Monday, November 8, 2010

Thin Crust Pizza

Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza
Thin Crust Pepperoni & Sausage Pizza
Cheesy Garlicky Pizza Crust
I've been making pizza for years now, and I think I've finally narrowed down my favorite two crusts:  this one, and the ciabatta crust pizza.  This crust is crispy, and almost cracker-like.  Like most delicious things, it takes time to make this crust taste so, so good.  In order for this to taste the best, this dough should be made the day before it is to be baked and eaten.  Also, I highly recommend using a baking/pizza stone.  I keep my baking stone on the bottom rack of my oven at all times.
Tonight I made the pizza a few different ways: pepperoni, pepperoni & sausage, and just cheese, seasoned olive oil and Penzy's Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle (a cheese & garlic seasoning).
This recipe makes two very large pizzas that barely fit on my pizza stone. Lately, I've been dividing the dough into sixths, making smaller crusts, and freezing leftover crusts for a later date.

Thin Pizza Crust
   --adapted from

In a heavy-duty stand mixer (like a Kitchen Aid) fitted with a dough hook, add the water, yeast and sugar.  Allow to sit for about five minutes to soften and it should start to bubble a little.

Add the oil, salt, and flour. Mix on low speed until all of the flour and water have mixed and a stiff dough ball forms, about 3-4 minutes.  (Often the dough will look way too dry.  Sometimes I’ll add water, 2-3 tablespoons or so.  Sometimes I will just work the dough with my hands until it forms a cohesive ball.)

Place the dough ball into a gallon sized zip-top bag that’s had a few drops of vegetable oil rubbed around the interior.  Let dough rise in the refrigerator about 24 hours before using.  This step is important, as it develops the flavor of the crust.

Preheat oven to 500°F.  When dough has risen 24 hours, remove from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for about an hour.  Turn dough out onto a floured work surface.  Cut dough in half.  Roll each half into a very thin circle (or oval sometimes).  I try to get my crust to about 1/8 of an inch thick.  Dock the dough all over with a sharp knife to prevent large bubbles.

Place dough disc onto parchment paper and slide dough (with parchment) onto the pizza stone.  Bake at 500°F for 4-7 minutes, or until just starting to brown.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.  Then top with favorite toppings and return to the pizza stone to bake until cheese is bubbling (about 5-7 more minutes).

If you only want one pizza at a time, you can form the other half of the dough into crust, bake, cool, and freeze for later use. If you want the crust to fit into a gallon-size zip top bag, though, you'll have to make 6 crusts from this recipe.

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