Saturday, January 15, 2011

thin crust pizza

a homemade pizza,
try it with your own favourite toppings
I learned how to make pizza dough from my friend Jillian, who learned from her mom, Laureen.  I'm not sure where Laureen got it from but its amazing!  I have altered it a little bit by using part whole wheat flour.  Jillian and I made this a lot during our two years at Queen's for Physiotherapy - it was a nice break from studying and so much fun to eat and share with our friends.

You will need:

Pizza Dough
  • 2 tbsp dry active yeast (2 packs)
  • 2 tbsp honey or 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (APF)
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (may substitute this for APF)
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (you can use flavoured, e.g. garlic, basil, rosemary)
Pizza Toppings
*for the above photo*
  • pizza sauce or pesto
  • mozzarella cheese, best freshly grated
  • portabello mushrooms, sliced
  • chorizo sliced and pan fried to lightly browned
  • thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • caramelized onions (thinly sliced and sauteed down to golden brown)
What to do:
  1. Dissolve honey with 1/2 cup warm water and then stir in yeast gently.  Let it stand for 15 min.
  2. Combine all flour and salt in a large bowl or mixer with dough hook.  Pour in oil and stir gently; when oil has absorbed, add the dissolved yeast, then 1 1/2 cup warm water slowly with mixer on low speed (or kneading with your hands).  Knead/mix until the dough comes together and away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Remove dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 2-3 min, it will become firm and smooth.  Put it back into the bowl and cover with a damp warm dish towel for 45 minutes to rise.
  4. The dough should  be about doubled (if not wait 10-15 more min).  It should also be stretchy and soft.  Divide the dough into 6-8 balls, depending on how big you want each crust.  Knead each ball a little bit on the floured surface and return them to the bowl - cover again with damp towel for 15-20 min.
  5. You may wrap each dough ball in plastic wrap and freeze for future use - simply remove from freezer and use once defrosted.
  6. Preheat oven to 450° F with a pizza stone in the centre rack.  If you don't have a stone use a cookie sheet or aluminum pizza pan (do not preheat these).  Roll out dough ball on floured surface - this crust is quite stretchy and is meant to be thin.  Transfer to a cutting board or pizza board (for those without the stone, you should transfer directly to cookie sheet) sprinkled lightly with cornmeal (prevents dough sticking). 
  7. Spread the dough with a thin layer of pizza sauce.  Spread the caramelized onions evenly across the dough, then sprinkle generously with cheese.  Top with red pepper, mushrooms, and chorizo.  Slide it carefully onto the pizza stone (be careful the stone is very hot).
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes.  It may need a little longer depending on your oven, but keep an eye on it after 12 min to prevent burning the edges of the crust. 
  9. Remove from oven.  Let stand for 1 min, slice and enjoy!
Random tips:
  • I've tried using 5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour - it worked but the dough wasn't as soft and stretchy
  • it is easier to transfer a dough that is cooler than room temperature - placing the oven ready pizza in the fridge for a few minutes makes it easier to slide onto the pizza stone
  • if the middle of the pizza doesn't look ready but the sides are, turn the oven to broil for 1 min - this will quickly brown the top of the pizza
  • pizza stone gets really hot so make sure you remove the pizza with a wooden or silicone spatula
  • this dough can be used to make other tasty treats (e.g. samosas, open faced apple pie, appetizers) - a healthier alternative to puff pastry 



  1. Awesome Tati - if I can make something that tastes remotely close to what you made for our last dinner, I'll be very happy!

  2. Tates! Many great memories with this recipe. I think you should post some of the pics of you, ry ry and I the first time we made it together! xox

  3. done!! we look so grubby hahahaha