Thin crust crunchy pizza
I have most of my Italian recipes on a separate web page (click here), because I specialize in Italian cuisine. You can find recipes for more sophisticated crust and pizza sauce among these recipes including how to make your own pizza wood-burning oven. But sometimes you don’t want to spend hours cooking a professional-type pizza. Here is my answer for this conundrum. You can make about 3 ten-inch pizzas in about 40 minutes (not including time for the dough to rise). The crust is thin and crispy and is similar to some of the fine Napoli pizzas I have had.
Ingredients (serves 5):
- 2 cups – all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon – salt
- ½ teaspoon – sugar
- 1 ¼-ounce packet – active dry yeast
- ¾ cup – water between 110 and 115 degrees F
- 1 tablespoon – extra virgin olive oil
- extra olive oil for greasing the back of the pizza pan.
Pizza sauce and toppings:
- 1 29-ounce can—diced tomatoes (I prefer Hunt’s brand)
- water – fill the 29-ounce can with cold water
- 1 6-ounce can – tomato paste (I prefer Hunt’s brand)
- 8 cloves – garlic, minced
- ¼ cup – fresh basil, diced
- 1 tablespoon – dry oregano (you can use fresh)
- 1 tablespoon – sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- pinch of baking soda (just a small pinch)
- 15 – basil leaves
- 1 ½ pounds – mozzarella cheese along with other toppings as desired
Add the four dry ingredients for the crust in a mixer with a dough hook (I like my Kitchenaid). Mix gently and add the water followed by the olive oil. Let the dough form and knead in the mixer for approximately 15 minutes. After the mixing, keep the dough in the mixing bowl and place a wet cool towel over it and let it rise for 45 minutes.
Dough after rising
Punch the dough down once it has risen and allow it to rise again for an additional ten minutes. The dough can then be divided into three equal dough balls.
While the dough is rising you can add the diced tomatoes, water, tomato paste, garlic, basil, oregano, sugar, salt, peppper and baking soda to a non-stick skillet and cook the sauce for about 40 minutes on medium high heat or until the desired thickness.
Sauce to show consistency.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and set your grill to about 325 degrees F.
Grease the back of a pizza pan with olive oil and begin gently pressing the dough onto the pan (see photo below).
Gently pressing the dough out.
There is no need to pound or pull the dough. Take your time until you have covered the pan (the pan in the photo below has a 12-inch diameter).
Dough press out on back of pizza pan
Place the pizza pan in the oven for 5 minutes so the dough will becomes somewhat rigid.
Dough cooking in the oven prior to the grill.
Once the crust is ready, take it to your grill (before you place it on the grill make sure you use a spatula to loosen it from the pizza pan in case it sticks) and cook it an additional minute on each side (this will vary with the type of grill you have but you want to start to see “grill lines” on the pizza dough).
Dough on the grill – note the grill lines.
Remove the dough from the grill and place it back on the backside of the pizza pan. Place the sauce on the pizza dough along with about 5 whole basil leaves and add the mozzarella cheese.
Pizza with sauce and bay leaves.
At this point you can add any toppings you like. The ones in the photo below include green peppers, mushrooms (I precooked the mushrooms so the water would not make the crust soggy), and pepperoni.
Pizza ready to go into the oven.
Cook the pizza for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Pizza in the oven – note it sits directly on the oven rack.
Make sure you push the pizza on the oven grill and don’t cook it on the pan (see photo below). Bon appétit!
Thin crispy pizza.
Notihng I could say would give you undue credit for this story.