I’ve been jonesin for pizza for weeks. Antico is my favorite local pizzeria. It’s as close to Italian as I’ve found, and believe me, I’ve looked. However, the pizza only comes in one size…GINORMOUS. I’m not a fan of freezing pizza so I’ve restrained myself from heading over there to grab one. I decided to see what was in the pantry and create my own thin-crust pizza.
This is what I found in my pantry. You may use anything you like on your pizza.
Pizza crust is very easy to make. I’ve tried “no knead” dough and it’s fine but if you’re going to make it, knead. It’s only 5-8 minutes of your time and a great arm workout.
Oh, if you’re using a pizza stone, now is the time to put it into the oven to heat up. I forgot. More about that later.
The dough should spring back when poked with your finger and feel soft and silky in texture. Be careful not to use a lot of flour when kneading. It can make the dough dry. I did not use any extra flour for this pizza.
WHAT IS “LUKEWARM”?
When a recipe containing yeast calls for lukewarm water, what does that really mean? The consensus is between 110 – 115 degrees F. So, break out your meat thermometer and check it. It’s frustrating to not see yeast activate properly, especially when it’s hard to find on the shelves right now.
Stretch the dough from the middle outwards using the heel of your hand. Press and stretch the dough until it’s about 1/4-inch thick. I like my crust really thin so I rolled it at the very end to smooth out the edges.
This pizza was made with half of the dough. If you want a thicker crust or a larger thin-crust pizza, use all of the dough and adjust your baking time accordingly.
USING A PIZZA STONE?
I’ve had my All-Clad pizza stone for 15 years. Intuitively, I know it must go into the oven early but I forgot this time. My crust was good but it didn’t have that nice browned bottom. I like my stone heated at 450 degrees for about 45 minutes. Preheating 1 hour is the norm.
No stone? Use a rimmed baking sheet instead. Make sure to preheat it just like the stone.
My pizza stone heated at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Tasted great but not the well-browned bottom and crispness I wanted.
HOW TO TRANSFER THE PIZZA TO THE STONE:
I like using parchment paper to build my pizza then slide it onto the back of a baking sheet, then on to the stone in the oven. It’s much easier to handle.
Another option is generously adding cornmeal to the work surface, then sliding the pizza on to cardboard. With plenty of cornmeal on the bottom, the pizza will slide easily from the cardboard to the stone. You will taste the cornmeal in the finished pizza so try it and see what you think.
It turned out great!
In a perfect world, I would have cooked this outside on my Big Green Egg but the patio is still under construction. Check out this “How-To”.
Store pizza in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Pizza stone or rimmed baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Medium or large bowl
- Spatula or wooden spoon
- Clean towel
- Rolling pin
- ¾ cup water, lukewarm (110 – 115 degrees F)
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for kneading
- ¾ tsp salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
TOPPINGS PER PIZZA
- ½ cup of your favorite pizza sauce
- 1-2 cups cheese (I used mozzarella)
- ½ can artichoke hearts
- ¼ onion sautéed
- 1-2 tbsp garlic, minced or 3-4 finely chopped cloves, sautéed
- 1 tomato thinly sliced, sautéed
- Place rack in bottom third of the oven, put pizza stone on rack (optional) or use a rimmed baking sheet.
- Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Pour lukewarm water into a medium or large bowl and sprinkle yeast over water.
- Allow to stand for 3 to 5 minutes until yeast dissolves and is foamy.
- Add flour and salt.
- Combine with a spatula or spoon until a more solid ball forms.
- Try kneading dough on a work surface without flour first, adding a tablespoon at a time if needed.
- Knead for 5-8 minutes until dough springs back when poked.
- Cover the dough with a clean towel and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Prepare toppings.
- Separate dough into 2 equal pieces and lay down a sheet of parchment paper.
- Stretch dough on parchment using the heel of your hand outwards until it's thin and about 10-12 inches round.
- Use a rolling pin to thin further, if preferred.
- If dough shrinks back, allow to sit for 5 minutes and roll again.
- Add toppings…don't forget the cheese!
- Brush edges of crust with olive oil.
- For pizza stone: transfer pizza on parchment to the back of a baking sheet, then slide onto stone in oven.
- For baking sheet: remove preheated baking sheet from oven, slide pizza from back of baking sheet to preheated baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes until crust is golden-brown and the cheese is melted with a few browned spots.
- Remove pizza from oven, again sliding from stone to a baking sheet, or removing pizza cooking on the baking sheet.
- Move pizza to a cooking rack.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes then cut and serve.
- Repeat with remaining dough and toppings.