Feb 10, 2011

Thin Crust Pizza

thin crust pizza 1

Even though I live in New York State – I am about as far away from New York City as you can get and still be in the same state.  So the type of pizza that we have here is essentially Buffalo-style pizza and not New York-style (i.e. thin crust) pizza.  Here is a great wikipedia entry on different types of pizza in the United States – and Buffalo-style is even on the list!   You can find a few places locally that make authentic thin crust pizza.  And there is just something about the thin crust with the gooey cheese and crisp topping that I really enjoy.

thin crust pizza 2

So when the latest Cook’s Illustrated promised perfect thin-crust pizza, I added it to my menu plan.   My absolute favorite part of this pizza was the crust.  It was so easy to make (entirely in the food processor!) and was super simple to work with.  It was a breeze to shape – and I almost tossed it in the air when I was shaping it – it was that perfect consistency.  Maybe next time I’ll be brave and try it!  

thin crust pizza 3

I made two pizzas – one with just pepperoni and one with pepperoni and mushrooms.  It was unbelievably delicious and can’t wait to make this again. 

thin crust pizza 4



  • 3 cups (16 1/2 ounces) bread flour, plus extra for work surface
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups ice water
  • 1 Tbsp.vegetable oil , plus more for work surface
  • 1 1/2 tsp. table salt


  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and excess liquid discarded
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper


  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • other toppings (pepperoni, mushrooms, sausage, veggies, etc. – no more than 4-6 ounces per pie)



1. In food processor fitted with metal blade, process flour, sugar, and yeast until combined, about 2 seconds.  With machine running, slowly add water through feed tube; process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds.  Let dough stand 10 minutes in the machine.

2. Add oil and salt to dough and process until dough forms satiny, sticky ball that clears sides of workbowl, 30 to 60 seconds.

3. Remove dough from bowl and knead briefly on lightly oiled countertop until smooth, about 1 minute.  Shape dough into tight ball and place in large, lightly oiled bowl.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.


1. Process all sauce ingredients in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to medium bowl or container and refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble pizza

1. One hour before baking pizza, adjust oven rack to second highest position, set pizza stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees.

2. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide in half. Shape each half into smooth, tight ball.  Place on lightly oiled baking sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart; cover loosely with plastic wrap coated with nonstick cooking spray; let stand for 1 hour.

3. Coat 1 ball of dough generously with flour and place on well-floured countertop. Using fingertips, gently flatten into 8-inch disk, leaving 1 inch of outer edge slightly thicker than center. Using hands, gently stretch disk into 12-inch round, working along edges and giving disk quarter turns as you stretch.  Place on pizza peel or parchment paper.

4. Using back of spoon or ladle, spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce in thin layer over surface of dough, leaving 1/4-inch border around edge.

5. Sprinkle 1/4 cup Parmesan evenly over sauce, followed by 1 cup mozzarella.  Add additional toppings as desired.  Repeat with remaining pizza.

6.  Slide pizza carefully onto stone and bake until crust is well browned and cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating pizza halfway through. Remove pizza and place on wire rack for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Source: Cook’s Illustrated, Jan 2010

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  1. I think I'm going to have to make this sooner rather than later! I was planning on making the nut crusted chicken first from the lastest issue of CI, but with everyone talking about it, I just can't resist any longer.

  2. I've been searching for a good pizza crust (I can't tell you how many failed crusts I have made!). After reading this in my friend's CI and realizing I had let my subscription expire, I was searching for the recipe on the internet... thank you for posting! We're going to make clam pizza tomorrow.

  3. I made the dough last night, and it looks really, really sticky still and I'm not sure it has risen much. How did your dough look? I have always had such luck with yeasted dough, but they have never looked like this.

    Oh, and I am trying your San Vito piza recipe next week. It's my favorite at Romeos! Funny story about that - a few Mondays ago I was craving their pizza and stuffed peppers, so my husband said to order and he'd pick it up on the way home. Well, I am calling and calling and calling with no answer. Finally I realized it was Monday and they were closed. Haha!

  4. Cathy - The dough was really smooth and easy to work with. It could be all the humidity in the air from all the rain?
    I need to make that pizza san vito again - but it is almost too easy to just go there and get it :)