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, so if you only need to feed two people, 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. We used our 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 lunch. (For lots more food pictures, you can follow me on instagram.) YUM!

Homemade Thin Crust Pizza

makes TWO 12″ pizzas, 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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{ 167 comments… read them below or add one }

151 amy February 12, 2014 at 7:54 am

Yes, Mel, it’s fahrenheit! (I’ll update the recipe to reflect that, too). It’s a hotter oven than I typically use but it’s perfect for this crispy, thin crust pizza. =)

152 Meegan March 9, 2014 at 6:17 pm

I’ve been using a family recipe for many years, but decided to try this since my usual recipe is too bready for my 5 year old. Unfortunately, this was a total flop. The crust was half uncooked and tasted it despite rolling it very thin and even leaving it in longer than you suggested. Any tips? I’m not new to making yeast doughs so I was mystified. The only thing I can think of is that my yeast was old or my water was too hot.

153 amy March 9, 2014 at 7:23 pm

So sorry to hear it, Meegan! This is one of the most successful recipes on my blog, so I’m sad it didn’t turn out for you. My first thought is exactly what you said – that your yeast was either old, or the water was too hot.

154 Joanna March 14, 2014 at 8:36 pm

This is the best pizza dough I have ever made!!!!

155 amy March 17, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Awesome, Joanna! So glad you liked it!

156 ANT March 24, 2014 at 9:42 am

Hi Amy. I really want to try this recipe of yours but i get lost with the measurements of the ingredients. I live in Europe and here we use the gram-kilogram system and i tried to convert the numbers you wrote here, but i get confused by all the results i get by either goggling or using a various convertors to find out which is what…. Could you please make a an accurate conversion into grams for your European readers ^^.

157 amy March 24, 2014 at 9:46 am

Hi ANT, I don’t have access to a kitchen scale at the moment, but I’ll put it on my to-do list for the future. I do so appreciate having European readers and want you to be able to use my recipes, too! Thanks for reaching out. =)

158 Tanis Madden March 25, 2014 at 9:09 pm

WOW Girlfriend!! Love this Pizza Dough!

Based on some of the other comments, I am not sure what these home cooks did wrong, but this world traveler and fellow foodie has just found her new “GO-TO” Pizza Dough Recipe!

Honestly, I have been making pizza from scratch for almost 20 years, but with limited time on my hands last night I decided to look for something “quick” and found this gem!Thanks for sharing! All of my guests were truly diggin’ it!

Cheers,
Tanis from the Canadian Rockies

159 amy March 25, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Tanis, that is SO awesome – thank you so much for your fabulous, positive feedback! I love it when recipes go super well for readers. =) Cheers right back atcha from Tennessee!

160 lauren March 26, 2014 at 7:46 pm

This was an epic fail for me. My hubby told me there wasnt a difference between parchment and wax paper so I used wax paper. Result: 2 pizzas insanely stuck to wax paper. Had to peel it off the bottom in little pieces as I wasnt expecting a disaster and had no backup dinner. Tastes great tho, will definitely try again without parchment paper/on just pizza pan. Thanks!

161 amy March 26, 2014 at 8:06 pm

HI Lauren, wax paper and parchment paper are *NOT* the same thing! Wax paper is not heat resistant, and thus is not supposed to be used in an oven at all – it can melt or even ignite. Eek! Definitely give this a try again with *parchment* paper – I bet you’ll have much better results that way. ;)

162 LeahLolly March 28, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Hey, im just a 17 year old who loves to cook. so im not the most experienced, but I was wondering if I could just keep it in a ball, and store it in the fridge until I want to cook it??

163 amy March 28, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Hi Leah, you can absolutely do that. It should keep in the fridge for up to a week. I’ve always used my dough either immediately or within a day of making it, so I don’t know how much the texture/flavor will change after a few days in the fridge, but it definitely won’t spoil or anything like that. Hope that helps!

164 Richard April 2, 2014 at 1:38 am

disaster the paper stick to the pizza! Will move on to the next recipe now

165 amy April 2, 2014 at 7:39 am

Sorry that the parchment stuck to the pizza, Richard – you may want to check your particular brand of parchment instructions and make sure it’s heat-safe/oven-safe to the appropriate temperature.

166 Beau April 15, 2014 at 6:16 pm

Does the oven really have to be 500 F? wow! I’m not sure my ancient, electric oven will get that hot. Would 450 work?

167 amy April 15, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Hey Beau. You certainly can give it a try at 450 – I haven’t personally with this recipe, but lots of pizza crust recipes call for a 450 oven. You may need to give it an extra minute or two. I will say, a lot of cooks/chefs recommend cooking your pizza basically as hot as your oven can handle – at 550 or 600 degrees, even, because that helps give it that wonderfully crisp crust. But I certainly don’t think it will come out bad at 450 – perhaps just not as crisp.

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