This is not how you make traditional pizza dough but how we like them. Hubs and I prefer our pizza super thin and crispy, almost in between a cracker and bread. My kids like simple cheese pizzas with nothing else on top, maybe pepperoni on some days, so I try to add a little more goodies into the dough.
This pizza dough recipe started with a wonderful 75 minutes recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. Then I began adding hempseeds one day. It didn’t change the texture or taste much, but I knew more protein and healthy fatties were in the dough. Recently, I started adding nutritional yeast, which adds extra nutrients and a delicious savory flavor.
I use Italian 00 flour for my dough, and if you like your dough super thin and crispy like us, it does make a big difference compared to all-purpose flour.
I don’t have a stand mixer at home, and I learned from Cooks Illustrated that you could make dough with a food processor. So that’s what I use! I can put only so much water in my 11-cup food processor before it leaks all over the counter, and this recipe is adjusted to fit my machine. I typically make 2~3 batches at once.
Once the dough has risen, you can freeze a portion in a freezer-safe bag. Defrost the batch overnight before using, and shape and bake as usual.
My very unauthentic thin crust pizza dough
This is not how you make traditional pizza dough but how we like them.
- 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp water
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 cups Italian 00 flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil + more for greasing
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
Preheat the oven to 200 F or use the warm function.
We start by microwaving water for 20 seconds. Water should be warm to the touch so the yeast can grow and foam. If the water is too hot, yeast will die. And cold water won’t wake them up.
Add water, sugar, and yeast to your food processor. (I have an 11-cup food processor.) Sugar helps the yeast to grow and shouldn’t be omitted. Press the pulse button on your food processor for a brief second. You just want to mix the ingredients, not chop the yeast. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and you’ll see the mixture turn murky (foam.)
Add flour, salt, olive oil, hemp seeds, and nutritional yeast. Run the food processor until the mixture forms a ball- about 30 seconds. Let it rest for 1~2 minutes. Then rerun the food processor for about 45 seconds. Food processors can quickly knead the dough, so don’t overdo it. The dough might become too hot, killing all the yeast if it runs too long.
Place the dough in a large oiled bowl. (If making more batches, repeat the process and keep adding to the bowl.) Knead (massage) the dough gently with your oiled hands a few times inside the bowl. Cover the bowl with a cling wrap.
Turn off the oven. In the warm oven, place the bowl with the dough and let it sit for 40 minutes. The dough will double in size. It’s ok to let the dough rise for more than 40 minutes. In that case, I take the bowl out of the oven after 40 minutes and let it sit on the counter.
Divide the dough into two, and shape as you'd like! You can freeze a portion in a freezer-safe bag. Defrost the batch overnight before using, and shape and bake as usual.
For shaping and baking: This process would be a whole post itself, but here’s the gist. We bake our pizza on a pizza stone that can get very hot, so I use aluminum foil to shape the dough on top. Without a foil, I won’t be able to slide the dough onto the hot stone, and parchment paper would burn. Generously spread olive oil on the foil before shaping the dough. I partially bake the dough for about 4 minutes at 500F, then top the pizza and bake for an additional 5~6 minutes.