Let’s talk about thin-crust pizza. There are different types of thin-crust pizza. Some thin-crust pizzas are super thin, like a St. Louis-style pizza with a crispy cracker-like crust. And then there are New York-style thin-crust pizzas that are pliable enough to fold over and eat like a taco.
Then there is everything in between. My wife loves thin-crust pizza, but I prefer hand-tossed for a chewier bite. But out of love for my wife, I have learned the best way to make homemade thin crust pizza, and I will share everything I learned with you.
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What is Thin Crust Pizza?
Thin-crust pizza is a popular type of pizza. And the main secret to making thin-crust pizza is a simple, you need a rolling pin. Using a rolling pin when rolling out the dough will press out the air bubbles and make your dough as thin as possible.
While that sounds pretty simple and basic, it is a little challenging because a few things can go wrong, like the dough sticking to the rolling pin or breaking apart. The best way to avoid tha tis to use a well floured surface and practice.
Homemade Thin Crust Pizza Styles
Some people love a thin-crust pizza because it is more like a snack than a meal. It makes a great appetizer and is perfect for socializing. Most tavern-style pizzas, like Minnesota style and Chicago tavern style, come on a thin crust.
There are a few things to consider when making a thin-crust pizza, mainly that less is more. A good thin-crust pizza starts with a solid base. If you use a preheated pizza stone, you don’t need to par-bake the crust, but if you are using a pizza pan or baking sheet, you need to par-bake the crust.
Because the crust is thin the base needs to be strong to hold the toppings, otherwise, the sauce and toppings will just sink right through, and you will find yourself with a pizza casserole all over your oven.
The next thing to consider is the sauce. The sauce needs to be thick and spread with a light hand. Fresh tomato sauces like those used in a Neapolitan pizza are often a little too watery, which is why a Neapolitan has a doughy, watery center. A cooked tomato sauce is better for thin-crust pizza. Also, cooked tomato sauce has more spices and brings its own flavor profile to the pizza party.
Now, let’s talk cheese. Classic thin crust pizza generally goes light on the grated mozzarella cheese. Soft cheese like goat cheese or ricotta is good, too. You can use small dollops on the pizza, and it won’t weigh down the thin-crust pizza. Crumbly cheese like feta, blue cheese, and queso fresco are good choices too.
The real star of thin-crust pizza is the toppings. Since you don’t have the structural integrity of hand-tossed or thick-crust pizza crust, you have to think of maximum flavor with fewer toppings to keep the balance.
For example, if you overload a thin crust with Supreme pizza toppings, you will need to eat your thin crust on a plate with a knife and fork because it will fall apart. And nobody wants to eat their pizza with utensils.
How to Make a Thin Crust Pizza
Start with your favorite pizza dough recipe. Thin-crust pizza does not require a different recipe. It is all about how the dough is manipulated.
- 2 ½ cups of 00 flour
- 1 ½ cup warm water
- ½ dry active yeast packet
- Pinch of sugar
- Olive oil to brush on before fermenting
- A handful of semolina or fine-ground cornmeal
Mix ¼ cup of water with yeast and sugar in a small bowl. And set it aside. Mix flour, the rest of the water, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture when it starts bubbling. Mix together and fold over on itself. Form a dough ball and brush on olive oil. Put it in an air-tight container and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
We like to do an overnight cold ferment on this dough because it adds a lot of flavor and makes for a good, stretchy dough.
Two hours before you want to make pizza, remove the dough and let it rest on a floured cutting board. Cover it loosely in plastic and let it come to room temperature.
Now, you will need a rolling pin and pizza stone. A pizza stone is going to help get that crispy, thin crust. Place the pizza stone in the oven at 450º F and let it preheat. On a floured surface, start to stretch your dough. Flour the rolling pin and start rolling it out.
Start from the middle to make it evenly rolled out. If you want a perfect round pizza, you need to roll it from different angles and may need to cut the edges to get that perfect circle.
Remove the pizza stone and sprinkle with semolina or fine cornmeal. This prevents sticking. Don’t use flour because it will make for an oddly gummy bite. Spread your sauce and add your cheese and toppings—place in the oven for five more minutes until the cheese is melted.
While its baking, use a long spatula to lift the dough from the pizza stone while cooking to make sure it isn’t sticking anywhere.
Remove and let cool for two minutes. Slice with your pizza cutter and enjoy.
Topping Ideas to Make Homemade Thin-Crust Pizza
- Prosciutto and mushrooms
- Goat cheese and roasted red peppers
- Pepperoni and Fontina cheese
- Italian sausage, thinly sliced red onion and green pepper
- Ricotta and sun-dried tomatoes
- Mushrooms, olives, and Canadian bacon
Have you made homemade thin crust pizza?