Thin Crust Pizza

Author: Alex Recker

This is my thin crust pizza recipe. It makes about two fourteen inch pizzas. Use whatever toppings you want: thinly sliced red onions, fried pancetta, pork sausage, bell peppers. The important thing about this recipe is the dough and the technique.

My recipe calls for bread flour, which makes for a much gummier crust. Your dough won't puff up as much, but I think it yields a much better crust.

I like to proof the dough balls on a pan on top the stove. While the oven is pre-heating to 500F, I get a nice jet blast of hot air on the back of the stove - just make sure you rotate the pan around every few minutes so the dough doesn't get too hot or you'll dry out the dough!

Another good move: you can use diced pancetta in the sauce. Just fry it in olive oil at the beginning of the recipe and take it out before you add the garlic. The pork fat really enhances the taste of the sauce, and the crispy pieces of pork make a good pizza topping.

Special Equipment

  • pizza peel
  • pizza stone

Dough

Materials

  • dry active yeast (1 packet)
  • water, warm (1 cup)
  • honey (1 tsp)
  • kosher salt (1 tsp)
  • olive oil (1 tbsp)
  • bread flour (3 cups, loosely packed)

Procedure

  1. Add water, yeast, and honey to a bowl. Set aside for ten minutes until it shows bubbles.

  2. Add salt and olive oil. Stir.

  3. Add bread flour. Using a mixer or a spoon, combine until it forms a cohesive dough. If dry flour collects at the bottom of the bowl, dribble a little bit of hot water down the side and keep mixing.

  4. Using a mixer or your hands, kneed the dough until it "cleans" the sides of the bowl. Continue to kneed until the dough springs back to the poke.

  5. Place the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly in tinfoil and leave in a warm place for two hours.

  6. Take out dough and place on a lightly floured counter. Cut the dough into two portions. Folding the dough into itself from top to bottom (easiest to see in the referenced video), roll both portions into a small, smooth ball.

  7. Leave dough out on floured plastic wrap or a silpat. Cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic and then a towel. Set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Sauce

Materials

  • olive oil (3 tbsp, or enough to cover bottom of pan)
  • garlic, sliced (3 cloves)
  • kosher salt
  • tomato paste (1 tbsp)
  • oregano (1 tbsp)
  • san marzano tomatoes, whole & peeled (1 28 oz can)

Procedure

  1. Add olive oil to a small sauce pan over medium low heat. Add garlic and stir gently with a spoon.

  2. Just before the garlic starts to get brown, add oregano and tomato paste. Stir and cook for another minute.

  3. Use a blender (immersion blender is easiest) to puree the can of tomatoes. Turn the heat to high and dump the entire can in. Using the same can, fill 1/4 of the way with water and add to sauce.

  4. Bring the heat down and simmer gently while occasionally stirring for 20-30 minutes. Add salt to taste.

  5. Optional: purree the sauce with a blender again and add a whole basil stem while it cools.

Pizza

Materials

Obviously, the dough and the sauce made from the previous sections are required too.

  • corn meal (excess)
  • cheese, grated (to taste)

Procedure

  1. Place a 14 in. pizza stone on the oven rack. Pre-heat the oven to 500F.

  2. Move a single proofed dough ball to a lightly floured counter top. Roll out smooth with a rolling pin. If the dough fights back, just leave it on the counter under oiled plastic for a few minutes.

  3. Transfer the flat dough to a pizza peel coated in corn meal. Using a fork, stab the top of the pizza everywhere on the surface (this prevents giant bubbles from forming).

  4. Give the flat dough a quick shake to ensure it's not sticking to the peel. Using a ladel, cover the dough in a thin layer of red sauce.

  5. Give the pizza another quick shake to ensure it's not sticking to the peel. Cover lightly with shredded cheese.

  6. Now the tricky part. With a quick motion, slide the pizza off the peel and onto the pizza stone. Let the pizza cook for ten minutes.

  7. Take the pizza out and let it cool before slicing.

References