Easy Thin Crust Pizza.
This pizza is everything.
I don’t even know where to start because everything PIZZA.
And not just any pizza. Thin crust pizza! Thin and crispy crust pizza. Thin and crusty pizza?
Okay I’ll stop.
For a looooong time, you guys have been asking how I can make my other pizza crust, which is fairly thick and fluffy, into thin crust. And well, the answer is… you can’t. Not really. I don’t think you can. I’ve tried and while a few times it’s come close, it’s just destined to be a fat, fluffy crust and isn’t thin. Not thin like this. It can’t go on a diet.
I don’t discriminate when it comes to my pizza crusts, but I’m often very particular in what sort of crust I want and when I want it. I mean, sometimes I’m in a fat and fluffy mood. Sometimes I want to order Pizza Hut’s stuffed crust pizza because I feel like regretting all my life choices for three days after.
Other times, I crave the thin and crispy-ish crust. Not cracker thin, not like a flatbread thin, but just… thinner crust, crunchy, crispy, and dare I say it – light?
Can I call this pizza light?
Probably not, but I try to get away with other justifications so I’m just going to let it ride.
Clearly, this is that crust. The thin one, the light one, the one that I’m almost ready to dress up in spinach and call a health food.
Um, another thing. Another great thing. The best thing, perhaps.
This dough? It doesn’t need to rise. No rising. No rise-ation. (It just sounded right.)
I’ve tried it both ways. I think the no-rise tastes just as wonderful as the slightly risen version. I don’t detect any extra depth of flavor in the risen version, but you’re also talking to the person who was dipping two mini chocolate carrots leftover from easter into the peanut butter jar last night. I don’t exactly have what one would call a… sophisticated palette.
And! There’s another thing. Yes, one more thing.
You can totally grill this thin crust. Throw it right there on the grill. That’s one thing I was super hesitant about, becuase we often grill my thicker crust in the summer. Which always turns out great. But the thin crust? Eeeek. Wasn’t so sure.
So. I made four pizzas for the grill on Saturday night (margherita, pepperoni + red pepper, pepperoni + provolone and BBQ chicken if you’re dying to know) for my family to split and the crusts all came out fantastic. The directions below are written for a pizza stone, but know that you can use a grill too. You just need a heavily floured pizza peel, a hot hot grill and all of your toppings measured out and prepped before beginning. It’s heavenly.
We’re totally doing it again this weekend.
The toppings here aren’t the meat of this post (oh hardy har har), but after revisiting the photos while writing, I realize that I would love to do a complete face dive into the center of this pizza and never return.
I guess it’s worth noting: I used some crushed tomatoes that I slightly drained and whipped up in the food processor as my sauce. I topped that with a little crushed garlic (meaning, I pushed three cloves through my garlic press) and then I sliced a ball of fresh mozzarella. Once it was finished, I covered it with a handful of (or, um, I won’t lie – some very strategically-for-photos placed) fresh basil leaves. And then a sprinkle of some finely grated parmagiano-reggiano.
And then I died. I may never eat another kind of pizza again.*
Thin Crust Pizza
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
crushed tomatoes, pureed
crushed garlic cloves
fresh basil leaves
Place a pizza stone inside you oven on the middle rack. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. You most definitely need a pizza peel for this - or at least something to easily transfer your dough to your stone.
In a large bowl, mix together the water, yeast and honey. Let that sit and get foamy, about 10ish minutes. During that time, I like to get out all of my pizza ingredients and measure them out - because this dough doesn't have to rise! For the above pizza, I used pureed crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, a little crushed garlic and fresh basil leaves. You want everything measured out and ready to top so you can quickly transfer the dough to the stone.
After 10 minutes, stir the flour and salt into the yeast mixture. Stir until the dough comes together, first using a spoon and then using your hands. If the dough is REALLY sticky, use a little more flour until it becomes silky, adding 1 tablespoon of flour as needed. Flour your workspace and knead the dough a few times with your hands. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
Roll the dough out as thin as you possible can - at least 10 inches. If the dough keeps springing back, let it rest another 5 or 10 minutes. Flour your pizza peel VERY well. To transfer the thin dough to your peel, I gently and quickly fold the dough in half and then in half again, pick it up, and unfold it on the floured peel. Quickly add your toppings - your sauce and cheese and what not. Remember, with this thin crust it is best to not do tons of heavy toppings. Work quickly so the dough do not stick to the peel.
Open the oven and gently slice the pizza from the peel to the stone - I use a spatula to help if needed. Bake the pizza for 10 to 15 minutes - just keep and eye on it since the oven is so hot and stones can differ. It will be done when the crust is crispy and cheese is golden.
Remove the pizza by sliding it back onto the pizza peel with the help of a spatula. Let the pizza cool for a few minutes before slicing.
Note: if you want to use a baking sheet, I'd preheat the oven to about 450 degrees F and cook it slightly longer.
[crust/method slightly adapted from the kitchn]
*huge, huge dramatic lie.