Pizza Wars Part II: Homemade Thin Crust Pizza

January 23, 2015 | By | 6 Replies More

homemade thin crust pizza

“His” pizza with my homemade sauce and traditional toppings

A few weeks ago, I shared with you a wonderfully easy way to make homemade pan pizza – no fancy equipment needed – reminiscent of the Chicago-style pizza that was the second-best thing to happen to me growing up. The first best thing was when my mom agreed to let me start shaving my legs, saving me from further public ridicule and scorn about my hairy shins.

Now that I live in the Northeast, I don’t have ready access to deep dish pizza. Thin crust is king here, and I love it just as much. When I was dating Mr. President, there was a defining moment when I though he could be for me. It was when I tried his homemade thin crust pizza, served up trattoria-style on a long-handled pizza peel and with a perfectly crisp, just-barely-charred crust.

homemade thin crust pizza

My favorite white pizza with garlic, arugula, fontina, and a squeeze of fresh lemon

I still watch in awe as he whips up pizza dough inside of ten minutes on his way out the door to work. He prepares the dough in a single bowl without even having to touch it. By the time we both end our work days, the dough is ready to roll out into pizzas. And, since I grew more than 250 pounds of garden tomatoes this year, we have jars of homemade pizza sauce at the ready for one of the easiest weeknight meals ever. When the weather permits, we grill our pizzas on a pizza stone in our beloved Big Green Egg.

Homemade thin crust pizza requires a pizza stone and a pizza peel. Get a stone that’s rectangular and as large as possible that will still fit inside your oven. There are few things worse than rolling out a pie, topping it, and then discovering it’s just a little too big for your stone. The pizza peel is indispensable for getting your pizza safely in and out of the super-hot oven. And, it makes for great presentation of your pizza when serving.

Never put a cold pizza stone into a hot oven – it will crack. Your stone should be preheated with your oven, or you can just leave the stone in the oven all the time, as we do.

A thin and crispy crust lets your toppings really shine, so don’t be shy about straying from traditional pizza fixings. Our favorite homemade thin crust pizzas include a wild mushroom, fresh thyme and fontina and a white arugula pizza spritzed with fresh lemon just before serving. A pizza making party is fun for a group and you can pop one pie after the other into the oven while everyone samples their favorites.

Robbie P’s Homemade Thin-Crust Pizza Dough

homemade thin crust pizza

Oil your hands before handling dough

Ingredients (Makes 2 large or 3 medium sized, 12-inch, pizzas)

2 tsp. active dry yeast

1 tsp. cane sugar

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup organic cornmeal

2 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten

Dash kosher salt

Olive oil

Step one: 

2 tsp. active dry yeast

1 tsp. cane sugar

Place yeast and sugar in a measuring cup or small bowl. Add 2 cups of warm, not hot, water and let sit while you prepare the other ingredients, about 5 minutes.

homemade thin crust pizza

Flatten dough gently before rolling out

Step two:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup organic cornmeal

2 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten

Dash kosher salt

Olive oil

Whisk all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Drizzle in the water and mix thoroughly with a rubber spatula until ingredients are thoroughly incorporated – it will be very thick and sticky. Drizzle olive oil around the edges of the bowl and, using spatula, fold the dough edges inward to form a loose ball. Drizzle once more with olive oil. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and cover with a clean towel.

The dough will be ready to roll out for pies in as little as 2-3 hours. It will double in volume and look bubbly and puffy in the bowl.

homemade thin crust pizza

We like to roll a little edge on the pie

Step three:

When you’re ready to make your pies, preheat the oven to 525°.

Lube up your hands with olive oil and remove dough from the bowl. Fold edges under, working your way around the dough until you have a neat ball. Divide the dough into two or three equal pieces and gently re-form a ball with each.

homemade thin crust pizzaCut a piece of parchment paper that’s the size of your pizza stone. On your counter, lay out the parchment and lightly flour it. Place the dough ball in the center and lightly flatten it with your hands. With a lightly floured rolling pin, gently roll out the dough working from the center of the circle outward. It’s OK if your dough isn’t a perfect circle – that’s the charm of homemade pizza! Sometimes ours are nice circles, and sometimes they look more like amoebas or even the state of Texas.

Continue rolling dough out until it’s about 1/8 of an inch thick, but don’t go larger than your parchment paper. You can roll the dough edges in a bit if desired to form more of an outer crust. Top as desired. Carefully slide the parchment and pizza onto your pizza peel and then even more carefully, slide the parchment and pizza onto your stone in the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until pizza is golden and bubbly. Let cool slightly before cutting into wedges.

Any leftover dough can be placed in a bowl and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days for future pizza.

 

 

 

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Category: Food, General, Main Dishes, Recipes, Winter

Comments (6)

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  1. RCarlin says:

    Can’t wait to try it!

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