Homemade Thin Crust Pizza



  1. 30 minutes (if you have a good oven) to one hour (if your oven is a little slow) before baking pizza, adjust oven rack to second highest position (rack should be about 5 to 6 inches below broiler), set pizza stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 ° F. Baking the pizza on the top rack (rather than the usual approach of placing it near the bottom of a home oven) means the heat will hit the top of the pizza, browning the toppings before the crust overcooks.
  2. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide in half. Shape each half into smooth, tight ball. Place dough balls on lightly oiled baking sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart; cover loosely with plastic wrap coated with nonstick cooking spray; let stand for 1 hour.
  3. Coat 1 ball of dough generously with flour and place on well-floured counter. Using fingertips, gently flatten into 8-inch disk, leaving 1 inch of outer edge slightly thicker than center. Using hands, gently stretch disk into 12-inch round, working along edges and giving disk quarter turns as you stretch. Transfer dough to well-floured or a well-cornmealed peel and stretch into 13-inch round.
  4. Using back of spoon or ladle, spread ½ cup sauce in thin layer over surface of dough, leaving ¼-inch border around edge. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella evenly over sauce. Place any additional toppings on top of cheese (but remember, an overloaded pizza will bake up soggy).
  5. Slide pizza carefully onto pizza stone using the peel, and bake until crust is well browned and cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating pizza halfway through. Remove pizza and place on wire rack for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Repeat for shaping, topping, and baking second pizza.