Have you seen my daughter, Marie's, "Little Kitchie" blog lately? She did a fun and interesting series on pizzas and they all looked so delicious! I did a post on pizza awhile back to tell you about the wonderful pizza yeast produced by Fleischmanns, but after reading her blog and seeing all those tasty pies, I wanted to make pizza again!
One thing we all love in our family is the thin, crackly pizza crust with the blackened, charred bottom that you get in specialty pizza restaurants. Mostly, you can only get that charred type of crust on the grill or at the restaurants, but you can still make a pretty tasty, thin and crispy crusted pizza at home! It doesn't take anything special at all except maybe the pizza stone.
Here's a recipe that I came up with that results in a super crispy crust that stays crispy even for the second, and third, and well, okay, fourth piece! :)
Thin and Crispy Pizza
1 pkg. RapidRise yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 Tbl. olive oil to mix in the dough, then more later
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (about) flour
Toppings: I used: mozzarella cheese, kalamata olives, sliced, fresh Roma tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, fresh chopped oregano and chopped fresh basil, salt and pepper, but use anything you like!
Note: Toppings that aren't watery work best-- or partially cook them ahead to remove some of their liquid. Don't go overboard on amounts either because that makes the crust soggy too.
cookie sheet with no sides (turn over a sheet pan if you don't have one)
Mix the yeast and water in a stand mixer bowl. Add the sugar. Wait 15 minutes. You should see lots of bubbles forming in the liquid. If not, start over (water might have been too hot, or yeast is too old--check the date on the package) or go out for pizza! :)
Add the salt and oil to the liquid and mix well. Add the flour a bit at a time, mixing until you have a super stretchy, very moist dough. It will be just a bit thicker than a batter, but much more sticky and stretchy. Don't add too much flour. The wet, stretchy dough is the key to a thin, crispy crust.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then a tea towel. Place in a warm area for 1 hour.
Put the pizza stone in the oven and turn the oven to 475F about 30 minutes before you will be cooking the pizza.
Cover the cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Pour and scrape out the risen blob of pizza dough onto the paper. It will be super sticky and hardly hold any shape, but not runny. Pour a couple tablespoons of olive oil on the top of the dough trying not to let it run onto the paper. Use your clean fingertips to press the dough out onto the parchment. The oil on top of the dough will allow you to stretch and smooth it out easily without it sticking to your fingers, but it will stick to the parchment and "behave".
Add your desired toppings. If you're using fresh basil, it's best to add that at the end onto the cooked pizza-- tastes fresh and smells delightful!
Slide the parchment paper onto the pizza stone quickly and carefully. I do this by placing the cookie sheet at the back of the pizza stone and quickly pulling it out from under the parchment, allowing it to fall onto the hot pizza stone. If this makes you nervous, carefully remove the pizza stone and just pull the paper from the cookie sheet onto the stone and put it back into the oven.
Cook the pizza for 15 minutes or until brown and crisp. Don't underbake! Allow the pizza to "settle down" out of the oven for a few minutes, then slice and enjoy!