the underground gourmet quick bite

Your Sicilian Nonna’s Pizza Has Nothing on Dan Kluger’s New Grandma Pie

That the trend in pizza is currently toward the square has not escaped the notice of Dan Kluger. Two weeks ago, the Loring Place chef-owner surveyed the pizza section of his menu and found it lacking in something “really simple” to counter the slightly out-there round-pie offerings, like the one with Brussels sprouts, garlic, jalapeño, and cheddar.

“How about a nice margherita?” a member of his kitchen staff suggested.

Too simple,” said Kluger, who wanted something more substantial.

A light bulb moment came when Kluger, who grew up a member of the Sicilian-slice cognoscenti in Manhattan, recalled a grandma pizza he’d tasted recently at a kids’ birthday party in Brooklyn. The difference between that catalytic Brooklyn pie or, say, the square slices at King Umberto’s in Elmont and a Loring Place grandma pie is that the latter is made with a mix of organic white plus locally grown, house-milled emmer and heirloom, hard red-winter-wheat flours. It’s topped with Jersey Farms Crushed Tomatoes, Murray’s mozzarella, garlic, basil, dried chiles, and a sprinkling of Parmesan, and it arrives at the table in a miniature sheet pan, six squares per serving.

So how’s the crust? Pretty much perfect, with a crisp but springy texture and a toasty, earthy, intensely fresh-flour flavor that won’t quit. Just like Grandma never made.

Dan Kluger’s Grandma Pizza Is Made From House-Milled Flour.