Thin Crust Pizza

For several years I’ve been making this thick-crust Pepperoni Pan Pizza, and my boys have love it every time. But the new new issue of Cook’s Illustrated (January/February 2011) had a thin-crust pizza. Also, the recipe includes a new no-cook pizza sauce.

Thin-Crust Pizza dough takes at least 24-hours.

Overall, the pizza dough is good, 4-stars, but is not worth the extra time; at least 24-hours. I would recommend that normal 90-minute pizza dough. The no-cook sauce was bright, but not as rich as my regular pre-cooked sauce. I give the sauce only 2-1/2 stars.

Issues:

  1. Because I didn’t have a pizza stone, I used an overturned baking sheet.
  2. Because I wanted both pizzas ready at the same time, I squeezed both pizzas onto the same overturned baking sheet. The pizzas were semi-rectangular.
  3. The cooked pizza was hardly thin; it measured a full 1-inch thick. I’m not sure what went wrong, but it was probably that I squeezed both pizzas into the oven at the same time.  Fortunately, I like thick-crust pizza.

Rating: 4-star for dough. 2-1/2-stars for sauce.
Cost: $3.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Low.
Start time 4:00 PM. Dinner time 6:00 PM.

Here is the Cook’s Illustrated link to the Pizza Sauce Recipe. The recipe as I made it is below:

28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes,
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 medium garlic cloves, pressed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. Drain and discard the liquid from the canned tomatoes, then process all ingredients in food processor for 30 seconds.
  2. Transfer to container and refrigerate until ready to use. The recipe will yield more than needed for two pizzas. The extra can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to a month.

Here is the Cook’s Illustrated link to the Pizza and Dough Recipe. The recipe as I made it is below:

16-1/2 ounces (about 3 cups) bread flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon rapid-rise yeast
1-1/3 cups ice water (about 10 1/2 ounces)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated. (about 1/2 cup)
8 ounces whole milk mozzarella, shredded (about 2 cups)

  1. Process flour, sugar, and yeast in food processor for 2 seconds. Then, while running, add water through feed tube. Continue processing until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough stand 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare large bowl by spraying with cooking spray; set aside.
    Add oil and salt to dough and process until dough ball clears the sides; about 30 to 60 seconds. Remove dough from bowl and knead for about 1 minute on lightly oiled counter-top. Shape the dough into tight ball and place in prepared bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours; but up to 3 days.
  3. Adjust oven rack to be about 4 to 5 inches below broiler. Set pizza stone or overturned baking sheet onto oven rack, and pre-heat oven to 500 degrees.
  4. Remove the dough from refrigerator, and divide in half. Shape each into ball, and place on lightly oiled baking sheet (at least 3 inches apart). Spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray, cover and let stand for 1 hour.
  5. Working with one ball at a time, generously cover with flour and place on floured counter-top. Gently flatten into 8-inch disk with fingertips, leaving 1-inch of outer edge slightly thicker than center. Working along edges and giving disk quarter turns as you stretch, gently stretch until disk measures 12-inch. Place onto floured peel or another overturned baking sheet. Spread 1/2 cup of pizza sauce over dough, leaving 1/4-inch border. Sprinkle half the Parmesan evenly over sauce, then half the mozzarella. Carefully slide pizza onto pizza stone and bake until cheese and crust is browned, rotating pizza halfway through cooking; about 12 minutes. Let pizza cool on wire rack for 5 minutes before slicing. Finally, repeat for second pizza.
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