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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{ 244 comments… read them below or add one }

201 Dee June 30, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Hi amy, I’m really excited to try this! I have a few questions, though.
I know this is a no-rise dough you can make right away, but I’d like to make the dough a few hours in advance. If I do, and it sits out and rises, will it still come out as thin and crisp when I make the pizzas later? I also plan on tripling the recipe… :)

202 amy June 30, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Hi Dee! You can make it a few hours in advance, no problem. I put it in the fridge if I’m going to do that, though – if you let it sit out in a warm kitchen, it will rise and give it a different texture (not as crisp). And make sure you roll it nice and thin! I’ve doubled and tripled it with great results. =) Do report back how it turns out! =D

203 Dee July 1, 2014 at 1:43 pm

So I made this yesterday and ended up just making it right away instead of storing it in the fridge like I had originally planned. It was alright, but the only problem for me was that although the edges were crispy, rest of the pizza wasn’t. The middle of it was very soft, and I don’t know why. I tried cooking one pizza without the parchment paper but still, the bottom of the pizza would not get crispy while the edges would. Did I do something wrong?

204 amy July 1, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Hi Dee, When the edges get crispy but the middle of the pizza doesn’t, it’s usually one of three things. 1) The pizza wasn’t rolled thin enough – it has to be reeeeally thin throughout. Which brings me to 2) Was the middle of the pizza thicker than the edges? A lot of times people think the whole thing is equally thin, while it’s actually rolled much thinner on the edges than the middle. or 3) Too many toppings. Some readers have told me if they over-top it, the crust won’t crisp up as well. A thin, crisp crust like this cooks up best when the toppings are moderately light. I hope that helps!

205 Michelle July 3, 2014 at 5:28 pm

I just finished trying this recipe and I am a bit disappointed. Of course it cooked much better and more evenly than the other homemade pizza recipes I have tried. Unfortunately, the parchment produced a lot of smoke when cooking. When the pizza was completely finished baking the parchment did not seem to separate from the crust. In fact, it is now completely fused with the bottom of the crust. Hopefully it doesn’t have an obvious taste. Overall though, I’d still choose this recipe above all others. Maybe next time I will try cooking it on a pan without the parchment.

206 amy July 3, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Hi Michelle, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re disappointed, but i AM happy that it’s your favorite of all the pizza recipes you’ve tried. What brand parchment paper did you use? My pizza literally slides right off my parchment once it’s cooked (so much so that I have to be careful when I pull it out of the oven to not slide the pizza onto the floor). I’m wondering if it has something to do with the brand of parchment I use? (Reynolds brand). My parchment also doesn’t smoke at all – it does brown during the cooking, but no smoldering or smoking. I wonder if your parchment might have a different oven-safe temperature than mine? (And no, I’m not being paid by Reynolds, lol). I’d love to fix the problem so that this can be an utter success for you next time! Cheers, Amy

207 Erin July 13, 2014 at 2:58 pm

I love love love this recipe!!! :-) I’ve used it many times, using different toppings and variations to the things I add to the crust, herbs, lives, cheeses. It’s awesome!!

208 amy July 13, 2014 at 6:56 pm

YAY, I’m so thrilled to hear it, Erin! It’s one of my all-time favorite recipes, too. Thanks for popping by with your fab feedback! =)

209 Calie M. July 21, 2014 at 8:59 am

Hi Amy!
So I commented back in early June and have finally had success!! Now I did try to tape the parchment paper to the counter but it just ripped. Now, this is unconventional but I bought a pasta roller/maker and I used the roller part to make the pizza crust and it came out very thin! It was a long rectangle pizza but it was finally thin and crispy and so good, and the best part is I can make it for lunch at lunch time. No need to start making lunch when I wake up!! Thank you so much for your help and this amazing recipe.

210 amy July 21, 2014 at 9:03 am

Oh, awesome, Calie! I am SO thrilled that you came back + updated me. And how clever to use the pasta roller to get it super thin – brilliant!

211 Lisa July 26, 2014 at 3:28 pm

This was super easy and my husband and I LOVED it! I made a margherita pizza for myself and a pepperoni & mushroom pizza for my husband. We will be using this recipe often! Thank you!!!!

212 amy July 26, 2014 at 3:51 pm

So thrilled you both liked it, Lisa! And I love the two different pizza choices. I’ll take a slice of each, please. =)

213 Laura July 26, 2014 at 4:03 pm

This is, by far, the best and easiest thin crust pizza recipe. This is the first comment I have ever left for an online recipe. The parchment paper is genius, no messy flour or cornmeal, and nothing sticks to anything, slides off the peel and no burnt cheese to scrape of the pizza stone. I must add that refrigerating the dough is a must. That way, you roll it out cold, which lets you get it really thin with no fighting dough that springs back. Thanks for a great recipe!

214 amy July 26, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Woohoo! I’m so thrilled that this recipe has been such a success for you (+ encouraged you to leave your first comment!). And thanks for the tip about refrigerating the dough – I think that’s a great, helpful tip. Cheers!

215 Garry August 1, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Heya! greetings from Indonesia ! I really wanna try this recipe, it seems reeaaaally nicee! but since english is not my native language, can you tell me what “unbleached all-purpose flour” is? thanks a lot! lots of love from Indonesia ! :)

216 amy August 1, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Hi Garry! “Unbleached all-purpose flour” is just basic, standard white flour – the same thing you probably use in Indonesia to make breads, cakes, etc. Basically just use your basic white baking flour (not a brown/whole wheat flour). I hope that helps!

217 Garry August 2, 2014 at 10:46 am

that helps a lot actually !thanks amy ! and i have another question, for how long can i keep the dough ?

218 amy August 3, 2014 at 9:26 am

Hi Garry! I always use the dough within a few hours of making it, but a lot of my readers have made it a couple days beforehand, and then keep it in the fridge. It should keep in the refrigerator for at least 5 days, I’d say! =)

219 Maureen August 7, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Hi Amy

I do not like pizza but sometimes loves a very thin garlic one from a particular local restaurant so decided to try yours. I made it successfully the first time and absolutely loved it, have passed recipe on to loads of my friends. The dough actually freezes very well wrapped in clingfilm. I left it in the freezer for two weeks and defrosted it but used it straight away. I just like it with garlic, fresh marjoram and thyme but the grandchildren love it with loads of toppings. I actually add one tablespoon of olive oil to the mix and after the first five minute bake I drizzle the top of the pizza with olive all before I add garlic etc. Thank you Amy

220 amy August 7, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Sounds SO wonderful, Maureen! One quick question, just out of curiosity. When you freeze it, do you roll it flat first and freeze it flat? Or do you freeze it in a ball? A lot of people asking me about freezing it, so I’m thrilled that it has frozen/defrosted well for you!

221 Maureen August 9, 2014 at 5:56 am

Hi Amy

I freeze the dough in a ball and defrost at room temperature. Had one last night that I froze a week ago and had some dough left which I will keep in the fridge. Works well for me.

222 amy August 9, 2014 at 9:09 am

Fantastic, thanks, Maureen!

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224 Emma August 28, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Hi Amy :)

I stumbled upon your pizza dough recipe recently and am excited to try it, however, I do not have a pizza stone and am wondering if the pizza crust will turn out just as good if I use a normal round baking sheet. Thanx

225 amy August 29, 2014 at 8:57 am

Hi Emma! To be completely honest with you, I’ve ONLY made this myself on a pizza stone, never straight on the baking sheet. That being said, a ton of my readers have used the baking sheet only with great results! Give it a try, and report back how it goes! And I promise to test it out on a baking sheet myself within a couple weeks and have a direct answer for you, too. =)

226 Gaye August 29, 2014 at 5:33 pm

OMG! So stoked with this recipe ! The parchment paper is brilliant! The crust cooked all the way through. I have tried many recipes; this one will definitely be ranked among my faves! Thank you for sharing this gem. Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much)!

227 amy August 29, 2014 at 6:48 pm

Oh, that is SO wonderful to hear, Gaye! So thrilled that you enjoyed it. He mea iki. =) (and yes, I had to Google how to say that!) =)

228 Susie September 5, 2014 at 5:16 am

Great recipe!!! Been looking for an easy, thin and crispy pizza dough recipe got awhile.. This is a keeper for sure!!! Thanks!

229 amy September 6, 2014 at 4:14 pm

So thrilled you liked it, Susie!

230 Ana bahs September 17, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Hi Amy,

I have made this pizza dough twice now. The first time was great, but the second time the dough was quite rubbery. Not sure what I done wrong the second time, do you have any suggestions??

Thank you!

231 amy September 17, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Hi Ana, I’m thrilled that it was great the first time, and my sense is that the dough was overworked/overkneaded the second time. When you say it was rubbery, do you mean the un-baked dough (when you were trying to stretch it?) or do you mean the cooked, finished product?

232 Ana bahs September 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Thanks for the quick reply Amy,

I mean the cooked dough. I made 2 pizzas and we ate our way through them for dinner, but by the end my jaw ached :-s

The dough was thin, just rubbery and maybe tough rubbery.

233 amy September 19, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Hi Ana! It definitely sounds like the dough was overworked. Tough, rubbery pizza dough is typically a result of the dough being overkneaded/overworked. Next time, just knead it until the dough is smooth/elastic to the touch + still ever-so-slighty slightly tacky. Then divide it and shape it! That should take care of your problem! And that makes sense, since you made it exactly the same two times, and the first time it turned out great – I bet the dough just got a bit overworked the second time. Hope that helps!

234 Megan September 22, 2014 at 9:02 am

Hi Amy.
Id like to try this recipe tonight for my very picky 5-year-old.
I was just wondering if I’m able to substitute wheat flour for the all purpose so I can trick him into eating some healthy stuff. Lol

235 amy September 22, 2014 at 9:07 am

Hi Megan! I have never tried this recipe with whole wheat flour, but some of my readers have, and they’ve all reported success with it. Most of them have used half white flour and half whole-wheat flour, although it looks like there’s been at least one reader who commented after using all whole wheat flour and said it turned out great. =) I’d try half and half to start, if I were you. Do report back how it goes, especially with your 5-year old!

236 Sarah September 26, 2014 at 7:15 pm

I just have to tell you that this is our favorite pizza crust now! I tried it once and I have never turned back! We usually make it once a week. I love that it dosent have to rise and is super quick to make and The flavor and texture is great. I usually make it with whole wheat flour and add italian spices to the dough. Turns out great every time!

237 amy September 26, 2014 at 7:25 pm

I am SO thrilled to hear that, Sarah! So happy that this little recipe is now a favorite in your family. =) Enjoy!

238 Brian P. October 8, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Followed your recipe to the letter and the crust came out perfect! Light crunchy texture, and excellent flavor. So fast and easy too! I recommend using a rolling pin on it to make sure it’s even thickness and really is a quarter inch…it matters. I don’t know about the recipe serving four though, at least not in our family ;-) Think next time I’ll double the recipe and make 3 slightly larger pies…Thanks Amy!

239 amy October 9, 2014 at 8:42 am

Awesome, Brian – thanks for the feedback! I think I’m going to change the serving size in the recipe, because you’re not the first reader to tell me that your family ate a bit more than I suggested you would. =) So thrilled you liked it!

240 amy October 9, 2014 at 8:47 am

Update: I updated the recipe to reflect a more accurate serving size. Thanks again, Brian!

241 BAG October 31, 2014 at 7:40 pm

Thank you for this! I have been searching for an appropriately crusty pizza dough recipe without the use of a pizza stone or 3oo-year-old yeast culture. This recipe hit the spot. Most recipes are too doughy (like eating pizza toppings on a southern biscuit). Like Brian, I used a rolling pin, and the consistently rolled dough cooked evenly and to a perfect crisp. You rock, Amy!

242 amy October 31, 2014 at 8:51 pm

HOORAY! I am so thrilled that you loved it, and isn’t it grand that it doesn’t need a 300-year old yeast culture? You’re too funny!

243 Kathleen Patel November 24, 2014 at 8:28 am

Tried this last night. Even though my rolling skills have much to be desired…it was fantastic! Tasty, crispy….everything I’ve been searching for….

244 amy November 24, 2014 at 8:35 am

Awesome, Kathleen! I’m so thrilled you loved it. =)

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