Pizza lovers have strong convictions. They either love thick pizza and hate thin pizza or they love thin pizza and hate thick pizza! What is your conviction? Well, when you first consider the differences between thick and thin pizza crust, it might seem pretty obvious – one is thick, while the other is not! However, they each have their own intended purpose and your preference may depend on what you want to eat on your pizza.

Pizza that has a thick crust is considered to be the most traditional form of pizza. The pizza dough for this style isn’t really much of a dough at all but, rather, a bread that forms the bottom and side layers of what could very well be labeled a casserole rather than pizza. The advantage to this type of pizza is that you can add as many ingredients as you’d like and fit it all comfortably on the pizza. Because of the thickness of these pizzas, they do take longer to cook in the oven.

Thin crust pizza is a thinner piece of  dough that is stretched to cover the pizza pan bottom. This type of crust cooks very quickly; but because of the delicateness of the dough, toppings are usually limited to one or two.

Make pizza the way you like it. The recipes below give you a variety of options: thick or thin; knead or don’t knead, pan or no pan.  

Thin Crust Pizza

To make the dough

  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (100°F to 115°F)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 1/2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

To make the dough:

Stir together the yeast, water, honey, and 1 cup of the flour in a large mixing bowl, in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cover the mixture and let it stand for 30 minutes; it’ll be very soupy.

Add 2 cups of the remaining flour, the vital wheat gluten and the salt to the yeast mixture, along with the olive oil. Mix and knead the dough-by mixer for about 5 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to make a smooth elastic dough. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for at least 2 hours, or until it’s doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.  If you’re using a baking stone, preheat the oven to 500°F. with the baking stone in the oven.

Assembling the pizza:

Divide the dough in half, roll each piece on a floured surface into a 13″ to 15″ round (depending on the size of your pizza pans) and place the rounds on lightly oiled pans. (A 13″ diameter yields a thin crust; a 15″ diameter yields a cracker-thin crust.) Turn in the overhanging edge to form a rim.

15 ” cracker like crust

If you plan to use a baking stone to bake the pizza, place the dough on a baker’s peel, dusted with cornmeal. You will then slide the prepared pizza onto the baking stone.

Add the topping as directed below.

Bake the pizzas in the pans for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the top and bottom crusts are nicely browned. If you’re using a baking stone, bake for about 7 – 10 minutes.

Thin Crust Spinach Feta Cheese Topping

Topping for one pizza

  • one 10-ounce package frozen spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • big pinch of salt
  • 2 peeled, minced garlic cloves
  • 4 ounces feta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

 Directions:

Thaw the frozen spinach and squeeze it in your hands (or a paper towel, or a dish towel) until it’s very dry.

Heat the olive oil and saute the spinach, salt, and garlic for a couple of minutes, just until hot and well combined.

Top the crust with the spinach and, then, the feta. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with oregano.

 

No Knead Thick Pizza Crust

To make the dough;

  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 3/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Eagle Brand Ultra Grain flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

Oil a 14″-diameter pizza pan or a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.

Directions:

Stir the crust ingredients together to form a slightly sticky, soft dough.

Let the dough rise, covered, for 30 minutes.

A little trick, I learned to get an evenly thick pizza, is to let it rise, a second time, in the pizza pan before adding any toppings.

Place the dough in the oiled pan and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes, then pat and stretch it to cover the bottom of the pan. Let it rest, covered, for another 30 minutes.

Thick pizza dough rising in the pan.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Add the topping as directed below.

Bake the pizza for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown.

Thick Crust Sausage and Vegetable Topping

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large bell peppers: red, green, and/or yellow, sliced thin
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 8-ounce package mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 ounces pepperoni or browned sausage meat, casing removed
  • 3/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese sliced

Directions:

Brown sausage in a large skillet. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.

Add oil to the skillet and and cook peppers and onions until soft. Add mushrooms and cook until all liquid is absorbed. Add sausage and set aside.

Layer cheese, alternating provolone and mozzarella cheeses on top of the dough. Spread pizza sauce on top of cheeses and layer the vegetable/sausage mixture on top.

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