This pizza recipe came about with a mistake… One night, after an evening of teaching, I decided to put together a pizza dough from a recipe that I have for New York Style Thin Crust Pizza. I hadn’t made the recipe before, but in reading the description, it said the dough was a wetter dough. When I went to knead the dough, it was extremely wet and not like any pizza dough I’d ever made before! I had previously seen an episode of the Great British Bake-Off where the contestants had to make ciabatta bread for their technical bake and the dough seemed like that, so I kept going. After kneading, I put the dough in the fridge to rest overnight.
When I took it out the next evening to get the pizza ready, it hadn’t risen much and just kind of slumped in the bowl. I re-read the recipe and realized that I had mis-read the amount of water and put 1-1/2 cups instead of 1-1/3 cups. Since there was no turning back on dinner at that point, I decided to go with it. The dough stretched out really nicely with just my fingers and didn’t pull back on itself like I’ve experienced before when making pizza. I cooked it in a 500 F oven and it actually looked pretty good when I took it out! When we ate it for dinner my we couldn’t believe the amazing texture of the dough and it tasted really good too! My husband thought it was just as good as our favourite take-out place.
I decided that this was the way to go… So the next week I made it again, but the dough was thicker this time. Had I also messed up the flour amount the previous week?? Since then I worked to reduce the amount in stages until I was able to achieve the same texture of pizza dough that I had that first time and finally, I got it!
In the meantime I also did some reading about what makes a good pizza. As I suspected, I read that many pizza dough recipes are too dry and cook at too low a temperature so they end up coming with a dry and carboard-like dough. The faster you cook the pizza, the more likely it is to stay moist and chewy and a wetter dough gives little pockets of air in the dough, which also creates a wonderful texture. Fermenting the dough in the fridge overnight produces a wonderful flavour. If you cook the pizza on either a pizza stone or casts iron, you will get a nice crisp crust. I also read that cooking for a few minutes at 550 F then turning on the broiler is a great method for achieving something closer to what you would get in a hot pizza oven.
With all this in mind, I heated up the smaller oven of my double oven to 550F with a pizza stone in it for 1 hour to make sure it was consistently hot. I used parchment paper under the pizza and then slide that onto the pizza stone and cooked for 3 minutes, then I removed the parchment paper and turned on the broiler and cooked another 3 minutes. This pizza turned out exactly as I wanted!
If you don’t have a pizza stone, you could use a cast iron griddle or even an over-turned cast iron skillet. These are key to getting a crisp bottom crust in a short amount of time.
Because this is a wet dough, you will need to use the slap fold technique to knead the dough. Don’t be afraid of this. It’s not hard. I’ve included a short video tutorial for this technique. I use a upside down round pizza pan to easily transfer my pizza from the counter to the oven.
I’ve also included a recipe for a quick no-cook sauce that tastes great. It makes more than you need. I either save it for pizza the next week, or use it in pasta sauce. Avoid putting too many toppings on this pizza (2-3 at most) because too many toppings will weigh down the thin crust.
Restaurant Style PizzaThis pizza has an amazing texture and great taste. The best homemade pizza I’ve ever had!
For the Dough
- For the Sauce
- For Assembly
For the Dough
- In a liquid measuring cup, combine water, yeast, sugar and oil. Let sit until yeast is frothy on the top of the liquid, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine flour and salt.
- Add yeast mixture to flour mixture and stir to combine, forming a sticky dough. If dough is too loose, add more flour 1 tbsp at a time until it comes together, but is still sticky.
- Knead the dough using the slap fold technique for about 4 minutes until dough becomes smooth and catches some air (video below).
- Place dough in greased bowl and allow to rise for 2-3 hours.6. Divide dough in half and pre-shape into 2 rounds.
- Using wet hands and a wet bench scraper, transfer. rounds on a greased baking sheet. Cover and put in the fridge to rise/ferment overnight or up to 36 hours.
- 1-2 hours before cooking, remove the dough from fridge. They will have slumped. That is okay. For the Sauce
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined. For Assembly and Baking
- 1 hour before cooking, place pizza stone on the highest rack in oven and heat to 550F.
- Generously flour a 13-inch square piece of parchment paper on top of an over turned round pizza pan.
- Place 1 round of dough on the pan coat in flour.
- Using fingers, gently stretch and lift the dough until it is 12 inches in diameter, leaving the outer edges thicker.
- Top with 1/2 cup of pizza sauce, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 1 cup shredded mozzarella, then the toppings of your choice.
- Transfer pizza on parchment paper to heated pizza stone in oven and cook for 3 minutes.6. Slide parchment out from under pizza then turn on the broiler. Cook with oven door closed for another 3 minutes, or until crust is browned and cheese is bubbling.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Combine water, sugar, yeast and oil in a liquid measuring cup. Let stand until yeast is frothy on top, about 5 minutes.
Pour over flour mixture and stir to combine
Dough after kneading.
Divide in haft a per-shape into 2 disks. Place disks on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rest in fridge overnight or up to 36 hours.
1-2 hours before baking, remove dough from fridge and let rest at room temperature.
Place dough on floured parchment paper and gently stretch with fingers to 12 inches in diameter.
Cover dough with 1/2 cup of sauce, leaving a 1 inch border.
Top with cheese and desired toppings.
Cook in preheated oven on pizza stone for 3 minutes then remove parchment paper and turn on broiler. Cook for anoth 3 minutes until crust is browned and cheese is bubbling.
The pizza will be browned on the outside but still soft and chewy on the inside.