Thin Crust Pizza Dough

Make your own homemade thin crust pizza at home any time with this simple pizza dough recipe!

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Ball of pizza dough on cutting board

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I love pizza. Like, LOVE it.

For a while I worked at a pizza place that made New Haven style coal fired pizza. If you’re not familiar, it’s thin crust pizza with simple toppings cooked in a super hot coal oven to crispy blackened perfection. Until working there I was strictly a deep dish pizza girl, but my horizons were broadened and now I appreciate pizzas of all shapes and sizes.

After leaving my pizza parlor days behind, I had to find a way to make my own pizza at home so I could continue to explore topping combinations and indulge in crispy gooey goodness without leaving my house. One problem though, store bought dough just doesn’t taste or feel the same. So, I set out to perfect my own thin crust pizza dough recipe.

Now that I worked out the best homemade thin crust pizza dough recipe I can make pizza any time I want! I love coming up with unique flavor combinations for the toppings without being limited to options on a menu. The possibilities truly are endless.

How Do I Make Homemade Thin Crust Pizza Dough?

To start off, you’ll need to prepare the yeast mixture. Yeast grows best with warm temperatures, so I like to pre-warm the dish I mix it in. To do this, fill a large coffee cup or small bowl with water, microwave it for two minutes, and let sit for a few. Discard the water (I’m drought conscious so I use it to water a plant) and dry before adding the yeast. Gently mix the yeast, water, and sugar in a large coffee cup (or small bowl). Let sit for about 15 minutes or until the yeast has grown tall with a nice foam top.

Yeast rising in mug with foamy top
Nice foamy top on the yeast mixture

Meanwhile, mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Once the yeast is ready start by adding about 1/3 of the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients, combining as much as you can before adding more. Continue adding small amounts at a time. At some point the dough will become too thick to stir with a spoon, start using your hands to knead the wet and dry ingredients together. Knead until the dough is mixed well and isn’t sticky, about 10 minutes or less. If it’s too sticky add small amounts of flour at a time; too dry, add water a tablespoon at a time.

Dough is mixed to the perfect smooth consistency and ready to rise!

Divide the dough into two equal parts. If you want to be precise use a food scale, each ball should be about 14 ounces.

Shape each half into a ball and place on a plate or cookie sheet, cover with a damp smooth towel (I use Flour Sack Towels ) and let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

two balls of thin crust pizza dough rising on a cookie sheet

Refrigerate the dough for at least another 30 minutes, but for the absolute best flavor leave it in the refrigerator for three days before using. If you are not going to use the dough immediately make sure to store it in a sealed container. When you’re ready to use the dough, let it rest at room temperature for one hour.

Before you roll out the dough, make sure all of your supplies and toppings are prepared as you’ll want to transfer it to your cooking surface as soon as it’s done being topped. The thin crust will allow for moisture to soak through and you’ll end up with pizza stuck to your peel. (If you don’t have a pizza peel you can use a wooden cutting board or cookie sheet.) Dust your pizza peel with cornmeal, which will help your pizza slide onto the grill.

How do I roll out thin crust pizza dough?

Place the dough on a floured surface with the bottom side up. Using your fingers, start about one inch in from the outer rim of the ball of dough and press down, working your way around the dough spiraling inward. This will begin to form your pizza shape, leaving a fluffy outer crust.

Next, carefully pick up the dough, drape it over your fists, and gently stretch the dough. The best way to do this is to let the weight of the dough do the work. Just turn the dough in circles over your fists, don’t actually pull or stretch the dough, it will rip**. Now the dough can be placed on your pizza peel, it’s ready to be topped!

**If you do accidentally get a rip or two, don’t worry it happens to the best of us! Don’t give up and ball up your dough to start again. Overworking the dough will make it tough, not to mention it will likely be more difficult to work with. Lay your dough out on the peel and pull one side of the hole over the other, pressing gently to seal. At this point you can leave it on the peel and gently pull the outer crust to your desired shape and size.

Thin Crust Pizza Dough

With just 5 ingredients you can make your own homemade thin crust pizza dough!
Prep Time20 mins
Resting time3 hrs 15 mins
Total Time3 hrs 35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Bread, grilling, pizza, pizza dough, thin crust
Servings: 2 14 inch pizzas
Calories: 774kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 packet Active Dry Yeast Equal to 2 1/4 tsp or 1/4 oz
  • 1 1/4 C Warm Water About 110-115 degrees
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 3 1/2 C All Purpose or Unbleached Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Flour for kneading
  • Cornmeal for dusting pizza peel

Instructions

  • Gently mix yeast, water, and sugar in a large mug. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl mix flour and salt.
  • Using a wooden spoon slowly stir the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients about 1/3 at a time, incorporating as much as you can before adding more. Once you can no longer stir the dough with a spoon, use your hands to knead in the remaining yeast mixture.
  • Once ingredients are combined, knead dough on a floured surface until it's smooth and no longer sticky, about 10 minutes.
  • Divide dough in half and form into two balls, place dough at least 3 inches apart on a cookie sheet or plate and cover with a damp smooth towel.
  • Let dough rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes. (Or up to 3 days sealed.)
  • When ready to use, let dough rest at room temperature at least 1 hour before rolling out.

How To Roll Out Dough

  • Cover a flat surface with cornmeal and flour. Place the dough bottom side up.
  • Leaving about 1 inch on the outer rim for the crust, start pressing the dough down, spiraling inward to flatten the dough into a larger circle.
  • Once dough is pressed evenly in the middle, gently pick up the dough, drape it over closed fists and gently turn dough in circles until it stretches to desired size (about 14 inches).
  • Place dough on pizza peel dusted with cornmeal, or cooking surface such as a pizza stone.

Notes

  • If the dough is too sticky while kneading, add small amounts of flour by dusting over the top and kneading in fully before adding more until smooth.  
  • Dough can be used right away, but for best flavor make 3 days ahead of time. 
  • When stretching the dough with your fists let the weight of the dough do the work, if you pull or stretch the dough will rip. 
  • Fix rips once placed on the peel by folding the dough over to close the hole and press gently to seal. 

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