The secret to crispy pizza at home is very simple, and you can easily achieve it since it is hardly a secret anymore.
You just need to consider different aspects if you are looking to make a crispy pizza crust at home.
Something that works for me is making smaller pizza dough balls so that while I stretch my pizza dough, I get a thin pizza base that REALLY helps in getting that crispy crust.
But, for the pizza dough to stretch that thin without turning crispy like a biscuit, you need to knead the dough so that the dough has the perfect hydration.
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Neapolitan or Italian pizza dough recipes shared on my blog is perfect for achieving crispy thin pizza crust.
Actually, towards the end of this post, you will be able to get a thin crispy crust with any kind of dough.
You need to make sure that you are doing things right and following the tips that help me make thin crispy crust pizza at home.
Struggling With a Not So Crisp Pizza Base?
Many things could go wrong with making the pizza crispy if you do not have a proper recipe to follow or do things the wrong way.
A not-so-crispy pizza crust is a true disappointment, and if you love eating pizzas, then you will detest this kind of crust with all your heart.
If your pizza base is soggy, then you might need to take a look at the amount of each ingredient used.
Ensure that you knead the dough well to a point where when you apply light pressure on the dough, it bounces back.
It is not only water that makes a pizza crust soggy. If there is a problem in the order in which you mix the ingredients can also cause problems.
Make sure to also allow the pizza dough to rest and proof. This will give the pizza a crispy finish as the bubbles help cook the interior by heating up and making the interior airy and chewy.
Why Is My Pizza Crust Not Crispy?
One of the main reasons your pizza crust is not crispy is that it might have too much water.
Make sure that you balance the water to the amount of flour that you use in the dough.
I never measure the water in my pizza dough recipes, and yet they turn out perfect every time.
The secret to my pizza dough is that I add the flour slowly and mix it till I get a nice smooth dough ball formed.
I never measure the dough because I adjust it with respect to the water added.
I always add water, salt first in the bowl and then mix a little dough till I get a crepe batter-like mixture.
Then add the yeast and mix it. I start by adding the flour slowly and mixing the dough till I get the smooth homogeneous mixture.
This way, there is no chance that you screw up your pizza dough, and honestly, I have been making pizzas this way for years, so do give this a try.
The amount of moisture in the dough affects it heavily, making sure that when you cook the pizza, the moisture is released almost instantly to create that brown, crispy crust.
The heat of your pizza oven is also important. When I started cooking pizzas at home, my base was super soggy because of not-so-high temperatures.
You need to get to high temperatures to quickly release the moisture and make the crust crispy within a few seconds.
This seriously helps, so make sure you have your oven preheated or if you have an oven that reaches high temperatures, then make sure it’s super hot before inserting your pizza.
Conventional home ovens do not usually get to temperatures higher than 900 degrees Fahrenheit. You need that much heat to cook the pizza in just 60 to 90 seconds.
A solution for someone using the conventional oven at home is preheating your oven or even using pizza steel.
Playing with both these aspects can help you achieve that crispy crust.
The other parts of the pizza are important as well, and you should never overwhelm your pizza with toppings. Make sure to use thinly sliced toppings and a thin layer of sauce when cooking.
Let’s see the other aspects of the pizza that can make it soggy.
Parts Of A Pizza – Base, Sauce, Cheese, Toppings
The Base Of The Pizza
The base of the pizza is the important part when it comes to making it crisp.
It is the one that will hold the pizza toppings together as well as the other ingredients, so it needs to be perfect.
There are many different ways to make the pizza base crispy.
One thing is to make sure that you balance the ingredients of the dough properly to attain that amazing crust.
It would be best to use Tipo 00 dough to get the best results as it has more gluten content that helps in making the dough more crispy and chewy.
Also, this flour, makes it easy to stretch the pizza dough giving you really thin crusts. I use the Caputo Tip 00 Flour since it is finely milled and gives the best results.
Cooking at high temperatures will also help the pizza become crispy(as discussed above).
You can also do some tricks to make the best and crispiest pizza crusts that you have ever cooked.
One is to add oil to the pizza crust.
By brushing a thin layer of oil on the dough, it will help fry the outer parts a little bit and leave the crust to have a crispy finish with a nice golden brown color.
I have seen some people even using butter and a lot of it to get a nice buttery crust.
These methods are popular, and I had used them at some point, too, when I wanted that nice buttery flavor.
But, you can also get crispy crust without it, so it is not a compulsion to add oil or butter, but it surely does help.
These days, I don’t add oil to my dough, and I have been making a crispy crust, so it depends on what works for you.
Sugar can also do this as it burns or cooks quicker than the flour, so adding sugar to the mixture while making the dough will give it a nice golden brown color and a crispy finish.
Many people(Americans) love adding sugar to their pizza dough mixture.
I prefer no sugar in my dough, but I have to admit I was one of those people who thought it was important to add sugar to the pizza dough.
Dough Hydration And How It Affects The Pizza Dough?
Dough hydration is extremely important as it determines the crispiness of your pizza later.
This talks about the ratio of water to the flour used to make the dough for the pizza.
The higher the hydration, the easier the pizza dough is to manage, but it does not translate to a crispier result.
Too much moisture can result in a soggy pizza crust.
The lower hydration on the dough is good as you do not have to deal with moisture.
However, I do not recommend it for beginners as it is hard to manage and get the right consistency.
Ensure that the measurements, extra flour, and water for kneading and letting the dough rest are in check so that the crust will become as crispy as you would want it to be.
I usually use the water as my first ingredient in my bowl and then add the dry ingredients to it slowly.
This way I get an estimate of how much dough is to be added. I add the flour till I get a smooth homogeneous dough ball.
To be honest, I have never gone wrong this way. Also, I explain this recipe in detail here.
The sauce is another important factor in making your pizza crispy.
It is the wettest of all the ingredients, and it goes right on top of the dough, which can make it even soggier.
The secret behind using sauce is to spread it thin. Ensure that the sauce’s consistency is easy to spread but not runny or watery; it should also not be extremely chunky as the heavy chunks will weigh the dough down.
For a 12-inch pizza, you will only need around two tablespoons of pizza sauce. You can use a spoon to spread the sauce around.
The sauce is important as it combines all the flavors in the pizza, so you need enough of it but not too much.
Stick to not much sauce or thick sauce with less moisture, and you are good on this part.
If you think the sauce is causing soggy dough, then you might consider reducing the quantity of pizza sauce and playing around with the quantity to see how your dough cooks.
The cheese you use in your pizza does not affect the crispiness, especially if you put it last on the pizza.
The pizza will most likely finish cooking before the cheese reaches the dough.
But if suggest, you put the cheese after the sauce, especially if it’s grated mozzarella cheese, so it forms a moisture barrier between your veggie toppings and pizza dough.
If you are using fresh mozzarella cheese, then avoid using any vegetable as a topping as fresh mozzarella higher water content than processed one.
Also, if you are using meat as a topping that is already cooked or dehydrated a bit,, you can use them on a pizza after the sauce and then top it up with some cheese.
However, you also need to make sure that you use the right mozzarella cheese.
Make sure that you grate the cheese or separate it into smaller pieces before putting it in the pizza.
Sprinkling the shredded cheese is the perfect way to do it as you get to spread it evenly.
The cheese will not weigh down on the dough. The important thing about cheese is the flavor, not the amount.
So, do not follow the obnoxious amount of cheese you see in ads and add a ton.
It is just an Ad; stick to normal quantities of cheese to get the perfect flavor balance.
Whether you use meat toppings or vegetable toppings, one thing is for sure; you need to use thin slices always.
The larger the toppings, the heavier and the more weight it puts on the dough.
The large toppings might also not cook at the same time as the other parts of the pizza.
Ensure that the toppings you use, especially meat, are sliced thinly before putting them on the pizza.
Make sure that the toppings are not fatty and juicy as well. Juicy in a way that releases too much water, such as tomatoes and pineapples.
You can either bake the pizza in the oven or with other cooking appliances.
You can use grills, smokers, and even the stove to cook the pizza and make it crispy.
One thing that you should know is to always use high temperatures when cooking the pizza.
Remember, it needs to be cooked quickly so that the moisture will evaporate instantly.
Using a pizza stone is perfect for cooking pizzas.
Pizza stones help absorb and distribute the heat inside the oven, which means that the pizza will cook evenly and crispy.
You can also attain this with pizza steel, but I would recommend pizza stone over pizza steel.
Pizza stone absorbs so much heat that the moisture evaporates instantly when you put the pizza on it.
Cooking with the use of a cast-iron skillet is also a great way to make crispy pizzas.
Just brush oil lightly on the cast-iron skillet before placing the pizza dough on it and then into the oven.
What Temperature To Cook Pizza To Get A Crispy Crust?
Cooking at low temperatures does not necessarily mean that you will not attain crispy crusts.
However, it takes longer, and therefore most of the time, the moisture from the toppings gets to the crust.
You need to make sure that your oven can reach at least 400 degrees Celsius for the pizza.
Other ovens can produce up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit cooking the pizza in just 60 seconds.
So get a great pizza oven and ditch the conventional oven when cooking your pizzas.
Now, if your oven doesn’t get that hot, it is just not possible to cook pizzas that well, and no one is running to the store to get a new one.
In such cases, you have to get a little creative and use whatever you have at hand.
I recommend that you use pizza steel if you have a conventional pizza oven.
Pizza steel heats the bottom of the pizzas making it crisp, and the convection oven cooks the toppings and cheese pretty well.
This combination is perfect for getting the ideal crispy crust.
If you do not have pizza steel, use your iron skillet and cook the pizza on your stove.
This would cook the bottom of the pizza for a few minutes, and then you can cook the pizza inside the oven.
You can even do it the other way round, where you cook the pizza in your home oven for a few minutes and then take the skillet out and cook the pizza on the stove to get your base nice, brown, and crispy.
Just make sure that your pizzas are cooked well!
Let me know if you face any other problems, and I would try to answer all the questions!
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