Making The Perfect Thin Crust Pizza

Pizza

Oct 29
Thin crust Pizza

Thin crust pizza is exactly what it sounds like: pizza with very thin and flatten dough. The most popular types of thin crust style pizza are New York, New Haven and St. Louis.


Pizza is as nostalgic as ice cream sundaes, foot-long hot dogs, and warm apple pie.

We revel in its glory at every good birthday party, family gathering or buy-by-the-slice stand in every major city. Food trucks, pizzerias, and other restaurants offer up some of the finest slices to their eager customers.

Statistically, Americans eat around 6,000 slices of pizza throughout their lifetime!

How did we get so lucky to inherit such delicious fare here in the US? Well, in the 1800s our favorite comfort food was re-discovered (I’ll explain this shortly), trialed and perfected. Where, you ask? Why Italy, of course…our friends across the pond.

Where Does The Perfection We Call Pizza Come From?

They decided to share this awesome creation with the world, and, as many Italians came to America during that time, they thankfully brought this delicious pie with them!

roman pizza party

However, its roots go all the way back to the ancient Roman, Greek, and Persian empires. According to Pizza Facts, the records from those times depict various types of bread in round and flat shapes.

pita bread from ancient Rome

Flat Bread like this was the base for Roman pisna. Pisna means to stretch or flatten.

Though many European civilizations continued to use meals created in this fashion, the cooks from Italy became most interested in pizza. The, now coveted, tomato reached the New World in the 16th century. Italian nobility regarded this red, juicy fruit as a poor man’s food. The Italian pizza cooks from Naples eventually changed their minds. Pizza’s popularity grew, and pizza makers started to grow their businesses. In Naples, the first pizzeria opened, and after that, pizza was the new guy in town.

Thin Crust Makes for a Perfect Pie

With every good slice of za, comes the perfect Artisan style crust. I’m not talking about a squishy, mushy crust that falls apart after the first bite. The perfect thin crust has a good balance of crunch and pliability, you know, for bending in half and really maximizing your pizza-eating experience. Thin crust, Neapolitan or N.Y. style crust; they are one and the same.

Thin crust is the perfect base for your homemade creation. It is easy to make at home with the right pizza stone and it doesn’t require a bunch of time to rise. Also, for those that are counting their carbs versus eating them (insert sarcasm), thin crust is a great compromise. If you’re interested in something even more health conscious, check out our Paleo pizza recipes.  Nonetheless, thin-crust pizza has 5-10 fewer carbs per slice than regular or deep-dish pizza. I call that a win! Thin crust pizza is also a very forgiving dough because it doesn’t overpower the whole experience. You can use gluten-free flour or even cauliflower dough, and you don’t lose that flavor that we all have grown to love.

The Best Recipe for Homemade Thin Crust Pizza:

Creating the perfect homemade thin crust pizza is much easier than you might think. You do not need fancy equipment, a white chef’s hat, or even a wood-fired pizza oven.

For this recipe, all you really need is a food processor and a mixer!

A pizza stone and pizza peel would come in handy, but it’s not necessary to achieve the same results. The most important thing when making a homemade pizza is procuring the best ingredients you can find. I find this especially true when selecting a high-quality flour, and most importantly, the cheese. No two kinds of cheese are created equal. The best-tasting pizza will be adorned with freshly grated and shredded cheeses, which of course tastes better, melts better, and creates that quintessential “pull” when you bite into it.

Let’s get into the good stuff.

Pizza Dough Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (16.5oz) high-quality bread flour. You will need more for your work surface
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon rapid-rise or instant yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups ice water (roughly 10.5oz)
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil. You will need more for your work surface
  • 1 ½ teaspoons table salt

Dough Ingredients

Pizza Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 (28oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, you can use fresh or minced from a jar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Sauce IngredientsS

Pizza Cheese Ingredients:

  • 1oz finely grated Parmesan cheese (roughly ½ cup)
  • 8oz whole milk mozzarella, shredded (roughly 2 cups)

Cheese IngredientSS

Dough Instructions:

  1. With your food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse together the flour, sugar and yeast until well combined, only a few seconds. While the machine is running, add the water and process the dough until it is just combined. You do not want to over mix the dough as it will yield a much tougher consistency. Allow the dough to stand for about 10 minutes.

  2. Add your oil and salt to the dough. You will process until the dough forms a sticky ball that clumps together, taking all that good stuff with it. No dough left behind. This will take about 30-60 seconds. Remove the dough and knead briefly on a lightly oiled surface until smooth, about a minute or so. Form the dough into a tight ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl. That’s it…for now! Cover with plastic wrap, ensuring no air can reach your delicious dough, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, and up to three days.

Sauce Instructions:

  1. Sauce on Sundays! That was the motto of a good friend that lived in New York and always made sauce with her Nonna on Sunday afternoons. You don’t need to fuss with sauce. It doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming. Simply process all of the ingredients in the food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl or container and refrigerate covered until ready to use. This recipe makes more than what you need. It will keep nicely in the refrigerator for up to a week, or frozen for up to a month.

Baking the Pizza:

  1. An hour before baking the pizza, adjust the oven rack to the second-highest position (about 4-5 inches from the broiler). Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. You can bake your pizza on either a pizza stone or a rimmed, overturned baking sheet. Place stone or baking sheet on the rack, so it heats up for an hour. Remove your dough from the refrigerator and divide in half. Form the dough into a tight ball and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. You will need to space about 3 inches apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Let stand for one hour.

  2. Generously coat one ball of dough with flour. Place on a well-floured surface. Now comes the fun part! With your fingertips, flatten the dough into an 8-inch circle. Keep the edges a bit thicker than the middle. Using your hands, you will very gently stretch the dough until it reaches 12 inches in diameter. You can now transfer to a well-floured pizza peel or a wooden cutting board. You will continue to stretch until the pizza reaches about 13 inches in diameter. Sauce the za! With a spoon or ladle, spread about ½ cup of tomato sauce in a thin layer over your dough. Leave about ¼-inch around the edges. Next, top with ¼ cup delicious Parmesan cheese. Then layer some fresh, shredded mozzarella, about one cup, evenly over the pizza. I won’t judge you if you add more cheese. Very carefully slide the pizza onto your stone or baking sheet. Bake until the crust is brown, and the cheese looks bubbly and delicious about 10-12 minutes. Rotate the pizza once during the baking time for even baking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for five minutes…if you can wait that long. Slice and enjoy!

Pizza has been around for a very long time. It continues to enchant people all around the globe. Its original roots and basic recipes will last a lifetime, while new inventions and crazy food combinations atop these pies, will change with the times. You don’t need to leave home anymore to enjoy a slice of the good stuff. Pizza, in its simplest form, is a creation of love, patience, and lots of good cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. This base recipe will be your new go-to for all of your creations! Buon appetito!