Easy Thin-Crust Pizza
A thin crust pizza recipe that is home-oven friendly, but emphasizes authentic italian ingredients & flavor, and a very crispy crust. I like to start the pizza on a hot pan over the stovetop for a reliable crisp, a deviation from the more traditional oven-only cooking method. The goal is to apply enough dry heat to minimize trapped steam while the bottom of the dough cooks and browns; without a pizza stone or a sufficiently hot commercial oven it is otherwise difficult to do this without burning the top of the pizza.
- 8 oz raw pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
- 4 oz tomato paste
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 6 oz shredded part-skim fresh mozzarella cheese
- additional toppings of your choice
- fresh cracked pepper
- dried basil
- Preheat oven to 450F (or whatever is the highest temperature it allows). On a floured surface, stretch the dough until it is round and lightly floured on all sides.
- Continue stretching until it is between 12 and 14 inches diameter, depending on preference and how large a pan you have available.
- Transfer to a cold, lightly oiled pan. Stretch the dough or press down lightly to fix any minor imperfections.
- Add olive oil, tomato paste, and spices.
- Spread sauce to edges with a spoon.
- Add any toppings and half the cheese. Cook on stovetop over medium-high for 5-6 minutes, gently rocking the dough when it sets to distribute the oil evenly over the bottom.
- Gently lift the bottom to check for browning. Cook until it reaches the desired color and crisp; it won’t significantly brown more in the oven.
- Remove from heat and add remaining cheese. Transfer to oven and bake directly on a wire rack for 3-4 minutes, watching carefully.
- Remove from oven once top of cheese is bubbling and has reached desired doneness. Cut and serve immediately.
Done correctly, your pizza will have a dry, lightly textured crispy crust with good flavor and spots of color: