If I traveled to Italy to learn how to become a pizzaiolo, I likely could have finished this post sooner. But since my goal was to sort through different recipes and flours, it took 6 months to figure out what worked for a thin crust pizza at home.
Wanting an option if short on time, I tried the pre-made pizza dough at Fairway and Trader Joe’s. The dough wasn’t exactly thin enough to give me the crispness I wanted, and it took at least an hour to reach room temperature so that it could be stretched – about the time it takes to make dough. I wasn’t loving the texture or the flavor either. So crossed those of the list.
Armed with a Kitchen Aid dough hook, pizza stone, pizza peel and fancy cutter, I had everything but a good recipe for the thin-crust I craved. After some research, it seemed that 00 Flour would be my savior. But shockingly, it’s not easy to find – even in NYC where I can usually find almost any ingredient. After the NY Times magazine article on pizza-making, even the one store I expected to have it, Eataly, was out of stock. (I missed the last bag while having drinks with friends upstairs at the Birreria!) Not wanting to go home empty-handed, I decided to buy another type of flour from Italy – supposedly for La Pizza e Il Pane. I even discussed it with the bread and pasta counters at Eataly. Since they couldn’t help me discern the difference between this one and the 00 type, it seemed like a good starting point.
I tried it using 3 cups of flour, a package of yeast and a little olive oil.
So I went back to Eataly months later– and I found the 00 flour! What a difference! I used Tyler Florence’s recipe. The dough rose nicely
With the little effort it takes to make the dough (once you locate the flour), this is fun on a weeknight or weekend. It’s great for solo diners, couples and kids too. And it’s perfect for a snow day – which we seem to have far too many of this winter.