You’ve come to the right place if you like your pizza crust thin and crispy. This thin crust pizza dough is simple to make and only needs 15 to 30 minutes to rest, resulting in delicious, from-scratch thin-crust pizzas on the table in an hour or less!
The Secrets to Thin Crust Pizza
- Skip the getting-up time. The fermentation process, also known as the rise, allows yeast to digest the sugars in the flour and produce carbon dioxide and ethanol, causing the dough ball to puff up and achieve the fluffy consistency we all love in loaves of bread and Neapolitan pizza crust. So, if you want a nice, thin pizza crust, give the dough as little fermentation time as possible. In my thin crust pizza dough recipe, I recommend 15 to 30 minutes of resting time; feel free to experiment with more or less time depending on your preferences and time constraints.
- Spread it around. A rolling pin easily transforms a dough ball into a super-thin, pizza-size round. It also smoothes out any bubbles that may have formed during baking.
- Bake it in a dark metal pan or hot baking stone or steel. Dark metal conducts heat more efficiently than light metal, so choose your darkest baking sheet or pizza pan. However, if you want your thin crust pizza to be extra crispy, use a preheated baking stone or steel.
How to Make Thin Crust Pizza Dough
This dough is one of the simplest and quickest to make. Here are the step-by-step instructions, along with helpful hints to help you bake perfect pizzas every time:
1. Preheat the oven
Because the dough only needs 15 to 30 minutes to rest, I like to preheat my oven before beginning the recipe. Place a baking stone or steel plate on a rack in the bottom third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30 minutes.
2. Mix together flour, salt, yeast, water, and olive oil
Combine the bread or all-purpose flour, fine sea salt, and a packet of instant dry yeast with a dough whisk or a sturdy wooden spoon in a large mixing bowl. Then, pour a cup of hot tap water and a tablespoon of oil. Mix the dough with a dough whisk or a wooden spoon until it comes together, and most of the flour is incorporated.
3. Knead the dough
Remove your rings and dip your fingers into the dough. Squish the dough with your fists, flip it over, and squish again until all the dry bits are incorporated. After that, flour a clean work surface. Knead the dough for 5 minutes on a floured surface, turning it frequently. You’re done kneading when the dough slowly springs back when gently poked with your finger.
4. Allow it to rest.
Wrap the dough in an upside-down bowl (I use the same one I mixed the dough in to save dishes). Allow the dough to rest for 15–30 minutes.
5. Make a ball out of it.
Divide the dough into two or three equal-sized pieces. Choose 3 pieces if you want to make smaller 10-inch pizzas or prefer a cracker-thin pizza crust. Choose 2 pieces if you want to make 12- to 14-inch pizzas. Make a ball out of each piece of dough.
6. Roll out the pizza dough.
Working with one dough ball at a time, keep the other(s) under the upside-down bowl on your countertop to prevent them from drying out. Next, place the dough ball on a sheet of parchment paper and cover it with another sheet. Roll out the dough between the parchment to a 10- to 14-inch round, depending on the dough ball’s size and the desired thickness. The parchment prevents the dough from sticking to your rolling pin without the use of additional flour, which can cause the pizza crust to be too dry. You can also gently stretch the dough after it’s been rolled out if you want. Just resist the temptation to add more flour unless the dough is extremely sticky.
7. Top and bake!
Remove the top layer of parchment paper and place the dough on a baking sheet or pizza pan (with the bottom piece of parchment paper underneath). Peel off both pieces of parchment paper and transfer the thin crust pizza dough to a lightly floured pizza peel or upside-down baking sheet if using a preheated baking stone or steel plate.
Top the dough with your preferred sauce, cheese, and other ingredients (ideas below). Then, place the topped dough in the oven and bake for 8 minutes on a baking stone or steel, 10 to 15 minutes on a baking sheet or pizza pan, or until the crust is golden around the edges and evenly browned on the bottom.
How to Store Thin Crust Pizza Dough for Later
You don’t intend to use all of that dough? Not a problem! Mix the dough, knead it, set it aside, and roll it into balls. Instead of rolling out the thin crust pizza dough, separate each ball into an airtight container or zip-top bag. Refrigerate the dough for up to 2 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.
Allow the dough to thaw completely (if frozen) and come to room temperature before using. Then roll it out and top it with the toppings listed below. Bake and savor!
When it comes to thin crust pizza toppings, there are no rules. However, I do have some suggestions:
- Reduce the amount of sauce. Too much sauce can prevent your thin crust pizza from achieving the desired crispy texture. Instead of pouring the sauce on by the cupful, start with half a cup and work your way up. You should always be able to see swipes of naked dough through the sauce.
- The same goes for the toppings. Instead of thick slices of cooked sausage, use thinly sliced pepperoni. Instead of eggplant, consider shaved Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, or spring onions.
- Experiment with different flavor combinations. Because the crust is thin and won’t steal the show, this is an excellent opportunity to try out new combinations.