Daily Slice

A different slice profiled each day.

Daily Slice: John's in Elmhurst, the Sicilian

Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.

2012-01-23-189556-johns-elmhurst-sicilianslice.jpg[Photographs: Michael Berman]

By strange coincidence, [Slice founder] Adam Kuban and I have each had
John's Pizzeria in Elmhurst on our minds. He published Monday's Daily Slice about John's "satisfying" and "comforting" regular slice; and I visited last week to take notes on (and photograph) their Sicilian slice for today's report.

Adam, take note: that Sicilian slice is worth an immediate return visit. It tastes much lighter than others around town―probably due to the many micro-air bubbles within its crust. Rose's novel cooking process takes at least 45 minutes for a whole pie ($18) and it's well worth the wait. Or, there are always squares ($2.60) on hand to be reheated.

2012-01-23-189556johns-elmhurst-sicilian-crust-study.jpg

Here are the steps: First the dough is stretched onto the pan and allowed to rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes. Then it's puts in the fridge to rest. It gets baked for about 20 minutes. Then it's taken out to cool completely (another 20 minutes). And finally, it's cooked on the oven floor, without a pan, for three minutes to make the bottom crisp.

Rose claims to have perfected this process in just one try.

The end result involves a crust that offers a refreshing hint of the yeast that made it rise, a slightly sharp whole milk mozzarella component, and a sweet sauce that that finishes the job with just the right sweetness.

I could describe the charming retro decor ― and how rare it is for women to own a pizzeria in New York ― but Adam covered these topics. Besides, it's way better to go to John's, see for yourself, meet the ladies, and try one of each of their pizza types to decide on your own which is the true winner. But honestly, at John's, you can't lose!

John's Pizzeria

85-02 Grand Avenue, Elmhurst NY 11373 (at Haspel; map)
718-457-7561; on Facebook

Michael Berman is a photographer and writer based in New York. He publishes multimedia food stories on his blog www.pizzacentric.com; and more frequent, sometimes mundane Twitter observations at @michaelberman.

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