Homemade Thin Crust Pizza

Makes 2 (10-inch) pizzas; serves 4

For the dough:
3/4 cup lukewarm water1 teaspoon active-dry yeast2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting3/4 teaspoon salt2 teaspoons olive oil, divided

For the toppings:
1/2 cup sauce: classic red sauce or a white sauce

Toppings: sautéed onions or mushrooms, sliced red peppers, pepperoni, cooked sausage, bacon, etc.

Cheese: one or a combination of shredded mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan, fontina, romano, and asiago

  1. Arrange a rack in the bottom third of the oven, place a heavy baking sheet on the rack, and heat to 450°F.
  2. Pour the water into a medium bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water, and let stand until the yeast has dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the flour and salt. Mix with a stiff spatula or wooden spoon until floury, shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto the counter, and knead the dough until it forms a smooth, slightly tacky ball that springs back when you poke it, 5 to 8 minutes. If the dough sticks to your hands like bubblegum, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it’s easier to work with; avoid adding too much flour if possible.
  4. Cover the dough with the upside-down bowl or a clean kitchen towel and let sit while you prepare the pizza toppings, about 10 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time, stretch or roll it into a thin, 10- to 12-inch round. Form from the middle of the dough outwards, using the heel of your hand to gently press and stretch the dough until it’s about a 1/4-inch thick or less. For an extra-thin crust, roll it with a rolling pin. If the dough starts to shrink back, let it rest for 5 minutes and then try rolling again.
  6. Carefully remove the preheated baking sheet from the oven and place it upside down on a wire rack. Transfer the dough directly onto the upside-down baking sheet. Brush the dough with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Spread 1/4 cup sauce into a thin layer onto dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle on cheese and other toppings.
  7. Bake until the crust is golden-brown and the cheese looks melted and toasty, 8 to 12 minutes.

Remove the pizza from the oven and cool for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Repeat with the remaining dough and toppings.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

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