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Homemade Thin Crust Pizza

by Jackie Alpers on April 13, 2011

JackieAlpers pizza closeup Food photo by Jackie Alpers

More often than not, Sunday night is Pizza Night at my house.

It took me forever to figure out how to make a thin crust pizza at home. I practiced stretching the dough for months. First I tried to roll out the dough onto a pizza stone. That did not work. Then I purchased a non-stick 16″pizza tray with holes in it which was perfect, but it still took me awhile to get the process down. There were a lot of misshapen hole filled crusts that I would have to peel off of the pizza tray and  wad up in a ball for another go around. Below is my step-by-step procedure for getting the dough almost paper thin. I also posted an IPhone video below my husband Jason made of me that illustrates the whole procedure.

How to Make the Crust Thin & Crispy

1. I’ve tried several recipes for pizza dough and purchased a bunch of different store-bought pre-made varieties. I’ve found that Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough works best. Plus, heck, it’s pre-made, whole wheat and tastes great, so I don’t even bother with a dough recipe anymore.
2. Stretch the dough right out of the refrigerator. DO NOT let it sit out at room temperature and rise. If you want to let rise, do it after the stretching.
3. Spray a non-stick pizza pan with a bit of canola oil or olive oil spray.
4. Dust the pan lightly with corn meal. This helps prevent the dough from sticking.
5. Plop the dough onto the pan. The Trader Joe’s dough comes out flat and kind of square from the packaging which is perfect.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 485 degrees. The thin dough combined with higher heat is what makes the crust more like a cracker.
7. Wet a rolling pin with a little bit of water.
8. Roll out the dough. After each roll, turn the pan a quarter turn and roll again to even it out on the pan.
9. Slightly wet your hands. Pick up one corner of the dough and gently pull it to stretch it towards the side of the pan.
10. Rotate the pan to the opposite side and stretch again.
11. Rotate the pan one-quarter turn and repeat.
12. Keep repeating until the dough is evenly stretched over the sides of the pan. There will be a lot of extra dough over the sides. Don’t worry about that. You’ll cut it off at the end.
13. This may take a bit of practice, so don’t give up! It totally worth it to have a lovely thin crust pizza that you made yourself.

After you’ve got the dough stretched. top with sauce and your favorite toppings. Then cut off the extra dough with a scissors. I like to wrap a little back over the edges.

Hungry husband holding pizza. Food + peope photo by Jackie Alpers

My Traditional Sunday Night Pizza Toppings

1 T. Onion Flakes

1. T. Garden Oregano

3 0r 4 T. Trader Joe’s Pizza Sauce

1tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes or to taste

1. T. Whole Fennel Seed

4 Fake Sausage Patties – I like Morningstar Farms

1 tsp. Extra Spicy Mrs. Dash

Pizza Spice

Handful of Grated Parmesan

Handful of Shredded Parmesan

Sliced jalepeños and/or sliced peperoncini

Mushrooms

Serve with: Secret Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce and lots of good red wine.

Once the dough is stretched sprinkle it with the onion flakes and Oregano. Spread the sauce evenly on top. Cook the patties in the microwave so that they are defrosted but not hot. Mine takes 44 seconds. Squish the fennel into the sausages (you can see how in the video) and spread evenly over pizza. Spread the other ingredients on top and cook for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and not mushy in the middle.

Wednesday Night Pizza Two Ways

Wednesday night pizza is a lot more free-form. I use the left over dough to experiment with different toppings. For this one I mixed 2T of non-fat ricotta cheese in with some extra sauce. I topped Jason’s half with three strips of Morningstar Farms veggie Bacon. My half has anchovies. Both sides were then topped with grated and then shredded Parmesan cheese.

JackieAlpers_homemade_pizza_two_ways_Food Photography

Here’s The Video of the Whole Process.

 

Sunday Night Pizza from Jason Willis on Vimeo.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Andy Meinig April 14, 2011 at 2:41 pm

This is so cool. Easy good food and nice big photos of the finished result! Elizabeth is a huge fan of cook books with pictures. She likes eating food but isn’t so into cooking it. Seeing what she’s working toward really helps.

Andy

Jackie Alpers April 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Thanks for the encouragement Andy. The whole process of writing these recipes is still pretty new to me. I knew what I wanted from the photos since they’re the motivation for the blog in the first place, but I wasn’t sure how the process of adding the recipes was going to work with it. I may start adding more how-to photos as well.

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