Thin Crust Pizza with Vegetables, Gruyere and Colby Cheese

Who doesn’t love pizza?! It can have flavors that you can ever imagine, from simple to complex – and you still have room to experiment some more!  The key to a delicious pizza is a crispy an crunchy dough. With a simple recipe, you can master the art of making the perfect pizza dough. I have made many different versions of pizza dough, but this one is truly amazing! Top it off with all the mx of ingredients and you’ll have pizza that is out of this world!

Tip: To achieve the perfect crispy pizza crust, go easy on the toppings because too much sauce and toppings can make the pizza crust soggy.

  • Serves 16 people
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1-2 hours

Ingredients

Basil Pesto

  • 2 1/2 cups Basil
  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Pine Nuts or Regular Peanuts  unsalted and roasted
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese  ground
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic  crushed

Pizza Dough

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour  sifted
  • 1 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
  • 3/4 cup Water  warm
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

Pizza Toppings

  • 200 grams Shitake Mushrooms  cleaned and trimmed
  • 200 grams Cherry Tomatoes  cut into halves
  • 2 medium Red Onion  sliced
  • 100 grams Gruyere Cheese  grated
  • 100 grams Monterey Jack Cheese  grated
  • 1/4 cup Pimiento  optional

Procedure

  1. About 30 minutes prior to baking, preheat the oven to 250 degrees C (500 degrees F) and place the pizza stone to pre-heat. Pre-heating the stone pizza will give you a perfect-crust and chewy pizza.
  2. Start with the pizza dough. Combine warm water and yeast in a small bowl, stir until well combined. Set this aside for a few minutes and allow the yeast to dissolve and until it gets foamy.
  3. Using a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Use a wire whisk to mix them together.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the water-yeast mixture. Use a wooden spoon to combine everything together.
  5. When it comes together into a cohesive ball, turn it out onto the counter along with any extra flour in the bowl that hasn’t yet gotten worked in.
  6. Knead the dough until all the flour is well combined and the dough is smooth and elastic to the touch. The dough should still feel moist. If the dough is still sticking to your hands, add one tablespoon of flour at a time until it’s smooth and silky.
  7. Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it.
  8. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or cling wrap and place in warm room temperature for almost an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
  9. While the pizza dough is proofing, start making the basil pesto. Place the basil in a blender or food processor.
  10. Pour in about 1 tablespoon of the oil, and blend basil into a paste.
  11. Gradually add pine nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic and remaining oil. Continue to blend until smooth. Set aside.
  12. Going back to the dough, when it has doubled in size. Transfer the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands.  This is called knocking back the dough. If using straight away, divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizzas – this recipe is enough to make about 2 medium pizzas.
  13. Roll the pizzas out about 20 minutes before you want to cook them.
  14. Use the preheated pizza stone to make the pizza crusty, and place it on a rack in the lower-middle part of the oven.
  15. Spoon the basil pesto into the center of each pizza. Using the back of a spoon, spread it out to the edges. Leave 1/2 of the edge without sauce. Spread the mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, pimiento slices, gruyere and colby cheese all over the pizza dough.
  16. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, then rotate the pizza 180-degrees to cook evenly.
  17. Bake for another 8 minutes until the edges are golden brown and crispy. If you like your cheese browned slightly, broil for 3 minutes.
  18. Remove your pizza from oven and let it cool on a wire rack.

recipe notes

This recipe is good enough to make for 2 medium pizzas.

Keep the excess basil pesto (if any). It can last for one week in the fridge and one month if kept in the freezer.

This is a thin crust pizza, so there is no need to prebake the dough if you are using a pizza stone. A pre-heated pizza stone will give you a perfect crust and chewy texture. If pizza stone is not available, a baking tray or baking sheet is fine. In this case, pre-baking the pizza dough for at least 7 minutes is required as this will prevent the crust from being soggy.

The crispness of your pizza crust is a result of the moisture level of the dough. Thin-crust pizza should begin with a sticky and wet dough, which can be easily stretch thinly for a crispier crust. If you opt for a chewier crust, add more flour into your dough to make it less sticky. Adding flour should only be added a little at a time (1 tablespoon at a time). It is easier to save a dough that’s’ too wet rather than too dry because it will require adding more water; a tricky process that can sabotage your pizza dough.

You can pre-cook the toppings such as vegetables like onions, tomatoes, eggplants and mushrooms. The process will enhance the flavors even more.

A great tip for pizza toppings is “less is more”, keep it simple. Simplicity is the key to a perfect pizza!

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about chef sheilla

Hi! I’m Sheilla Lopez. I am a Cuisine and Pastry Chef, Culinary Instructor, Chef Consultant, Food Stylist, Food Photographer, Recipe Developer, Food Writer. I am also a mom to an amazing little boy. Read more…

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