Thin, Crispy Pizza Crust & The Rudy

There are a few pizza doughs that I’ve tried that are delicious, but require an overnight rise in the refrigerator.  Since I decided to make pizza for dinner the morning of, I wouldn’t have the luxury of letting the dough rise for 12 hours.  So, I went in search of a quick rise pizza crust and found this recipe for a California Pizza Kitchen type crust.  I made the basic dough, but I’ll have to try the honey wheat when I can remember to buy whole wheat four.

One of my favorite restaurants in Amarillo is Fire Slice Pizzeria.  It is a little hard to find, tucked behind a shopping center, but your efforts in finding it will be rewarded.  The last time Ben and I were there they had some really great live music, which is not something you find very much of in Amarillo.  The pizzas here have a great thin crust, and unique and tasty toppings.  They do have a wonderfully simple Margherita pizza, but they also have a green chile cheeseburger pizza that Ben really likes.  My favorite is The Rudy.  The Rudy is a white pizza topped with bacon, spinach, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese.  It is delicious.  I love it.  I want a slice right now.

I tried to recreate this pizza with my new pizza crust recipe.  While it didn’t turn out quite like Fire Slice, the flavors were good and I’d definitely make it again.

The first thing I needed to do was find a white sauce to use.  The sauce I found was OK, but pretty thick.  I added about an extra 1/2 cup of 2% milk to thin it out.  The flavor was good, and I liked it as the base of the pizza.  The real Rudy may not have any sauce under the toppings, but I liked it this way.

Now to the toppings!  These amounts made enough for 2 pizzas, so double them if you intend to make all your pizzas with these toppings.

Bacon: 6 slices of bacon cooked in a skillet, drained and cooled, then chopped up.

Mushrooms: 8 ounces of mushrooms, roasted with olive oil and garlic cloves for 30 minutes at 375°F.

Spinach: 12 ounces of fresh spinach, sauteed in a little olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper.

Assembling the Pizzas
  1. Divide your dough into 4 pieces, roll each one out to 10-12 inches in diameter.  The dough will be thin.  Transfer the dough to a pizza peel (or unrimmed cookie sheet) dusted with corn meal.
  2. Spread some of the white sauce on to the pizza, leaving a thin border which you can brush with olive oil is desired.
  3. Top evenly with spinach, mushrooms and bacon.  Sprinkle a little shredded cheese (mozzarella or provolone).
  4. Bake on a preheated pizza stone at 400°F for 15-20 minutes.

California Pizza Kitchen Pizza Dough

Basic Pizza Dough


  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 cup, plus 2 Tbsp warm water
  • 3 cups bread/all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil


1. Dissolve the yeast in the 105-110 degree water and set aside for 5-10 min. Water temperature should feel like bath water.

2. Combine all ingredients together, if using upright mixer or bread maker. Avoid adding the yeast mixture straight onto the salt since salt will kill some of the yeast. Mix on lowest 2 speeds for 2-3 minutes. (If mixing by hand, start with dry ingredients; when mixed, make a well and add wet ingredients, then knead dough for 5 minutes, until dough is barely beyond sticking to your hands.)

3. Lightly oil dough ball and set inside a lightly oiled bowl; seal bowl with clear wrap and set at room temperature to rise until doubled (1½-2 hours).

4. The dough could be used at this point; or for a more chewy dough, punch it down again and reform the ball, cover airtight in bowl in the refrigerator overnight.

For Chewy Dough

5. About 2 hours before use, remove dough from refrigerator. Divide dough into 8 balls (6 inch pizzas)or 4 balls (9 inch pizzas).

6. Once divided, roll balls out on smooth, clean surface.

7. Place 8 balls in glass casserole dish, leaving space enough to double in size, seal top airtight with clear wrap. Set aside to double. They should now be puffy and ready to use.

White Pizza Sauce


  • 1-1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced sodium Swiss cheese
  • 2 tbsp Chablis or other dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper


  1. Combine cornstarch and milk in a small saucepan, stirring until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  This happens fast!
  2. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in Swiss cheese, dry white wine, garlic and ground white pepper. Spread sauce evenly over pizza crust.