Pizza is an ongoing debate in our household. My husband prefers a thick, soft crust, while I prefer my pizza to be on the thin and chewy side. Since I already have a favorite thick crust dough recipe, I knew I needed to add a thin crust recipe to my repertoire. I know what you’re thinking, why not just roll out any ol’ dough recipe really thin and call it thin crust? Regular pizza dough has more yeast in it, and since it raises at room temperature, the dough gets puffy and thick while it bakes – even if you roll it out pretty thin. With this recipe, the amount of yeast is reduced, and the dough proofs slowly in the refrigerator. Therefore, the dough doesn’t rise much, leaving you with a perfectly thin, chewy crust.
I was amazed by how delicious this recipe turned out. It tastes almost identical to those huge, thin slices of pizza that you can get at the mall food court. I’m pretty traditional in that my favorite topping for pizza is just plain cheese, but this would be great with pepperoni or topped with tons of veggies.
Thin Crust Pizza
Yields 2 13-inch pizzas
For the crust:
3 cups (16½ oz.) bread flour
2 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. instant yeast
1 1/3 cups ice water
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1½ tsp. salt
For the sauce:
1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
Olive oil, for brushing
½ cup (1 oz.) finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded whole-milk mozzarella
To mix the dough, combine the flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse until just combined. With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube and process just until the dough is combined and all dry ingredients are incorporated, about 10 seconds. Let dough rest for 10 minutes. (You can also use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or mix it by hand)
After the dough has rested, add the oil and salt to the dough. Process until the dough forms a smooth, tacky ball that clears the sides of the bowl, about 30-60 seconds. Remove the dough from the bowl, knead briefly on a floured work surface, about 1 minute. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.
To make the sauce, blend all the ingredients in a food processor until well combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use.
One hour before baking the pizza, adjust an oven rack to the second highest position and place a baking stone on the rack to preheat. Preheat the oven to 500˚ F. Remove the pizza dough from the refrigerator and divide in half. Gently shape each half into a ball and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Spray the dough balls lightly with cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
To assemble the pizza, transfer a dough ball to a well floured work surface. Flatten into an 8-inch disk, leaving a slightly thicker edge around the rim. Using your hands, gently stretch the dough to a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a well floured pizza peel (or use a piece of parchment paper) and stretch to a 13-inch circle. Lightly brush the thicker edge of the disk with olive oil. Spread ½ cup of the pizza sauce over the dough. Sprinkle evenly with the grated Parmesan and the shredded mozzarella. Carefully transfer the pizza to the preheated baking stone. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and slightly browned, 10-12 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Source: Cook’s Illustrated, January & February, 2011