Thin, Thin, Thin is in: Durum, Semolina and you.

PastaFlourPizza_750x500

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.

While Biff!  BAM! Pow! may remind you of the Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin, this crust has a different duo that makes all the difference. Durum and semolina flours are the real heroes here.

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.

2-DSCN1726

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.

1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup semolina flour**
1/2 cup durum flour**
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup warm water

**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.

3-DSCN1731

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.

DSCN1734

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.

IMG_1269

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.

IMG_1273

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?

PastaFlourPizza

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.

So if thin is in your summer plans, try adding semolina and durum to your pizza pantry. After all, you can never be too rich… or have too much pizza.

Please make, rate, and review our recipe for Ultra-Thin Pizza Crust.

Print just the recipe.

Make it a meal with Vanilla Malted Milkshakes and Joy’s Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans for dessert.

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. KShirley

    Looks wonderful! AND, the pictures of the veggies are making my mouth water! Would this dough work in a wood-fired oven, with the hotter temperatures on the baking floor? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Just expect a pretty quick bake time! Jon@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Yes, MJ did pre-cook the sausage before topping. It helps prevent the pizza from becoming too greasy! Jon@KAF

  2. Kat

    KShirley, you might experiment with the oil content if you use a wood fired oven. The oil might make the dough burn in the high heat. Jacob Burton at StellaCulinary.com has tips for baking and pizzas in wood fired ovens. Might read his comments.

    Reply
  3. Kat

    I keep getting caught by the photos – first the pizza dough, then the glorious topping. It wouldn’t last long enough to get on the pizza!

    I usually use KA unbleached bread flour (I bake more bread than anything else so AP is rarely around). Would it help or hinder the final ultra thin crust if I used bread flour instead of AL?

    Reply
    1. Amy Trage

      You can try the bread flour, but you may notice a sturdier, chewier texture than you would get with the AP. ~Amy

  4. waikikirie

    Oh boy MJ……..This pizza, your peanut butter ice cream from last week…..I’ve got my weekend plans. Ok, maybe I’ll share with the hubby…..teehee…….

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Sounds like a wonderful plan to me. I’ve got fudge ripple or chocolate truffle ice cream on my to-do list. Somehow though, all of my cream and half & half has disappeared into iced coffee this week! ;) ~ MJ

  5. vbak

    I’m always looking for that thin crispy crust recipe. Maybe this is it! Do you think I could use tipo 00 flour? Thanks.

    Vicky

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The 00 flour would not be the best choice for this recipe, because the protein content is rather low at 8.5%. This flour will not give enough strength or crispness to your dough. Barb@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I think the best substitution for the Durum flour in this recipe would be either Bread flour or Sir Lancelot Hi-Gluten flour, since Durum Flour is finely ground and high in protein. The Semolina flour is a coarser grind of Durum flour, but won’t give you quite the same texture. Of course, Durum flour will give you a different flavor. Barb@KAF

  6. James

    I decided to go ahead and try this, and yeah, the crust was much thinner and crispier than my normal pizza. Granted, I have to mill my own semolina because getting it here in germany is difficult, but it had a great flavor.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      HI Kelly,
      I like to use cooking spray, or lightly oil my hands with olive oil and rub the sheet of parchment. ~ MJ

  7. Judy Caudill

    I’m sure glad I saw Kelly’s question about spritzing because I would have used water.

    Just wondering, is it possible to make a thin crispy crust with the edges chewy.?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hmm, possibly! I imagine you would need to maintain a thicker amount of dough around the edges and stretch the center until it is quite thin. Jon@KAF

  8. Andrew Barbera

    We’ve made this recipe half a dozen times since discovering it. It makes an awesome grilled pizza! It’s hard to find durum flour here, but I found that grinding up some semolina (purchased at a great price from an Indian grocery store) in my Vitamix worked very well. Definitely worth tracking down the ingredients for a super thin, crusty, delicious pizza. I also throw in some raw sugar, and have been tempted to try kneading in butter in exchange for some olive oil.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      I’m so glad you are lovin’ the recipe as much as I do. Great idea on grinding the semolina, thanks for sharing that! ~ MJ

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *