Does Thin Crust Pizza Have Yeast?

In the world of pizza, there are many different varieties to enjoy, but what actually sets them apart? A thin crust is certainly less bread-like than a thicker crust, but does thin crust pizza have yeast?

Thin crust pizza is traditionally made with yeast in much the same way as thick crust pizza is, although there are many variations to the dough recipe that can be used. A thin crust is the traditional Italian style of pizza making, and it is usually achieved by spreading the dough out further to reduce the thickness, but it still incorporates yeast as a raising agent.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about thin crust pizza and how it is actually different from the other styles you can find, including how and why yeast is traditionally part of the recipe.

Does Thin Crust Pizza Have Yeast?

How Does Yeast Make Pizza Dough Rise?

Yeast is the key ingredient for making most kinds of soft, plump bread dough, including that for pizza. The way it works is actually kind of magical. It is known as a leavening agent, or raising agent, as it produces the gas that makes pizza dough rise.

Yeast is actually a tiny microorganism, similar to a plant. When it is incorporated into a dough, it feeds on the sugars in the flour and releases carbon dioxide. These gases form thousands of tiny bubbles in the dough, causing it to expand and “rise”.

The yeast in a pizza dough is what gives it height, and an airy texture. Even a thin crust pizza benefits from the magic of yeast.

What Is the Difference Between Thin Crust and Thick Crust Pizza?

The actual difference between thin crust and thick crust pizza generally comes down to the shaping and forming of the dough, rather than the recipe itself. The standard ingredients for both are pretty much the same. Both thin crust and thick crust pizza dough are usually made with:

  • Flour
  • Water
  • Olive Oil
  • Yeast
  • Salt
  • Sugar

There are variations to this recipe, of course, but these are the core ingredients for making pizza, no matter how thin you want the crust to be.

The actual difference between the thickness of the crust is pretty self-explanatory. To make a thin crust pizza, the dough is spread out more thinly, whereas it is left with more thickness for a thick crust pizza.

What Kind of Yeast Do You Use To Make Thin Crust Pizza?

There are two main types of yeast that are used to make various kinds of bread, and you can actually use either to make pizza dough. The traditional yeast for thin crust pizza is active dry yeast, although instant yeast can be used too.

Regular Active Dry Yeast is the most commonly found form of yeast in the grocery store. It is made up of granular particles and has been partially dehydrated, and you generally find it in packets or small jars. This kind of yeast needs to be mixed with liquid in order to start the rising process, and a dough made with active dry yeast will need proofing time.

Instant yeast, also known as fast-acting or quick-rise yeast, has been dried much more quickly than regular active dry yeast, and it comes in finer granules. This allows it to start rising the dough as soon as it is mixed directly into dry ingredients, making the overall process a lot quicker.

How To Make A Thin Crust Pizza

If you want to make a thin crust pizza of your own, it’s a surprisingly simple recipe.

For a traditional thin crust pizza dough, you can follow these steps:

  1. Warm ¾ cup of water to around 110°F.
  2. Stir in 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast and ¼ teaspoon of sugar and let the mixture rest until a foam appears on the top (around 5-8 minutes).
  3. Place 1 ¾ cups of flour into a bowl and add ½ teaspoon of salt, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and the yeast mixture.
  4. Mix ingredients together into a single dough.
  5. Move the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for a few minutes, until the dough becomes smooth.
  6. Roll or stretch the dough out into a thin circle, around 12 inches in diameter.

Once you have made your dough, you can add toppings and bake in the oven at around 500°F until it is crispy and golden-brown. This usually takes about 10 minutes.

How To Make a Thin Crust Pizza Without Yeast

If you want to make a yeast-free version of a thin crust pizza, the steps are pretty similar. The main difference is that you substitute the yeast mixture for baking powder, and bring the ingredients together in a slightly different order.

To make a yeast-free thin crust pizza, follow these steps:

  1. Combine 2 ½ cups of flour, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt thoroughly in a bowl.
  2. Combine ¾ cup of water and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a separate jug.
  3. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix ingredients together into a single dough.
  5. Move the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for a few minutes, until the dough becomes smooth.
  6. Roll or stretch the dough out into a thin circle, around 12 inches in diameter.

The baking time and temperature are usually pretty similar whether you have used yeast or baking powder and, of course, the toppings are up to you!

How Does Too Much or Too Little Yeast Affect a Pizza Dough?

Of course, there are wrong amounts of yeast that will have an impact on your dough.

Too much yeast will act more quickly, doubling the size of your dough in less time. This generally results in the flavor being less developed.

Too little yeast is a little more complicated of a problem. If you don’t have enough yeast in your recipe, it will take a long time to rise properly. This will add extra flavor to your dough, but you need to be more patient if you don’t want it to come out hard and flat.

Summary: Does Thin Crust Pizza Have Yeast?

So, does thin crust pizza have yeast in it? For most standard recipes, it definitely does. All pizza dough is traditionally made using yeast as the raising agent. The main difference between thin crust and thick crust is how thinly the dough is stretched and rolled out before baking.

You can make pizza with less yeast, and you can even replace the yeast entirely by using baking powder instead. If you don’t have a raising agent at all, however, your pizza will be much too hard and crunchy. Even thin crust pizza needs to have a bit of spring and bounce to it.

Sam Brett

Sam Brett is the founder and editor of Pizzachefhq, a pizza enthusiast who writes about what he's learned on the way of being a pizza creator and sharing his advice, tips, and research.

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