Scott Toth, the owner of Lake View’s Pizzeria Serio, will roll his dough out to Wicker Park on June 3 to open Craft Pizza (1252 N. Damen Ave., 773-442-7238). He is serio about his craft—the two restaurants, both thin-crust specialists, will turn out different pizzas.
To wit: “Serio is a little more Neapolitan in its DNA, in its nature,” Toth says. “Craft will be a little more straight up, a crisper exterior with softer interior.” Pizzeria Serio does a high-volume business, whereas Craft, located in a 25-seat space, can work small-batch.
“I don’t know what the other guys are doing out there, but it’s all about the dough for me,” Toth says. At Serio, the dough undergoes a 24- to 72-hour cold rise in the refrigerator and isn’t punched down. At Craft, dough production will begin with a poolish—a dough starter—and ferment for 12 hours with 25 percent of the ingredients, including a lower-protein flour than Serio uses. Next, the remainder of the ingredients are added for a 12-hour warm rise. Then, the dough is hand-folded, kneaded, and punched down.
The dough will form the foundation for pies such as the White City, a white pie with herbs, black pepper, olive oil, garlic, and Craft’s four-cheese blend (whole-milk mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, pecorino, and grana padano). The Devil in the White City adds hot capicola, cherry peppers, peperoncini, and red onion.
In the morning, Craft will serve bagels made with the pizza dough and Sparrow Coffee. We’re getting dough-eyed just thinking about it.