Thin Crust Pizza

Successfully making thin crust pizza at home is not an easy task. When I have tried before I end up with a crust that over cooked and cracker like, or one that is limp and under cooked. That is why I was so happy to see that Cook’s Illustrated had done some testing and made some discoveries.

Their big finding was that it is better to use all-purpose flour than bread flour or other high protein flours. The bread flour retains less water than lower protein all-purpose. In a red-hot 800 degree pizza oven this doesn’t matter being the crust browns and the toppings melt before the crust has a chance to dry out. However in a home oven that only heats to a measly 500 degrees, a bread flour based crust will get all dried out. I haven’t had a chance to try this on normal crusts, but the thin crust pizza I tried with all-purpose flour definitely backs this up. Go for an all-purpose flour with less than 10.5% protein, I used Gold Medal All-purpose. King Arthur all-purpose flour might have too much protein.

The other great suggestion from Cook’s Illustrated is rolling out the dough, and covering it with plastic wrap. When you cover it you do not have to keep adding flour to the top to keep it from sticking. They also recommend rolling out the dough right on parchment paper which you bake it on in the oven. Also, pizza stones definitely help achieve that crisp crust.

You will end up a dough that has more flavor and is easier to work with if you let it rise overnight. If you are in a hurry you can up the instant yeast to 1 1/4 tsp and let the dough rise for an hour before rolling it out.

Thin Crust Pizza

  • 10 oz unbleached all-purpose flour (about 2 cups), preferably Gold Medal, protein content no higher than 10.5 percent
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast (1 1/4 tsp if you do not want to do an overnight rise)
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 6.2 ounces water (about 3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons), preferably filtered or spring, 100 to 105 degrees
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (see recipe below)
  • 8 ounces whole milk mozzarella (about 2 cups), shredded
Quick Tomato Sauce
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large clove garlic , minced, or pressed through garlic press
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

17 thoughts on “Thin Crust Pizza

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  4. This recipe was just what I was looking for.

    Accidentally used bread flour, and didn’t let it rise very long. It was still excellent, thin, but not brittle, and a little brown on the bottom.

    The parchment paper makes the dough easy to roll out and slide onto and off of the stone. What a great idea.

    I plan on making this again this weekend, but I think I’ll follow the directions and use all purpose flour and let it rise in the refrigerator overnight.

    Thanks for a great recipe.

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  6. I have been making this pizza crust recipe for over a year now and everyone who tries it begs for the recipe. This recipe has made me famous for my pizza making skills. It helps to have a great oven with a bake stone feature and definitely preheat for one hour. I make the recipe exactly as is. I don’t use the sauce recipe as I have my own. Most of the time I skip the tomato sauce and brush stop top roasted garlic and EEVO on top, layered with whole milk mozzarella, roma tomatoes, salt, feta cheese on the tomatoes, italian seasoning and garden grown basil leaves. To die for. OH…and a glass of wine.

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  9. Hi, I think there is a typo in the amount of water:

    Should I add all but 2 tbs of water and then subsequently if the dough is too dry that add 1 tsp at a time, and the dough may ultimately take up to 2 **tbs** of extra water;

    *or* should I add all but 2 **tsp** of water and then subsequently if the dough is too dry then add 1 tsp and then add another 1tsp if needed.

    Thanks, John
    p.s. I made this recipe once already and it was great, but I can’t remember which of the above I did…

  10. Oh, this *is* good. Baked on a stone at 500 degress for ten minutes and it comes out nice and crispy, but not dry. We rolled up the edge of the dough to make a lip to contain the sauce and stuff, and the outer crust was still nice, not cracker-like.

    • Mm. Looks delicious! We have a ton of apepls on our trees this year so we’ve been having lots of apple pies, apple sauce and apple butter. Have you ever tried xanthan gum or guar gum for keeping the crust from being too crumbly? We add that to our gluten free (which is VER Y crumbly normally) recipes. I want apple pie now . Genevieve

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  12. This is great information about the bread flour, thanks! You mentioned the baking stone, and I think that’s one of the most important ingredients. We use ours and bake at 425 degrees; the crusts are light and crispy. Thanks again!

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