Getting a thin and crispy pizza is something of an art, but this doesn’t mean that it cannot be done – if you like your pizza crispy, you just need to make sure that you follow the recipe and pay a little extra attention during both making the recipe and during the cook time.
The key to getting your dough crispy and your toppings evenly cooked is in the heat, not just the recipe you are using. So, always pay attention when cooking and check that the temperature is just right.
In this article, we will give you the answer to the question of how and why pizza bases and crusts might not be as crisp as you might have hoped – and even when you follow a recipe you love, your pizza isn’t half as good as you would like.
What Is The Secret To A Crispy Pizza Crust?
The secret to a perfect pizza crust is in the cooking – how many minutes you leave the food in the oven and how hot the cooking conditions are.
You should be using a pizza pan or stone to bake your pizzas, and be sure to follow the recipe to a T. That being said, even when you follow the recipe, things can go wrong – but a good crust will not contain too much moisture and will be made from thinly stretched dough.
Our step by step answer below will help you take your pizza making to the next level – be sure to follow each step and invest a little time in the pizza-making process.
How Do You Keep Pizza Bases From Going Soggy?
There are several things you can do to stop your pizza bases from being soggy and to get that all-important thin and crispy texture that we have come to expect from homemade pizza dough.
First, you should make sure that your pizza pan is not going into the oven until it is hot enough – if you bake pizza in an oven that isn’t hot enough, the base will likely become wet as the toppings and sauce absorb into it. This is one of the first mistakes that people who love baking pizza at home make.
You will also want to let the oven heat up for at least half an hour, 45 minutes if you have time before you start baking the pizza dough.
Deep Pan Or Thin Crust Pizza?
If you love to bake pizza at home, you will probably want a mix of deep pan and thin-crust pizza. However, regardless of the type of pizza you are baking, you must remember to stretch the dough out thinly. Some people like to use a rolling pin, but this can be done by hand.
If you want to achieve a crispy pizza with a crispy crust, it is important to use a lightly floured surface for stretching the dough – you can have a couple of cups all-purpose flour on hand for this.
If you have not been using the thin dough technique for a long time, you will need to either hand stretch or use a rolling pin until you can see through the dough. This thin sheet of dough will give you the best chance to get a really crispy crust and evenly cooked bottom.
Cooking From Underneath
When you use a pizza oven, the fire will cook the dough from all angles, so you are more likely to get a crispy pizza crust; however, this doesn’t mean that once it is on the pizza stone, you can be guaranteed a thin and crispy pizza crust. You must be sure to fully heat the pizza stone before you attempt to bake your pizza recipe. This will ensure that the bottom of the pizza cooks from underneath – the flames in the oven will cook the toppings and the top of the base.
In a conventional oven, things can be even more difficult, and you really need to let the oven get warm and let the pizza stone warm up inside too. Try to leave it as long as you can to reach a high temperature, but 10 15 minutes will be enough to get a regular oven to a good high heat for baking pizza recipes. Set a timer to time 15 minutes while you prepare the toppings and add your favorite sauce and perhaps a little oil to the top of the pizza.
Use A Pizza Stone Or Cast Iron Baking Tray
The humble pizza stone is invaluable in baking these Italian treats because it will get extremely hot, which will make it easy to book both deep pan and thin-crust pizza. This might be the answer and solve your problem.
If you do not have a stone, you could cook your pizzas on a baking tray but using cast iron is far better as this will warm up really well and mimic the ceramic stone. You can also buy a thin steel sheet for cooking pizzas, which will also work well.
Most people love their stone, and once they have used it with their favorite recipes, they are reluctant to try cooking pizza without it again.
Check Your Tomato Sauce
If you love to make pizza, you will likely love a thick tomato sauce, and this is one of the main ingredients of any pizza recipe. However, if the sauce is not thick enough, it can affect how the dough will rise. If the dough is not dry, it will not rise. A sauce that looks like water can spell disaster for your recipe.
If you are not going to place your pizza into a wood-fired oven and will be using a regular oven for cooking pizzas, this tip is even more important. This is because the temperature won’t be as high, and so the dough won’t have as much heat or cook time to dry out and turn into a tasty and crisp pizza crust.
Making a good sauce can take minutes, but it can make all the difference to your thin and crispy pizza. You may add cooked sauce to your pizza, but most chefs suggest using uncooked before loading on your toppings.
The mixture should be about as thick as soup or a best-quality pasta marinade so try to aim for this. The ingredients will vary, but in addition to the main ingredients, you might add salt, basil, or a little garlic to add to the taste.
One of the key ingredients in any pizza made at home is cheese, but mozzarella cheese comes in water, and this moisture, when it goes onto other food, such as dough, will take its toll. You should be sure that you wrap the cheese in a sheet of kitchen roll and leave it in a bowl for an hour before making the pizza. If you only have 10 minutes, you can help the process by taking the sheet of kitchen roll and gently squeezing the water out of the cheese. You can then put it onto the dough.
Too Many Toppings
If you love pizza, and we are guessing that the answer to that is yes, the chances are that you will want to load on the toppings, but this can be too much, and it is important to keep the toppings to a minimum. A little cheese, meat, or some veggies will make the perfect recipe and will come out like the authentic Italian pizza you would expect.
There are two reasons to keep the toppings minimal – first of all, any water within them will cause the dough to become soggy. Additionally, too many toppings and your deep pan or thin pan pizza bottom will be too covered to cook! These toppings can serve as a barrier that the heat cannot get through – no matter how many minutes it is in the oven. Try to choose two of your favorite and stay with those – remember, less is more!
If you are looking to achieve a crispt crust like those you see on a deep pan pizza, try using even less toppings and placing them at least an inch from the edge of the dough. If you have tried to do this in the past and found an inch not to be enough, you go a little further in.
What’s more, there are high oil levels in the toppings, and while a little oil can help get a bit more of a crispy pizza crust, too much oil will leave it soggy.
Cover your dough lightly with the toppings from one of your favorite pizza recipes, and you will notice you get the best results.
Make Use Of Flour
Flour is one of the most important dough components, and it is a dry ingredient that will help reduce moisture. For this reason, don’t just include flour in your recipe – make use of it before cooking.
You should always use flour to test the temperature of your pizza oven – this is when you put a bit of flour on top of the cooking surface and see how much time it takes to burn off – it should be seconds, not minutes.
Also, you might use a floured surface and knead and stretch your dough before you put it into the oven – this will make it easy to soak up any moisture.
How Do You Make Pizza Dough Crispy From Scratch?
It is no use throwing your dough together in 5 minutes and hoping for the best – 5 minutes just isn’t enough time, and if you want excellent results, you should be ready to follow each step of the recipe carefully and in detail.
Dough can be tricky to make, and it is important to keep in mind that aside from choosing from the many pizza dough recipes, you will also need to make the food in advance. This is because after you knead it, you must leave it for two hours at room temperature before you can roll the dough.
This will allow it to rise because the yeast has time to work and consume the sugar – the more it rises, the more crispy it will be when you pop the pizza on the pan and get cooking. Perfect crusts are a key sign that the food has been prepared correctly. Many have tried and failed to get crispt crusts and bases without letting their dough rise.
Alternatively, you can let the yeast consume the sugar in the fermentation process in the fridge. Simply place the dough into a large bowl and cover it over. This will take longer, usually around three days, and many people will ask if you can leave it for half this time, but the answer is, sadly, not. If you are aiming for crisp pizza, you must follow the proper process and let the yeast and sugar do their thing.
If you have ever tried using active dry yeast, you will know that this must be activated, which can be done when you put the yeast into a bowl with warm water.
Let’s take a look at an easy recipe for dough that will always be crisp and delicious – provided you follow it to the letter. You’ll need:
- 400g flour – that is around 2.5 cup fillings
- Olive oil
- Semolina or extra flour for when the dough is made and ready to be rolled
Now, follow these handy tips for creating your dough:
- Put the dry ingredients into a large bowl and make a well in the center.
- Pour the olive oil into the well and mix – you can hand mix or use a stand mixer – whichever you like best or which you find most easy to use. However, a stand mixer will be quicker.
- Some people say that the dough should be mixed for 5 minutes, but this is too long – the total time should only be around one minute.
- Add some flour or semolina to a surface where you will knead the dough. You only need to choose one of these – using both won’t make it more easy, despite what you may have been told.
- You can pop the dough onto the lightly floured surface and knead it for up to 10 minutes. You can look for the key sign that it is ready, which is a dough that is stretchy and elastic. If not, place it back in the bowl and wait a bit longer.
- Before you are tempted to pop the dough on top of a pizza stone or pan – you must place it in a bowl to proof. A clear sign that the yeast has worked will be when it has risen twice its size. Yeast creates carbon dioxide, and this causes the rise.
- Now be sure to go through the tips we have already discussed when stretching your pizza and putting on the toppings.
What If I Have Tried Everything And My Pizza Bottom Is Still Soggy?
If you have followed all of our advice and you still find that your pizza bases aren’t coming out of the oven as they should, then there are some final things you can do.
First, you should stretch the dough out as you would normally, but hold off from putting the toppings on. Now put the dough into the oven but don’t put it near the top as the heat comes from the bottom, and this is a common problem for getting crispy bases. Some people think that putting the pizza half-way between the two is the answer, but this is still not close enough to the heat.
If you are using a wood-fired oven, then the answer to the problem lies in heating the stone or oven floor first.
After 1-2 minutes, or 30 seconds in a wood-fired oven, take the pizza out and add your toppings – whatever this may be, you might even pop on some extra salt for flavor.
Now place the pizza back into the oven to cook the toppings. This should be the answer to your problem.
Many people find that when they cook their own pizzas at home, the bases aren’t as crispy as they might like. However, there are a few things that might answer this problem – most commonly, the temperature is too cool, so firing it up can help.
It would be a wise idea if you also were sure to heat your pizza stone and be sure that you are meticulous in the number of toppings you have, and remove as much moisture as possible.
If all of these things fail, you can follow our quick tip for slightly baking your dough before you put the toppings on; more often than not, this will resolve the problem.