Homemade Thin Crust Pizza {the best EVER!}

by Amy on 17 August 2012

I love pizza. You’re probably thinking, ‘who doesn’t?‘ but really, I’m pretty sure I love pizza more than the average joe. We eat it at least once a week, sometimes more. Bad day at work? Send the husband out for pizza! Great day at work? Let’s celebrate with pizza! Mediocre day at work? Seems like a good time to eat some pizza! You get my drift. =)

While I’ll eat any type of pizza you put in front of me, I’m partial to thin crust – the crispier, the better. I’ve made many different pizza dough recipes in the past, but this one? Is truly amazing. My absolute favorite + THE BEST I’ve tried. Really! It’s so easy to prepare, requires ZERO rising time, + takes less than 10 minutes to bake from start to finish. The result? A light, crisp, flavorful pizza crust that provides the perfect base for whatever toppings fit your fancy.

Note: This recipe makes enough dough for TWO 12″ pizza crusts. Each pizza serves roughly 2 adults as an appetizer, or 1 person as an entree, so if you only need to feed one person, you have two options. 1) Halve the recipe. Easy peasy! Or my preferred option: 2) Use one pizza crust for dinner, put the rest of the dough in a ziploc in the fridge, then use it within the next few days for lunch. I used my first crust to make a pepperoni pizza for dinner, then I used the rest the next day to make a tomato, basil, asiago + mozzarella pizza for my lunch. (For lots more food pictures, you can follow me on instagram.) YUM!

Homemade Thin Crust Pizza

makes TWO 12″ pizzas (serves 2-3 as an entree, 4 as an appetizer), adapted from the kitchn

Ingredients

For the Dough:
3/4 cups (6 ounces) of water
1/2 teaspoon of active-dry yeast (if using instant yeast, you don’t need to dissolve it during the first step)
2 cups (10 ounces, by weight) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
optional: 1/2 tsp italian seasoning (or any dried herbs of your choice) – i like to work herbs into the dough, but it’s wonderful without the herbs, too – your choice!

For the Toppings:
your choice – go wild! here’s what it takes two of the pizzas pictured above:
1/2 cup marinara sauce (1/4 cup per pizza), either homemade or store-bought
3 cups of cheese (1.5 cups per pizza) – i used a blend of mozzarella + asiago
1 thinly sliced tomato, about 6 slices on each pizza
12 basil leaves, chopped, divided between the two pizzas

Directions

Making the Dough:
About 30 minutes to 1 hour before baking, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. If you have a baking stone, put it on a rack in the lower-middle part of the oven before preheating.

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, heat the water until it feels barely lukewarm when you test it with your finger (if the water is so hot that you can’t leave your finger in it, wait for it to cool down). Add the yeast to the water + use a fork or whisk to stir it into the water. Set this aside for a few minutes + allow the yeast to dissolve. It’s okay if the yeast doesn’t bubble, but it should be entirely dissolved.

Measure out the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt + dried italian seasoning/herbs (if using) + use your hand or a whisk to combine.

Make a well in the center of the flour + pour in the water-yeast mixture. Use your fingers or a wooden spoon to combine everything together.

When it comes together into a cohesive ball, turn it out onto the counter along with any extra flour in the bowl that hasn’t yet gotten worked in.

Knead the dough until all the flour is incorporated + the dough is smooth/elastic to the touch–about five minutes. The dough should still feel moist +  just slightly tacky. If it’s sticking to your hands + counter-top like bubble gum, work in more flour one tablespoon at a time until it’s smooth + silky.

Divide the dough in two.

Shaping the dough:
Tear off two pieces of parchment paper roughly 12-inches wide. Work one piece of the dough in your hands + form it into a large disk. Lay the disk of dough on the parchment paper.

Working from the middle of the dough outwards, use the heel of your hand to gently press the dough outward until it’s about 1/4 of an inch thick or less. You can also use a rolling pin for this part. You can make free-form pies, or if you’d like a circular pie, you can trace a large circle on the back of the parchment to use as a guide.
Repeat with the second piece of dough.

Note: The dough will stick to the parchment paper, making it easier for you to roll out. You’ll bake the pizza right on the parchment paper. As it cooks, the dough will release from the parchment, + you can slide the paper out before serving.

Topping + Baking the Dough:
Spoon ONLY the sauce into the center of each pizza + use the back of a spoon to spread it out to the edges.

Using a bread peel or the backside of a baking sheet, slide your pizza (still on the parchment) onto the baking stone in the oven. If you don’t have a baking stone, just bake it right on the baking sheet.

Bake for about 5 minutes, then rotate the pizza 180-degrees (most ovens have ‘hot spots’ + your pizza will bake unevenly if it’s not rotated). Bake for another 3 minutes, then sprinkle the cheese + any other toppings over the top. Bake for another 2-3 minutes until the edges are golden brown and crispy. If you like your cheese browned slightly, broil for a minute or so.

Remove your pizza from oven + let it cool on a wire rack. At this point, you can slide the parchment paper out from under the pizza. Repeat with second pizza.

Let both pizzas cool for about five minutes + serve.

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{ 260 comments… read them below or add one }

251 Janice January 5, 2015 at 5:50 am

This is the first recipe I tried out in my new oven and it was awesome! I absolutely loved it and so did the 12 people who were over for dinner!! :)
I felt the base was sticking to the paper – so I actually greased the base with a little olive oil! THank you so much for sharing! This one is a keeper!!

252 amy January 5, 2015 at 8:04 am

I am SO thrilled that this was the first recipe you tried in your new oven – how awesome! And thanks for the tip about the olive oil. I haven’t had any problems with the crust sticking after it cooks, but I do know that a lot of my readers add olive oil to the crust, because they love the flavor that way. Good to know it helps with sticking, too, if needed!

253 DaveStLouis January 11, 2015 at 4:47 pm

I don’t do much cooking, as the Lovely Wife usually does it. But I am a HUGE pizza fan, so thought I would give this a go, instead of the premade stuff. Did it all myself, and it turned out great! Nice and thin, and nice crispy edges, perfect! Thanks!

254 amy January 11, 2015 at 8:39 pm

Awesome, Dave! I’m so thrilled that you tried this out + it was a huge success! Now it sounds like both you AND your Lovely Wife can show off some skills in the kitchen. =)

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257 Lionel April 18, 2015 at 12:28 pm

I have made this recipe a few times, works wonders, however, I’m unable to get the slightly. Crispy but flakey texture on the crust like Italian thin crusts which are actually the result of bubbling in the dough and rising. Any idea how to achieve that?

258 Amy April 19, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Hi Lionel! I know exactly the texture you mean, but I confess I haven’t tried to replicate it at home. My first thought is, let’s try keeping the recipe the same, but letting it rise for about 30 minutes (under a kitchen towel or something comparable) before rolling it out. That might allow just enough rise to get a bit of that flakiness. My second thought is — one of my friends makes a super flaky, almost pastry-like pizza crust, and I believe she works some cold butter into the dough. I can ask her for more details, if you’d like! =)

259 Tara July 23, 2015 at 1:56 pm

Just halved this to make my daughter cheesy bread. It didn’t seem to brown up like regular pizza dough. Is this supposed to rise before you bake it? We didn’t use sauce, only olive oil, a bit of butter and lots of cheese. Maybe I missed something.

260 Amy July 23, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Hi Tara, This is a no-rise crust, so you didn’t miss a rising step. =) The no-rise is what gives it that thin, crispy, crackery crust. Is that the texture you were looking for? Or did you want more of a traditional doughy pizza crust for your daughter’s cheesy bread? Since this is a really thin, crackery crust, it really does best with a fairly light coverage of toppings. My guess is that, if you used a ton of cheese, it was so much that it didn’t allow the crust to brown up / cook up like it normally would. Did you bake the crust first with just the olive oil/butter? And then add the cheese later?

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