Thin Crust Pizza
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.
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.
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.
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
For the Dough:
- 3 cups (375 g) bread flour, plus more for work surface
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) instant, rapid-rise yeast
- 1⅓ cups (333.33 ml) ice water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for work surface
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) salt
For the Sauce:
- 28 ounce (793.79 g) 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 (0.25 teaspoon) ground black pepper
For the Toppings:
- ½ cup (50 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces (226.8 g) mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 2 cups shredded)
- Pepperoni slices
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
This might be a silly question, but what is a pizza peel (you mention it at the end of Step 6 in the instructions. Thank you.
Hi Janet, It’s a circular wooden pan with a handle that you use to transfer a pizza to and from the oven: https://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/epicurean-pizza-peel/?pkey=s%7Cpizza%20peel%7C13. Hope that helps!
Edwin Sherman correct
This is our third time making this crust. We were looking for our perfect thin crust and this is it. I don’t have a peel so I make it on my wooden cutting board and move to a stone. Perfection! Cut back on garlic in sauce which is lovely. Thank you for the recipe and all the helpful comments.
how much was all of that
What purpose does the oil have in this recipe? The recipe I have used doesn’t call for oil.
Hi Kathleen, It provides the fat in the recipe. Every pizza dough recipe I’ve ever made has used at least a little bit of oil.
Hmm it appears like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long)
so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and
say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still
new to the whole thing. Do you have any suggestions for
inexperienced blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.
BEST recipe ever! thin, a little airy, and deliciously crispy. I have tried so many pizza dough recipes and I have FINALLY found a keeper. Thank you!!
All I have is active dry yeast. Do you think that’s okay?
Hi Erin, That will not work in this recipe, as it relies on ice water, and you need warm liquids to activate active dry yeast.
can i substitute the tomato to a ground beef?
Looks and sounds delicious, i love making my won pizza, thanks for sharing this.
I just made 3 batches of thin crust pizza dough. I added 2 TBSPs sugar instead of 2 tsps. Is it ruined?
No, it won’t be ruined, it will just bit a tad sweeter than intended. The sauce should balance it out without an issue.
Just made this….it was great! Our son and daughter just kept eating. Thanks!
What size pizza is that? 16 inches? Also, what brand is your pizza cutter? Mine is broken and I’m looking for a better one!
Hi Lauren, It’s about 14 inches. I have a big OXO pizza cutter and love it!
What if you don’t have the time to refrigerate for 24 hours? What then?
Hi Jennifer, This particular recipes relies upon a slow, cold rise to develop the gluten. If you don’t have the time to refrigerate for 24 hours, then I would recommend a quicker pizza dough recipe, such as this one: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/2008/06/24/basic-pizza-dough/
THank you for this recipe , it is our favourite pizza we make it every Friday . Thanks again.
I have a question about using the ice water. I’ve always made huge batches of pizza dough basically like a bread recipe. Warm water, adding the yeast, sugar, gradual flour, then oil and salt. (and it makes for a huge, very bready pizza…I’d love to make a more thin, chewy dough.) My thought has always been that the warm water will “grow” the yeast. I’m very curious of the use of the ice water? Does the yeast work while the dough is in the fridge?
Hi Denise, Yes, the cold water works in the fridge to develop the gluten slowly. This is definitely a less “bready” crust than my regular one.
I accidentally forgot to let my dough rest for the required 10 minutes :(
The dough is currently sitting in the fridge.. is it going to be okay? I’m too tired to make another batch..
Hi Maria, The rest period gives the gluten a chance to relax. Skipping this step won’t ruin the dough, it just might change the texture a tad.
Made this last night and it was amazing! This will be my new go to recipe.
Made your thin crust recipe for Christmas Eve…and we all thought it was fabulous! We think we have a new tradition!
After trying a regular pizza recipe we were left with a feeling like, yeah, it’s good but… not like those thin-crust ones in a good pizzeria…
Then I tried this (and watched some Italian you tube videos to see how they wield a pizza peel).
It came out very good!!! It even pleased my very difficult and discerning husband, which is saying a lot, believe me.
I made it with the pizza stone preheated the full hour and all.
The only thing was that I subbed a half-whole wheat grey ‘traditional’ flour instead of modern bread flour, which we liked. It gave it a kind of olden days feel. But it came out exactly like the photo here.
Just one thing – I’ll allow the 2nd pizza to brown more next time because it cooked slightly less in the center than the first one, I’m assuming the stone wasn’t quite as hot for the 2nd one?
This looks PERFECT for my family-yum!
I haven’t had the chance to make the dough, but I LOVE the pizza sauce! It’s so easy to make and so delicious. In fact, my boyfriend, who will happily eat anything I make and never say a word (good or bad) about my cooking, asked, “What are you doing with the homemade pizza that’s different? It’s really good.”
Making this great pizza dough again this evening! Since we divide it into two pieces, could one be put into the freezer? If so, what point would it be best to do so?
Hi Fred, I’ve done this with my other pizza dough and I think it would be fine for this one as well. I would freeze it after the rise. Enjoy!
Thanks for the reply. I made the dough, and after overnight refrigeration I split it in two and put one half in the freezer just this last Friday. i will pull it out this week and give it a go. The thaw time will be the next question? I figure and hour at room temperature or so after pulling from the freezer. Gingerly microwave to speed thawing? Or just pull it out of the freezer in the morning put in the frig and it should thaw by evening possibly.
Also, I posted using cornmeal instead of flour in my pizza peel. However, your flour idea makes a better tasting pizza! So i am a convert to flour now!
Thank you for your efforts!
Hi Fred, I would not use the microwave. I recommend placing it in the refrigerator the morning you plan to use it and it should be thawed perfectly by dinnertime. Enjoy!
Hey Michelle. I just made this dough (twice!) and it definitely didn’t go as described. It never came together into a shiny ball in the food processor, it was just a sticky mess that spun around the bottom and then when I turned it out of the FP bowl it was a super gluey mass that just puddled onto my silicone mat once I scraped it all out. That first time, I did leave the dough in the FP about 7 minutes longer than instructed, so I thought maybe that was it. So I did it again and timed it precisely and it was the same. I’ve made many yeast bread/pizza/pasta doughs before and also weighed the flour — so I’m puzzled. Especially since it’s a Cooks’ Illustrated recipe and they are typically so reliable. So I’m wondering if you’ve got any ideas based on when you made it. Thanks!
Hi Emilie, That’s really bizarre, I’m not sure why your dough would be so soft; mine wasn’t loose or soft at all. Maybe there is some extra humidity in your air; try reducing the amount of water and see if that helps.
Yes, I’d wondered after-the-fact if the summer season might have had something to do with it. I’ll give it another try with a bit less water (although I didn’t pitch the second batch; I just kneaded it with enough flour to bring it together and put it in a bowl). So I might just have some awesome thin-crust pizza tomorrow despite the floppy dough:) Thanks for the reply!
Love love love thin crust pizza! Does the recipe note how many ounces of bread flour to use? I love my kitchen scale for making yeast dough and find it easier to weigh the flour than measure in cups.
Hi April, 3 cups of bread flour is 12¾ ounces. I always use this chart when recipes don’t include the weight; I love using my scale, too! http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/master-weight-chart.html
Absolutely glamorous! Hand down Pretty! Yummy undoubtedly!
Making pizza from starch would be one hell of a gutsy move for me but I’m willing to take the risk. (I simply can’t take my eyes off of your red-hot-vavavoom pizza!)
I have heard about using semolina flour for pizza dough. Have you ever used semolina flour?
Hi Pat, I haven’t, but I do use it to coat the pizza peel!
What is a pizza peel? Can I make them personal size and cook 2 at a time? Yum
Hi Bethany, A pizza peel is a large wooden or metal surface with a handle that you use to transfer pizza into and out of an oven. This is the one I have: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001T6OVPO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001T6OVPO&linkCode=as2&tag=broeyebak-20.
You could make them smaller, but whether you can fit two or not depends on how large you make them.
Damn, damn, damn girl! If you only knew what you have gone and done! How, I ask you, do you expect to post this recipe and not have practically ALL of us goin’ NUTS till we can get our hands on it. Well, I have news for you. It is 12:14 am and I am getting up and making this pizza. Oh yes I am!
This pizza looks like it came from a pizza restaurant! So impressive! Whenever I eat pizza I always get it without sauce – I’ve never liked tomato sauce!
The pizza dough is a sticky little devil to work with! Bit I like the end product! One of the best homemade pizza’s ever! We used sliced sautéed baby belle mushroom, fresh garden basil, sundried tomatoes a blend of mozzarella , provolone and ramano cheeses. I used cornmeal under the pizza to help slide from peel to stone instead of flour. An old trick.
Thanks again for another great find and new favorite!
I will definitely try this one! My husband is a thin-crust-only guy!
This pizza looks better than take out! Pizza is my go-to meal ALWAYS but I never make them at home..ever….until now..:)
Okay, you are cruel! That pizza looks absolutely perfect. My problem would be having to share any of it with someone else! Yum!!
I’ve always loved a thin crust than thick crust. It is amazing! Thank you! x
I’ve always loved thin crust than thick crust. Thank you. It is amazing! x
I am the same way with pizza! Once the idea of it is in my head It is all I will want to eat! Can’t wait to try this recipe! <3
What size fod processor do you need to accommodate the dough? I am not sure mine is big enough. I really want to try this–I can’t get the photos out of my mind!
Hi Lonna, Mine is pretty big (16 cups); I think you would probably be okay with a 7-cup or larger food processor.
I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this pizza recipe – it’s the best, and I’m not even a thin crust person typically! I wish I could reach through the screen and grab a slice – love the pepperoni :)
We are giant pizza lovers in this house. We even have official plates that we eat pizza on that are customized. Pizza is serious! This recipe rules, going to try very soon!
A perfect thin crust pizza – the best kind! My 8-yr old would swoon. Pepperoni is his favorite. Looks mouth-wateringly good!
Hey … my Dough is in the refrigerator. . Made sauce but mine was watery…just wanted to ask the consistency of the sauce. ..should I sieve it before putting on the pizza?
Hi Mareeha, The sauce is on the thinner side. No need to put it through a sieve.
This pizza looks delicious, but I don’t know if I would consider it “thin” crust. It’s looks more of a “hand tossed” thickness. Maybe it’s just the pictures? Come to St. Louis if you want to see real thin crust pizza! Still won’t stop me from trying the recipe!
Pizza is definitely a trigger food for me. This looks great, but there’s no way you had it done in an hour, so did you have to call Dominos?
What if you don’t have a pizza stone? Could I use a pizza pan with holes in it? I really want to try this as all of your recipes are awesome & I LOVE pizza!
Hi Barb, If you don’t have a pizza stone, use a baking pan, upside down, with a piece of parchment paper on top. Enjoy!
I want to try this but I don’t have a food processor! Can I use my kitchenaid and beat the dough instead, or will this mess it up? Thanks!
Hi Annie, You could do that, or mix by hand as well. I haven’t tried either method, so I don’t have much advice, but I’m sure either way would work.
This looks delicious!!!
I was craving pizza yesterday, so I made a veggie pizza on thin whole wheat crust. // Can’t wait to try this recipe!
Your pizza looks perfect, like it could come straight out of a restaurant. I need to try this crust for sure!
I am totally the same – if I hear “pizza”, I need pizza!! I have an unhealthy obsession with it.
Yours looks beautiful, so hungry now!!
OK I’m officially hungry now! Your pizza looks awesome
Oh man, I’m the same way with pizza. And I’d ESPECIALLY need to have it if it was this one — looks so good!
Can the sauce be made ahead? Or frozen? How long does it last in the fridge or freezer?
Hi Michelle, I made the sauce a day in advance; I think it would be okay for a few days in the fridge. I also think you could freeze it without a problem.
Oh em gee, this looks fantastic. And this is probably the easiest recipe for pizza dough I’ve ever seen.
Also, I’m the exact same way with pizza. Once someone says the word, then I must.have.pizza. No turning back.
This may be a stupid question, but what is the difference between bread flour and regular flour?? I’ve seen bread flour mentioned in a few different recipes I’ve seen on sites lately and here too. Can I use regular flour? Also, I saw someone mention above, how well does the dough freeze? I’d like to make this, but it’s just me and my toddler daughter and we’d never get through 2 pizzas!
Hi Gloria, Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour. I would recommend bread flour for pizza dough; you can find it in pretty much every supermarket. I haven’t frozen this pizza dough, but if you do so, I would do it after you knead it.
Hi!! Is there a way to make the dough without a processor?
Love thin crust pizza! This looks perfect!
Thin crust pizza is hands down my favorite! Cannot wait to try your recipe!
Quick question for clarification – do you leave the stone in the oven at 500 degrees for the full hour?
This looks AMAZING!!
Hi Sue, Yes, it’s important to get the stone nice and hot; that’s what crisps the crust.
Great! Now I’m wishing I had pizza for breakfast. And I’m so not above that.
Thats too funny… the same thing happens in my house. Now that I have seen this post… I am craving pizza. Pizza is my most favorite food ever!!!
Mmmm…I totally want pizza now! Looks amazing!
Looks great! I’d like to multiply the recipe…think I could freeze it after the first rest in the processor?
Hi Cori, I have not tried freezing it, but I would do so once the entire dough is finished (oil and salt mixed in). Let me know how it turns out!
Oh my gosh, this crust looks perfect!
Thin crust pizza is so lovely and this recipe rocks!
Michelle, now you’re going to have to try making pizza on the grill! Or do you have enough room in your new back yard for a pizza oven??
Do you think I could mix this in my blendtec? I don’t have a food processor! Thanks! It looks so yummy!!
Hi April, I’ve never tried to make dough in a high-powered blender; if you don’t have a food processor, I would probably go the by-hand route.
You have out done yourself this time. Thin crust pizza is my favorite. Thanks for posting.
Gorgeous pizza pie, girl! Thin pizza crust rules. Thanks for sharing!
Hey… I absolutely love your site..I was wondering if I use fresh tomatoes how many will make 28oz? And I hope they will not alter the taste of the sauce ?
Hi Mareeha, I don’t know how many fresh tomatoes will make 28 ounces, you’d have to make them. I have only used canned tomatoes, so I’m not sure how the fresh would affect the taste.
Do you have to use a food processor to make the dough?
Hi Gina, It will be the easiest way to do it, but like all things, I’m pretty certain you could have success making it by hand.
A stand mixer using the dough hook would probably work. Just a thought. I love your website and have made many of your recipes. Thank you Michelle.
A bread maker is the best way to make small batches of pizza dough. Select the “dough” setting, then add all of your liquid ingredients (water and oil). Combine and mix dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, salt, sugar, and yeast) and then gently pour on top of the liquid in the bread maker’s mixing bowl. Turn the machine on, and allow the machine to knead the dough until it becomes smooth and satiny. You can divide and rise the dough right away, or perform the “cold retard” (as suggested in this recipe) overnight, or more, to develop more flavor.
Well, Michelle, now you’ve gone and done it — making me crave a pepperoni pizza at 3:25 AM — Good Lord — LOL! Like you, just say the word “pizza” , and it literally makes my mouth water. So I will definitely have to give this recipe a try.
I’m totally craving pizza now at midnight!
Oh ma gahd, you’ve made my dream pizza.
I love thin crust pizza and I’ve been on the hunt for a great crust recipe. Can’t wait to try this!
Thin crust is our all time favorite over here! This look perfect!
No. Stop. Ugh. I can’t. I know what I’m making for lunch tomorrow (or maybe even breakfast if my willpower fails me).