You will never believe how long I spent on perfecting my pizza dough. Four years! It took me over four years to perfect it. I played around the amounts of yeast, flour, water, oil, types of flour, temperatures of the oven, length of cooking times, cooking with/without a pizza stone… argghh…
I don’t like pizzas that are heavy, with tons of topping and a thick dense crust. I like the Italian-style, light, airy, thin crusted pizza that you don’t eat by the slice, but you serve on a plate. Ones that are delicate, yet tasty, without the fear of future stomach upsets. So, if you’d like to make a thin crust pizza at home, look no further, this pizza dough is the one for you!
The recipe boils down to four BASIC ingredients – flour, yeast, water and salt, just like a good basic bread dough. One of the tricks is allowing for a cold prove, so make the recipe a day or so in advance. It also helps if you have a pizza stone, this will give you a wonderfully light crust.
This pizza dough recipe will give you crispy, light, thin crust pizza. And when I mean thin, I mean THIN! If you bake it too long on the pizza stone, it will turn into a cracker, it’s so thin. Ok, you get the message.
I usually top my pizza with anchovies/finely diced salami, red onions, red peppers, sun-dried black olives, mushrooms and mozzarella* cheese. Feel free to add any toppings you like and make sure you check out my “quick & easy pizza sauce recipe” .
* Due to our American dairy allergy, I now use Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella. Although it’s not as good as mammalian mozzarella, it’ll do. On occasion when I get my hands on imported Italian buffalo mozzarella, it’s a real treat and I use that instead.
THIN CRUST PIZZA DOUGH
Makes 2 x 10 inch pizzas
- 1 t dry active yeast
- 145 ml (½ c and 5 t) spring/filtered water, room temperature
- 200 g (1 ⅓ c) plain (all-purpose) flour*
- ¼ t salt
* You can substitute some whole-wheat flour in if you wish. I use a white:whole-wheat flour ratio of 3:1
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, place all of the ingredients.
2. With the dough hook attachment, on slow-medium speed, mix the ingredients until a dough ball forms. Continue to knead at medium speed for an additional 8-10 minutes.
3. Cover the bowl with cling-film (plastic wrap), and place in the refrigerator for an overnight prove.
4. A couple of hours before wanting to make your pizza, take the dough out of the refrigerator and punch down. Divide into two equal sized pieces, form into a neat dough ball, coating each ball in flour. Place each dough ball onto a floured plate and cover loosely with cling-film (plastic wrap). Allow to sit at room temperature for 1-1 ½ hours.
5. An hour before you want to bake your pizza, place the the pizza stone on the floor of the oven/on the lowest rack. Set the temperature to 285°C/550°F for 1 hour. Then change the temperature to 260°C/500°F.
6. Lightly flour a wooden paddle. Take one dough ball and stretch it into a 10-inch round, keeping the edge of the circle slightly thicker^. Place onto the wooden paddle. Give the paddle a shake to ensure that the pizza dough is not stuck.
7. Place on the toppings of your pizza as desired, remembering not to overload it. Transfer the shaped pizza onto the pre-heated pizza stone using the flick of your wrist. This action will take a little practice, but practice does make perfect.
8. Bake the pizza for 6-8 minutes depending on your preference for the crispiness and darkness of the crust. When done, remove the pizza from the stone using a large spatula, and serve on a plate unsliced. Enjoy!
^ Don’t be perturbed by badly shaped pizzas (see below), it’s taken me years to create an evenly round pizza. Even now, on occasion, I will make an ugly pizza, or stretch it too much and make a hole. If this happens, you can either make the pizza into a calzone and bake it the same way OR re-shape into a dough ball and allow to rest for 30 minutes before re-stretching.