The Pizza Kitchen: Quad Cities-Style Pizza

Chef Brian Hernandez tries out a recipe for Quad Cities-style pizza from Uncle Bill’s Pizza in Davenport, Iowa. Originating in the Quad Cities region of Iowa and Illinois, this pie has a darker, sweeter and thinner crust, a thick, feisty sauce and a finished product that’s cut into strips with scissors. The fennel sausage delivers wall-to-wall flavor reinforced by the spiciness of the sauce. The crust is firm but soft in the middle and has a sweet taste.

But this pizza is more than the sum of its ingredients. Brian walks you through the steps, from making the dough and the sauce to the final bake.

Dough Ingredients:

25 lbs. high-gluten flour
11.75 lbs. water (cold as possible without using ice)
6.3g instant dry yeast (activated in warm water)
56g malt syrup (non-diastatic)
71g sea salt
50g sugar

Sauce Ingredients:
2 parts tomato puree
1 part tomato paste
1.5 parts water
Salt
Black pepper
Crushed red pepper seed
Ground oregano
Minced garlice
(All spices to taste)

Quad Cities Sausage:
Ground pork
Salt
Black pepper
Crushed red pepper seed
Ground oregano
Whole fennel seed
Minced garlic
(All spices to taste)

Quad Cities Pizza:
12 oz. dough ball stretched out to 12”
Cornmeal (for peel)
7 oz. red sauce
8 oz. sausage
Parmesan and Romano cheese, generous dusting
12 oz. mozzarella
Crushed leaf oregano (after bake)

Directions:
Stretch dough to 12” on light dusting of cornmeal. Dough will be thinner than traditional hand-tossed pizza. Make sure to get a slightly pronounced crust around the edge. Sauce pizza all the way to the edge—do not skimp. Add sausage and dust with Parmesan/Romano mix. Add mozzarella. Bake at 550 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove when crust turns dark-brown and cheese is completely melted and starting to brown. Top with crushed-leaf oregano. Let it cool for a minute, then slice with pizza shears.