Thin Crust Pizza

Thin Crust Pizza by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

There’s an unwritten rule in our house. My Chief Culinary Consultant can’t casually mention pizza as a meal option and not fully expect to be eating it within one hour. Pizza is one of those words that, once I hear it, I can’t un-hear it. Once it’s mentioned, I will immediately crave and won’t be happy until I have a cheesy piece sitting in front of me. I love all kinds of pizza – deep dish, thick crust, thin crust, coal-fired, wood-fired, delivery, homemade… you get the picture. I’ve been making my favorite basic pizza dough for years now (and love it), but I’ve wanted to give a thin-crust version a try.

Thin Crust Pizza by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

While my regular dough recipe isn’t terribly thick, this one is definitely much thinner. The amount of sauce used is minimal, as well, which lets the crust and the cheese and toppings shine. My kind of pizza, for sure. I’ve been known to throw a “light on the sauce” in there when ordering a pizza. Our favorite pizza topping is pepperoni, but you could use anything you like, or just leave it plain cheese.

Thin Crust Pizza by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

I especially like this recipe because you mix together the dough in less than 10 minutes, then put it in the refrigerator overnight. It can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 days, which makes it easy to plan weeknight dinners. If you’re a fan of crispy, thin crust pizza, you’ll definitely want to give this recipe a try. Just don’t mention pizza to me, or I’ll need to come over for dinner.

Thin Crust Pizza by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: Homemade Tropical Trail Mix
Two years ago: Buttermilk Doughnuts
Three years ago: Homemade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches
Four years ago: Spumoni Ice Cream Terrine

Thin Crust Pizza

Yield: Two 13-inch pizzas

Prep Time: 24 hours

Cook Time: 10 to 12 minutes

Total Time: 1 day + 1 hour 30 minutes

An easy dough recipe for thin crust pizza; it can be made up to three days in advance!

Ingredients:

For the Dough:
3 cups bread flour, plus more for work surface
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon instant (rapid-rise) yeast
1⅓ cups ice water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for work surface
1½ teaspoons salt

For the Sauce:
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Toppings:
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 2 cups shredded)
Pepperoni slices

Directions:

1. Make the Dough: In a food processor, process the flour, sugar and yeast for 2 seconds to combine. With the machine running, slowly add the water through the feed tube and process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough rest in the food processor for 10 minutes.

2. Add the oil and salt to the dough and process until the dough forms a satiny, sticky ball that clears the side of the workbowl, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead briefly on a lightly oiled surface until smooth, about 1 minute. Shape the dough into a tight ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours (the dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days).

3. Make the Sauce: Process all of the sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

4. Bake the Pizza: One hour before baking the pizza, adjust the oven rack to the second-highest position (the rack should be 4 to 5 inches below the broiler). Set a pizza stone on the rack and heat the oven to 500 degrees.

5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it in half. Shape each half into a smooth, tight ball. Place them on a lightly oiled baking sheet, making sure they are at least three inches apart. Cover them loosely with a piece of plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside for 1 hour.

6. Coat one ball of dough with flour and place on a well-floured surface. Using your fingertips, gently flatten the dough into an 8-inch disk, leaving an inch or so of outer edge thicker than the center. Using your hands, gently stretch into a 12-inch round, working along the edges and giving the dough quarter turns as you stretch it. Transfer the dough to a well-floured pizza peel and stretch into a 13-inch round.

7. Spread ½ cup of the tomato sauce in a thin layer over the dough, then sprinkle with half of the Parmesan cheese and half of the mozzarella cheese. Top with pepperoni slices, if desired.

8. Slide the pizza carefully onto the stone and bake until the crust is well browned and the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pizza halfway through the baking time. Remove the pizza from the stone and place on a wire rack for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Repeat steps to shape and bake second pizza.

(Recipe from Cook's Illustrated)