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Daily Slice: Framingham Baking Company, Framingham, Massachusetts

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[Photographs: Meredith Smith]

The Framingham Baking Company, which first opened in 1917, has been run out of the same building by four generations of the Thomas family. Even the bones of the place—a sunken garage attached to a home—suggest a business at the center of a family. While there is plenty of bread baking happening, it's the bakery's pizza that makes it a Framingham institution.

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A cursory glance might lead one to label these sheet pies as Sicilian pizzas. However, there are a few distinguishing characteristics that put this bakery-style pizza in its own class.

First off, don't expect a hot crusty slice right from the oven. Framingham Baking Company pizza goes straight from the cooled pans into your hands. Three pounds of basic Italian bread dough serves as the crust. The pizzas are then oiled, topped, cheesed, and finally sauced. In this reverse method, the sauce gets splattered across the top like a Pollock painting. Land O'Lakes white American cheese bubbles up from below, leaving little pools of sauce, and gives the pizza its signature body and flavor.

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The 6"x4" rectangles of soft, gooey, American-cheese-topped, bread-y dough absolutely appeals to the guilty pleasure receptors of the childhood indulgence variety. Slices with broccoli blanketed in cheese ($2.00) tastes like a Fettucine Alfredo that mom was trying to sneak some green into. And the bacon and onion ($2.00) has a real queso dip kinship happening.

Plain cheese slices ($1.75) get a little herb zip from the sauce, but the distinctive sweet tang of American cheese is what really comes through. If you aren't that into the cheese of our nation, then this might not be the slice for you.

Locals love Framingham Baking Company because they grew up eating it and it hasn't changed, ever. The hype may not translate to outsiders, but if you're down with trying American cheese on bakery-style pizza, or you have some pizza-loving kids in tow, it's worth stopping by.

Framingham Baking Company

840 Waverley Street, Framingham, MA (map)
508-875-4125; framinghambakingcompany.com

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