Homemade Thin Crust Pizza

When the cool bluster of fall settles in, my homemade pizza season begins. A homemade pizza may not seem worth the trouble, especially when ready made pizzas are so widely available. I have found the effort worthwhile for two reasons. First, making pizza can be a fun activity for family and friends; it adapts easily to the help of children or adults. Second, it’s an easy way to make a home more cozy and festive. I love the anticipation of turning on my oven light to see if the pizza is done yet. I also relish how the scent of yeast-raised dough prevails for several hours.

This recipe is fairly simple and yields well to changes. I’ve made it with additional toppings, and I’ve also used whole wheat flour at times, too. I use a KitchenAid stand mix to knead dough, but the dough in this recipe can also be mixed with a spoon and kneaded by hand.

Homemade Thin Crust Pizza

Makes a 16″ pizza

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 t or one 7g envelope instant dry yeast
  • 1/4 salt
  • 1/2 t honey (optional, but recommended if using whole wheat flour instead)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup very warm water (105 to 110 degrees)
  • 2 T olive oil, for greasing pan and dough
  • 1 T cornmeal, for sprinkling on pan
  • 1 cup pizza sauce, or one 8 oz can tomato sauce and 1 t dried oregano or Italian seasoning
  • 8 oz (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • additional toppings to taste, such as pepperoni or whichever pizza toppings you like

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 16″ pizza pan and sprinkle with cornmeal. Add yeast, flour, and salt to bowl of stand mixer with dough hook attachment. Mix these dry ingredients on low while gradually streaming in honey and warm water. Continue adding water until mixture forms a ball that releases easily from sides of the bowl. If the bottom of the dough ball is sticking to the bowl, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it stops sticking. If dough looks shaggy and isn’t sticking together, add a little more water.

Turn mixer up one speed and let it knead the dough for fives minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. When dough is finished kneading, turn off mixer and place the dough ball on the pizza pan. Spread a bit of oil over the dough ball and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

After the dough rests, stretch the dough to fill the pizza pan. Pour the pizza sauce onto the center of the dough and use the back of a spoon to cover the dough, leaving a 1″ border plain at the edges. Next sprinkle the cheese on top and add any additional desired toppings.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is browned to your liking. Let rest for 10 minutes, slice, and enjoy.

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Dough at rest
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This crust can be stretched right on the pan. I haven’t tried stretching dough in the air like a pizzeria pro. I’m afraid that I’d be a tragic culinary gymnast.
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Saucy delight . . . which reminds me that Spinal Tap mentioned that they hoped to make a rock opera based on the life of Jack the Ripper called Saucy Jack. My mind is tangential in nature.
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I love cheese pizza most of all. The best cheese pizza I ever made was 50-50 full fat mozzarella and Tillamook sharp cheddar. I cooked it in one of those in the wall ovens like Alice on The Brady Bunch used, too.
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My daughter loves to help me make pizza, and she opted for her favorite, half pepperoni and half cheese.
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Next time I plan on letting the pizza cook a bit longer to carmelize the cheese better. Today I was impatient to taste my first homemade pizza of the season.

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