We all know Snap, Crackle, and Pop from our Rice Krispie mornings. We know “Oh, snap!” from our sitcom nights.
Football games give us crunch time; we snap to attention, do our situp crunches, and pop a brewski at the end of the day.
Onomatopoetically speaking, snap and crunch are great words for describing this Ultra-Thin Pizza Crust recipe. This recipe makes the thinnest crust I’ve seen to date, one that’s nearly as crisp as a cracker, with outstanding flavor and texture.
Both durum and semolina are ground from durum wheat. And what, exactly, is that?
Durum wheat is a high-protein wheat. It’s deep gold in color, and often mistaken for cornmeal. In fact, semolina looks almost exactly like cornmeal. The difference is, semolina has protein to build gluten; cornmeal has no gluten-building protein. The “cornmeal” on the bottom of your wood-fired pizza is actually semolina flour 99% of the time.
While both flours are milled from the same grain, durum is a finer grind, and semolina coarser. They are most well known as the flours used to make pasta and authentic Italian breads.
As both are high protein/high gluten, they tend to absorb more liquid than regular wheat flour. The drawback is that their sharper edges tend to cut the gluten strands into smaller pieces, so they often need extra help to rise well.
We aren’t looking for this pizza to rise high, though. Thin is in, so let’s snap to it and make a batch of Ultra-Thin Pizza Crust.
Here’s a little side-by-side shot of unbleached all-purpose flour (l) and semolina flour (r). The semolina is coarser and definitely more yellow in color. You can see it’s more granular, as well. Just what we want for a crisp, crunchy crust.
Gosh, I nearly forgot to share the recipe.
**These two flours are key to this particular recipe. If you don’t have them on hand, bookmark this recipe for later and check out another crust recipe for now. If you have our Perfect Pizza Blend or even our Perfect Pasta Blend, you can replace the flours in this recipe with 3 cups of either blend.
Mix and knead everything together by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle until you’ve made a soft, supple dough.
If needed, add up to 1/4 cup more water, or a few tablespoons of extra flour, to adjust the dough consistency.
Can you see the semolina “bits” in the dough? Like poppy seeds in a muffin, these little bits will pop when you chew them, giving the crust texture.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it to rise 60 to 90 minutes, or until full and puffy.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Divide the dough into two equal pieces.
Lightly spritzing your parchment sheet will help the dough glide, reducing the amount of stretching you need to do. Use your fingers to press the dough out to a large round or rectangle.
Wow, that is some thin pizza crust!
What’s the plan for toppings? Probably my all-time favorite, and one I recommend to anyone who will listen. Caramelized onion, roasted asparagus, and sausage.
Earlier in the week, or anytime the oven is on anyway, slice up some sweet white onions. Toss with some fresh asparagus spears, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast until deeply browned and caramelized.
This can also be done on the stovetop, the grill, or in the oven while the dough is rising.
I love to keep a bowl of these succulent veggies in the fridge as often as I can. I mix them with pasta, put them in salads or, if no one is looking, eat them straight from the container with my hot little hands.
Salty Italian sausage, either mild or hot, is the perfect foil for the sweet roasted veggies. And while it’s good with a red pizza sauce base, this topping is OUTSTANDING with a white garlic or Alfredo sauce. Why, yes, yes, I do have dreams about this pizza, how can you tell?
Layer the sauce, veggies, and sausage on your crust. Top with your favorite cheese and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is well browned on the edges and the cheese has melted.
Notice how the crust has stayed thin, and you can see the crumbs and flakiness from the crisp edges. This is truly a pizza with tooth and crunch. Don’t try to fold these slices à la New York, though; you’ll end up with a snapped crust, and your T-shirt will display your toppings Jackson Pollock-style.
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Make it a meal with Vanilla Malted Milkshakes and Joy’s Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans for dessert.