haven’t updated since the 70’s and their take-out pizzas come in a brown bag with thick paper plates.  It’s hard to find anything even remotely close to this style of pizza anywhere outside of the South Shore or Massachusetts.

South shore bar pizza laced edges pepperoni mozzarella cheddar

The Dough 

The trick to achieving that buttery crispy crust is adding Corn oil along with minimal kneading.   Most recipes leave that out.  Nothing ever compared to what I’d get at a local bar pizza joint until I tried this.   Also, most of the local pizza shops coat their pans with Cottonseed Oil.  Though it can sometimes be hard to find, I have coated my pans with corn, canola and olive oil all with good results.  I prefer corn oil for the added flavor.  At high temps the oil in the pan actually fries the dough while cooking.

Homemade Bar Pizza Kitchen Prep Station

Flour Selection

For a crisp, buttery, cracker like crust like The Lynwood I use  All Purpose flour.  For a slightly softer, chewier crust you can use bread flour.  It’s a subtle difference and I encourage you to try both.  This recipe is super easy and you can interchange All Purpose/Bread flour without changing any measurements.

Yeast

Don’t worry about what type of yeast you have on hand.  You can interchange Active Dry for Instant Bread Machine yeast without changing any measurements.  This is the yeast I have been using with great results.   If you use the Instant bread machine yeast, just mix it right in with the dry ingredients. Then add the wet ingredients.  The only difference between the active dry yeast and the instant yeast is the size. Instant yeast is much finer and will dissolve well mixed right into the dry ingredients.

Mild and sharp cheddar blend plain cheese bar pizza
Mild and sharp cheddar blend plain cheese bar pizza

The Hardware 

If you’re going to be serious about creating authentic bar pizzas from your kitchen you are going to need a few important tools.

The Pan – The only pan I can recommend for making bar pizza at home are these 1×10 pre seasoned straight sided Lloyd Pans  , they are great! Once I started using Lloyd pans I no longer had to place the pizza back onto the stone or baking steel to crisp up the bottom. These work great on there own, no stone needed.   Lloyd pans are a bit pricey but well worth it if you are serious about making amazing pizza at home.

A pizza peel –   These wooden ones also work great as a nice serving tray.

Pan Clips – Work great for easily removing your LLoyd pans from the oven.  Also saves cabinet space compared to using a pizza peel.

Pizza Cutter – I prefer to use these blade style cutters but you can use a wheel cutter too, just be careful because sometimes the wheels tend to push the cheese off.  If you’re going all in, check out this sweet Pizza Knife

Cheese Grater –   You 100% NEED to grate your own cheese if you want to make a great bar pizza.  Store bought pre-shredded cheese is coated in cellulose, this prevents clumping. It can burn up and have a funny taste at high temps.  I use a rotary cheese grater like this and it saves me a lot of time, I love it!  If you have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer this Slicer Attachment is awesome too.

Takeout boxes or Fiber Molded Plates – this may seem crazy, but if you’re going to save any of your pizza for a later time, it is based stored on a paper plate or takeout box.  The paper actually absorbs some of the moisture preventing your pizza from becoming soggy.  This is why all the greats still serve takeout on thick paper plates in brown paper bags!   If you store your leftover slices in a plastic container you will get some condensation. This will result in excess moisture on your crust!

Kitchen Scale – I use this to make sure each piece of dough is 6.5oz.   Also a more accurate way to measure your flour.

A good measuring cup – I you don’t have a nice set of measuring cups I’d start here

Cooking thermometer – This will help you make sure the water is at 110 degrees.  If you don’t have one don’t panic, run the water over your hand, you want it about as warm as you, if you no longer feel the water it is about your body temperature and that will work.

Fine Mesh Colander  – To strain the extra water out of your crushed tomatoes.

Thin Spatula – this helps to peel the pizza out of the pan and not mess up the laced crust.  This is just a good metal icing spatula.  There are also “blender” and “jar” spatulas out there that work well.

Dough Cutter – these are nice for dividing up your dough, much better than using a knife which will rip and tear your dough

Storage Containers for dough – to store your dough

Oven Gloves – Makes it much easier to hold the pan while popping the cooked pizza out.  When I used traditional oven mitts my thumbs would smoosh the pizza, nobody likes that..

Stand Mixer – for mixing batches of dough, the Kitchenaid seams to be the industry standard for home cooks

Fresh mozzarella cheddar pepperoni laced edges bar pizza
Fresh mozzarella cheddar pepperoni laced edges bar pizza

The Sauce 

The sauce is incredibly simple.  Pickup any good quality can of crushed tomatoes at the grocery store and some fine sea salt.  Strain the majority of water out using a fine mesh colander.  I use one like this.  Place sauce in a bowl or container and stir in some sea salt to taste.  That is all you need.  You don’t even have to cook this sauce,  it cooks on the pizza!  My personal favorites are Pastene Ground Peeled Kitchen Ready Tomatoes (chunky) and Pastene California Pizza Sauce (smooth).   After you’ve spread your sauce out on the dough, sprinkle on some dried oregano to taste.

mesh colander strain crushed tomatoes - bar pizza
Straining some water from the Pastene Ground Peeled Tomatoes

**While fresh picked tomatoes may sound like a great idea, they are way too watery for a bar pizza.

 

The Cheese

You are going to have to grate your own blocks of cheese.  To achieve a quality bar pizza, pre-shredded cheese just isn’t going to cut it Pre-shredded cheese is coated in cellulose which burns quicker and can start to taste funny when cooked at high temps.  I shred down a block of good quality white cheddar and a block of low moisture mozzarela.  Some of the classic bar pizza restaurants blend a sharp white and a mild white cheddar.   Others like Lynwood will blend cheddar with mozzarella.  White cheddar is the preferred choice here, not orange.

Homemade Bar Pizza Kitchen Prep Station

 

Troubleshooting guide:

Dough is snapping back and not spreading – This is usually because you’ve handled the dough a little too much.  Let it rest in the pan for 15 minutes and try again.  Start spreading the dough in the pan and let it rest periodicaly while the oven is pre-heating.

Burnt Bottom – you may have put too much oil on the bottom of pan

Dough is too sticky – dough can be tricky because there are so many factors that can affect it like humidity, room temp, water temp etc..  If your dough is super sticky just add some more flour to it.  It should be a slightly wet but not sticky ball of dough.

Big bubbles forming while cooking – you need to poke holes in the dough with a fork before you sauce it

 

 

1 Serving Equals 1 Pizza for Recipe Below.  Try the calculator to adjust recipe size.  Recommended to use multiples of 4 (4,8,12 pizzas etc..) 

Ingredients

0/8 Ingredients
Adjust Servings

Instructions

0/15 Instructions
    Preparing the Dough
  • Dissolve the yeast and sugar in a separate bowl with the warm water and let sit until nice and foamy (couple minutes). The perfect temperature for the yeast is 110 degrees, don't go too hot or you risk killing the yeast. **Note - If you are using instant bread machine yeast. Just add it in with your dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients and mix
  • Pour the flour into stand mixer (If you don't have a mixer just mix in a large bowl)
  • Pour the foamy yeast mixture in with the flour, start mixing on #2 with a bread hook, then add the corn oil, melted butter and salt. Mix with a bread hook until a ball forms. About 2 minutes Do not over knead this dough!
  • Set aside in an oiled airtight bowl and cover with a towel, leave out at room temperature for at least 6 hours. When ready you should have a very light and fluffy dough that you can easily push to the sides of your 10" pan . Cut the dough into even pieces, you want a 6.5oz piece of dough for each (about the size of a baseball). Refrigerate whatever you will not be using for up to 48hrs in separate containers. *Leave out of refrigerator at least 2 hours at room temp before using
  • Preheat oven at 500 for at least 20 minutes before cooking
  • The Sauce
  • Strain a can of high quality crushed tomatoes in mesh colander and add sea salt to taste. (I recommend Pastene California Pizza Sauce or Pastene Ground Peeled Tomatoes ) If you like a smoother texture you can throw it in a blender for a second. Some crushed tomatoes can come very chunky.
  • Assembling your pizza
  • Evenly coat your pan with some corn oil, make sure to coat the sides too
  • Begin to push your 6.5oz dough ball all the way to the edges of your pan. You may need to take a break to let dough rest, then continue spreading. If you want burnt/laced edges, keep the dough night and flat all the way to edge, you do not need to pinch a crust against the edges.
  • Poke a few holes in the dough with a fork, this prevents giant bubbles and its important! I have forgotten to do this, which resulted in one giant bubble sliding the cheese and sauce over the edge of pan and setting off smoke alarms...!
  • Spread sauce all the way to the edges.
  • Dust sauce with some dried oregano, couple pinches should do.
  • Spread your shredded cheese all the way to the edges of the pan.
  • Add any toppings you like
  • Cooking instructions
  • **Preheat oven at 500 for at least 20 minutes before cooking. Place pizza in oven (Middle Rack) for about 14 minutes, add a few more minutes if you have a lot of toppings Every oven is a little different so you'll need to start watching the pizza around 14 min to see how it looks!
  • Eat pizza and save your leftovers for breakfast if needed.

Notes

Makes 4 bar pizzas.  Remember, every pizza can be a personal pizza if you try hard and believe in yourself!

59 Comments

  1. You were my first love, and now that I know you know how to make bar pizza, I’m coming back to reclaim you from lisa ❤️

  2. HI – Your pizza looks great. Thanks for the recipe. Just a heads up. On my PC in the dough recipe, only the top 4 items adjust/calculate when changing the number of pizzas. Starting with the • 1 and 1/8 cups Warm Water (110 Degrees ) down they stay the same. Thanks again for your efforts!!

  3. This sounds like it would make far more than 4-6.5 oz dough balls? Sounds more like 8? What can be used in place of corn oil? Thanks you

    1. Check the servings on recipe. You can change the amount. I did 1 serving = 1 pizza.

      I’m still experimenting with other oils because sometimes corn oil is hard to find. I’ve tried canola and it was good. Olive oil was kind of gross and too heavy.

      1. I understand this is four servings and you can change the servings. It just sounded to me like that would make more than four pieces of dough but I guess not. LOL… Thank you… Maybe I will try a little bit of light olive oil and some butter. I have canola, extra virgin olive, and extra light olive here. The extra light olive is for baking and frying. Thank you for answering so quickly

  4. This is awesome. Thank you for your work and all of the detail. If I can get the ingredients, I’m going for it tomorrow. In your rookie days of experimenting, did you ever use a cast iron pan? That’s all I’ve got for now, until I chase down a proper, seasoned, 10″ pan and enter the big leagues…

    1. I never used a cast iron pan but I’m sure it will come out great with the even heat distribution. Just oil it good and don’t push your crust up too high!

    1. It’s when the sauce and cheese caramelize to the edge of pan creating that black burnt looking crust. Looks like a black “lace” around your pizza

  5. I’m confused. If I have the instant yeast and I add it directly to the flour and it says to skip the first step… do I still use the water (and sugar) or am I making the dough with only instant yeast, flour, salt, oil and butter?

  6. I’m sorry one more question… Step 4 says a airtight bowl and cover with a towel, what do you mean airtight? Like cover a bowl with saranwrap and then place a towel over that?

  7. I made the recipe for dough for 8 servings today. The dough came out very sticky. When I would handle the dough it would stick to my hands. I’ve used other dough recipes and haven’t had this issue. I used extra flour when I separated it for the different pizzas to help with handling. It was very easy to push into the pan and the finished product tasted good. It just seemed the recipe needed a lot more flour or less liquid. Is that normal for this recipe.

    1. It should not be super sticky like that. Depending on the brand and type of flour you use you may need to adjust a little bit. Dough can be tricky. There’s just so many variables with dough like room temp, humidity, flour brand, rise time etc. I’ve also had it happen to me before, I just added a little more flour. Glad you liked it! I still think the is the best bar pizza recipe out there and I make it weekly! Enjoy!

      1. Thank you for your quick reply. We did like the flavor a lot. I ended up using olive oil because that’s what we had in the house and liked the flavor. The other choice was Avocado oil. Easy enough fix with the addition of flour. I do like the recipes that give weight for the flour rather than cups and the calculator is pretty cool.

    2. It should be tacky, but not sticky. Tacky in that yes it’ll adhere some to your hand. But if it pulls up off the bench or pizza pan, that’s sticky. Could be the type of flour you used (AP or bread flour?, what did you use?).

  8. I received your recipe, Lloyd pans, all the hardware, cheese grater etc for Mothers Day. Cant wait to try tomorrow! Thank you so much for your research ,

  9. I did live in Campello–the pizza hub of Brockton, at least it was to me. My pans are 30-40 yrs old, well seasoned pans and my Kitchenaid is 40+. I generally use olive oil in the dough. I use a cheddar cheese and may mix in mozz, parm or whatever other cheese is laying around and add pepperoncini or pepperoni. I am happy to learn how to do that cheesy edge because that is the one thing that was lacking. I shared this with other Brocktonians, who live out of state and cannot get Cod pizzas. Thank you.

  10. I want to make a large batch of dough balls and freeze them to have around for later. Have you tried that? At which stage should I freeze the dough? Before it rests for 6 hrs or after?

    1. After the bulk rise period. I have never done it myself but a friend of mine has frozen the dough and said it was still good. Just give it plenty of time to get back to room temp before using it again. If it snaps back just stretch it a little at a time every 10 min or so when preheating oven.

      1. I’m trying to convert the 425g flour for 4 servings recipe into cups or oz and get very different numbers online. Anywhere from 2-3.3 cups. What is your conversions? My yeast packet says use only 2-1/4 cups flour to 2.25tsp yeast

  11. I really enjoyed this post! I have a blog myself, if you are open, I might curate this post to my audience. Obviously give a link back.

  12. Thanks for the dough recipe. I’ve made it twice and both times it came out well, though each time I’ve only ended up with 6oz per serving when making a batch of 4. Not complaining though, I thought the dough would be the hardest to replicate and this recipe made it easy. Thanks again!

    1. This has happened to me before too, I usually make 4 or 8 pizzas and 1 would end up a little short. I think it has to do with whatever brand flour you are using, your rise times, room temp, making sure the water was just right for the yeast etc..? Just add a little more flour next time. Dough can be tricky but I’m glad this helped!

  13. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this web site before but after browsing through a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely pleased I stumbled upon it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

  14. This recipe and tutorial has been excellent!

    Quick question, been using 10″ cast iron pans as the Lloyds were sold out months back and they have been excellent. Sort of went overboard and now have 4 total to accommodate Pizza night for my family. Given the investment for the cast irons, is it really worth it to buy Lloyd’s pans now that they are back in stock?

  15. Thanks for putting this together. I’ve shared this site with a ton of friends. All my pizzas have been coming out great with your recipe. I’ve found that I need about 7oz of dough to spread in the pan, just a bit easier to spread and still really thin and crisp. I bought my pans from Bay State Restaurant Products in Brockton, place is awesome and I have no connection to ownership. Didn’t require any seasoning and they are crisp right out of the pan. This has been great for the family, can’t thank you enough.

  16. oil the pan with a high smoke point oil — i’ve seen people use cottonseed, I used grapeseed and it’s terrific. The corn oil in the dough with the butter mix is for the taste and the texture, but corn oil has a bit lower smoke point and will cause the pan to stick a bit quicker than you want. Also, you need to play with your temp. on the oven — mine at 500 was a bit hot for and moved up the grill/shelf by one notch. Either way, this is a great recipe and is the closest I’ve come to the real thing.

  17. Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so
    I came to take a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Outstanding blog and superb design and style.

    1. I said that incase someone is using a clear/glass airtight bowl. I believe the dough is happiest in the dark, where it can go on it’s journey to Flavortown in peace, without any outside light to distract it. Enjoy!

    1. That’s entirely up to you! Some people like extra chz, some very little, Just make sure you spread it all the way to the very edge of the pan.

  18. Not sure if I missed this, but where in the oven should the shelf be placed to bake the pizza? Middle, bottom or top? Or does it even matter?

      1. I take that back, i just looked in my oven, I’ve been using the middle rack! Again, with almost every oven cooking things differently you may have to experiment!

  19. Thanks so much for this excellent piece which was invaluable in helping us make our first bar pies last evening; one each Sautéed Mushroom, Broccoli, and Caramelized Onion. They came out pretty well for a first try. I purchased 2 pans from Bay State Restaurant. The dough recipe, which I made for 4, actually was enough for only 3; not sure why this was. I used vegetable oil as we did not have corn oil. Thank you, again. We’ll make more soon!

  20. Awesome info! Thanks for sharing your details and insight! 2 questions…
    1) any suggestions on what type of pepperoni topping to buy? Looking for best flavor and cupping. Do u buy a stick and slice it yourself?
    2) what’s the definition of lacing and what are the techniques to achieve it?

  21. THANK YOU! I just finished my second bah pizza of the day. I grew up in Brockton and really miss the Cape Cod Cafe, Christo’s, Tip Top Cafe (RIP), Town Spa, Home Cafe, Brockton Cafe, etc. I’m retired and living in Florida now and don’t get back there any more. Thanks to your post I ordered a Lloyds pan from Amazon, got pre-made dough, corn oil, sauce, and cheddar cheese from Wal-Mart and today i followed your instructions and now I feel like I just got home from one of those cafes.

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