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Wednesday Baking-Thin Crust Pizza

This is yet another recipe borrowed from Cook’s Illustrated. I found it in the big baking book they published(I got it for my birthday a few years back), and I’m pretty delighted with the recipe. I don’t do it exactly the way they said to(I didn’t want my crust to be shatteringly thin like they did), but the basics of the recipe are theirs.

This pizza is delicious, but my favorite thing about it is that the dough is supposed to be made ahead of time. When I have to be out and about on Friday afternoons, we can still have pizza for dinner if I use this recipe. It’s supposed to sit in the fridge overnight, but sometimes I forget to make it the night before…so, I’ve mixed it up in the morning, refrigerated it, and used it that evening with very satisfactory results. You can keep the dough in the fridge for up to 48 hours, but I’ve never managed to think quite that far ahead. Ahem.

The dough is made in the food processor and then kneaded just briefly by hand, so all you people out there with kneading phobias can probably still handle this recipe. 😉

Incidentally, you will need a pizza stone, pizza peel, and parchment paper to make this recipe(well, I suppose you could do without the pizza peel and the parchment, but the pizza stone is non-negotiable!).

Thin Crust Pizza

10 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (about 2 cups), preferably Gold Medal
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon table salt
6.2 ounces water (about 3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons), 100 to 105 degrees
1/4 cup olive oil(I use canola oil)

1. Mix everything but the water and oil in the bowl of the food processor(in case you were wondering, I did mix mine up after I took this picture. It’s just that it looks sort of boring mixed up, so I thought a pre-mixing picture would be better. Not that I overthink this type of thing.).

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2. Add the water, and process until the ingredients are all combined.

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3. With the lid on and the machine running, add the oil in a thin stream, and process until the oil is evenly mixed into the dough.

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4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for a couple of minutes…just until it’s smooth and even. The food processor will have done most of the kneading for you.

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5. Put the whole dough ball into a zipper bag(using one you purchased on clearance after Halloween is totally optional), and refrigerate it overnight.

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6. About a half hour before you’re ready to bake the pizzas, put your baking stone into the oven and heat it to 425 degrees. While the oven is heating, take the dough out of the fridge, divide it into two balls, and let them sit on the counter for a few minutes to warm up. Meanwhile, cut two squares of parchment paper about the size of your baking stone.

7. When your dough balls have lost their chill, roll them out on a lightly floured surface to about 12-14 inches in diameter(Cook’s says to do this on the parchment, but I can’t get the hang of that!). Once they’re rolled out, place them onto the pieces of parchment and use a scissors to trim the parchment around the pizza.

8. Top each with about a half cup of tomato sauce,

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and sprinkle with cheese(you can add sausage or pepperoni or any other toppings you like at this point).

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9. Place the pizza, parchment and all onto your pizza peel, and slide it onto the hot baking stone. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until browned.

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Serve promptly, because this pizza doesn’t stay warm for long(unlike deep dish pizza). While the second pizza is baking, we usually sit down and eat the first. Usually by the time we polish that one off, the second one is ready to eat.

  

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Anusha

Wednesday 19th of December 2018

Hi Kristen, Have been using this recipe for some time now. Just wanted to check with you if the flour used in this recipe is Gold medal or King Arthur's bread flour ? This post says Gold Medal but I read in another pizza post that you prefer King Arthur flour. Can you please clarify, Thanks !

Kristen

Wednesday 19th of December 2018

For my regular crust pizza, I love King Arthur. But I believe this recipe from Cook's specifically called for Gold Medal unbleached, so that's what I use!

Irene

Friday 26th of October 2018

Recipe looks great but I'm wondering if you mistyped or if #6 in the instructions is really missing. I'm going to make for lunch tomorrow and I hope it comes out as good as your pictures.

Kristen

Friday 26th of October 2018

Oh, my numbering was wrong! I fixed it now. Thanks for pointing that out.

Anusha

Saturday 10th of January 2015

Thank you for the prompt reply !!! Made it just now with whole wheat flour and it turned out awesome.

Refrigerated the dough overnight and made it today. Since I had already refrigerated the dough before seeing your reply, I decided to stick to the recipe.

Bought pizza stone and peel as suggested by you and they are worth the money for sure !

Also, thank you for clarifying about the flour price.

Kristen

Saturday 10th of January 2015

Yes-the pizza stone and peel make SUCH a huge difference. Glad yours turned out great!

Anusha

Friday 9th of January 2015

Hi Kristen,

I would like to mix the dough and make the pizza immediately. Is it okay to skip the "refrigeration" part mentioned in the recipe ?

Also, we buy 5 pounds of whole wheat flour for 4$. In your "cost of homemade bread" post, you've mentioned you pay more like 2.50 for 5 pounds. Is that the price for all-purpose-flour (or) whole wheat flour ? Can you please clarify.

Thank you for your patience and time (for posting recipes and also for answering questions)

Kristen

Friday 9th of January 2015

For the cost of bread post, that would be for white flour, as I was comparing white storebought bread to white homemade bread.

I've never tried the no refrigeration method for the thin crust pizza. You would definitely want to let it rise an hour in place of the refrigeration time, though.

Hanna

Thursday 15th of May 2014

Hello Kristen, Thanks for the recipe. I tried it and it turned out very good. Have you ever tried any of the pizza recipes you have with whole wheat flour?

Thank you, Hanna

Kristen

Friday 16th of May 2014

I haven't! So I've got no advice for you. Do report back if you give it a shot, though.

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