THE Absolute Best Tip Ever for Homemade Thin Crust Pizza (Recipe)

We’ve experimented and shared a lot of things here in the last 3+ years.  There’s more than 1,200 posts to scan through on all sorts of topics.  We’ve shared killer tricks on how to perfectly poach eggs for large groups, how to roast different colors of beets without their colors running into each other and my secret for the best dried bean soup in town.

But tonight’s discovery may be the single best tip I’ve ever discovered.  Just don’t let authentic Italian cooks take a look at it; they’ll laugh at me.  For the rest of us mere mortals, this is life altering.  It’s the perfect thin-crust pizza at home.

THE Absolute Best Tip Ever for Homemade Thin Crust Pizza (Recipe) Pizza goodpic Flour Cooking Recipes

I’ve been working on pizza for a few years.  We’ve shared:

Pizza isn’t new around this house.  But tonight’s discovery has changed my relationship with pizza forever.

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces flour (00 pizza flour really is best for texture)
  • 6 ounces water (warm, almost hot to touch)
  • 2 teaspoons of ume boshi vinegar (or 0.2 ounces salt)
  • 0.1 ounces of dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil.

You’ll notice that the pizza is cooked in strips.  This is not optional and it’s a hint of the discovery to come.

THE Absolute Best Tip Ever for Homemade Thin Crust Pizza (Recipe) Pizza goodpic Flour Cooking Recipes

Directions

  1. Place a rack at top of oven, turn oven on to bake at 550 degrees.
  2. Pour water and yeast into a food processor with a plastic dough blade inserted (you can also knead by hand).  Allow it to rest until yeast is dissolved, pulse quickly.
  3. Add other ingredients, knead until the mixture is soft like bubble gum.
  4. Dust your hands and a clean bowl with a small bit of flour.  Form the dough into a ball and transfer dough into the bowl, rotating until the outsides of the dough ball has a light dusting of flour.
  5. Cover with a clean cloth and allow to raise in a warm place for 15-30 minutes (it should be doubled in size). 

    So far, nothing really exciting, right?  Now here comes the twist: 

  6. Cut the dough in 4 equal pieces, and form into small rectangles on a lightly floured surface.  The rectangles will be 4-5 inches by 2-3 inches.
  7. Roll out the rectangles into long strips using a pasta maker.  Roll until you reach desired thickness – I took this crust to a uniform 2 mm thickness.
  8. Place on a large cookie sheet.
  9. Cover with toppings, making sure cheese is applied in large chunks and not grated.
  10. Place in oven for 12-15 minutes.
  11. Remove quickly and let cool on baking racks.

I’ve learned this works even better if done in batches and you don’t allow the pizza strips to touch each other.

This is the absolute best homemade pizza we’ve had by MILES.  It’s extremely crisp on the outside before giving way to a chewy and elastic core.  Try it and you’ll be converted!  And help us share the news – this is just too good to keep to yourself!

What are your pizza tricks?

Comments

  1. Hey guys,

    Like you, I’ve found one of the biggest secrets to good crust, is high heat. My stove goes up to 575F, and that’s where I peg it for pie. I’ve been tempted to try the self-clean, but there’s a delay before the door unlocks, that I haven’t figured out. It may be temperature-controlled….

    Here’s where I’ve gotten in my pizza-journey:

    For me, a good stone (like, $15 at Kitchen Stuff Plus – I’m too poor to be pampered….), heated up well is key. Just pre-heat the oven with it in, and you’ll know it’s hot enough.

    Then get all your toppings ready. This is easy, and the fun part where you could, in theory, talk to somebody. A partner, friend, etc. But take note, everything must be ready. You might even consider using little bowls like on a cooking show. It must be ready before you touch your dough. And be cut-throat, if you forgot something, it’s out.

    Now, slowly, lovingly, nearly sexually, coerce your dough into a thin crust, on a pizza board dusted with flour and semolina. It’s just you and the pie now. Anybody else is just a distraction, trying to get between you and your dough. Keep it moving and growing and don’t let it tear. If you do, live with the hole, you can’t fix it. Trust me….. We all have holes. [Paraphrasing] It’s how the light gets in.

    Once it’s the right size and shape, it’s time to throw the lovey-dovey stuff out the window. You have gone from a lover to a British SAS soldier. You have one job, and one job only: get those toppings on, in order, in the fastest possible time. Good sauce WILL soak through a crust that thin and spoil everything. Unless your child is on fire and can’t reach the tap, do not break focus. The INSTANT the last grate of pepper or drizzle of basil-infused olive oil hits the top, it must be slid, with a maddening balance of confidence and grace on to the hot stone. Put it as high as you can in the oven, and bake until the edges burn.

    Easy, right? In fact, I still probably lose 1/3 of the ones I try, but the 2/3s or just incredible.

  2. I worked at an international pizza franchise for five years, and the most important tool for a thin crust was the dough docker: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roller_docker
    ‘Spiking’ the dough is the basic idea, I get similar results with a fork. The strips make sense too, pretty much the same concept.
    A mix of flours depending on my mood: always some semolina; with all-purpose; whole wheat; or red fife; a bit of cornmeal if I’m using a pizza stone. A stone does give a nice crust, but in terms of storage and practicality (read: I cracked my mother’s stone), I prefer a perforated pan.
    Roll the dough as thin as you can handle, and go easy on the toppings. If you put love into the process, you’ll want the dough to shine through as much as the garnishes.

  3. errr. @Chris. You GET me on the timing and the personality changes. We had homemade pizza a couple of days ago, and for some peculiar reason (read- I was trying to get the kids to help) I got my order all messed up and ended up having a mini-hissy-fit over everyone leaving to play on their computers while I had dough half rolled and no sauce ready and only half the toppings picked and nothing chopped and not enough cheese.

    I would say it isn’t worth it except we always get two meals out of pizza night – each of the 4 of us make our own, and if Mr. Pablo is offered a few other items like salad or leftovers, he only eats half of his (this is a given for the rest of us) so we get another night of great food.

    BUT my real point here is to say that the thin crust really appeals to me, as I want a skiff of sauce, a sprinkle of olives and some artichokes, and some cheese (and maybe spinach). Mr. Pablo needs a much more robust crust that can handle his 1″ of toppings. Our Dough will give us both!

    We pre-cook our stretched doughs for long enough that they brown a bit, keeps things from getting soggy. and we each get what we want on our homemades… mmmmmmmm

    The Smalls get their pizzas as fast as possible (read – no pre-cooked crust) and they seem to enjoy them too. instant fast food if you have premade dough in the fridge…

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