I make excellent pizzas now but before when I was a beginner my pizzas did come out soggy in the middle frequently and I wondered why did that happen so often.
After a lot of research and asking around, I could figure out a ton of mistakes that I was doing especially when it came to making the perfect dough and even the order in which I added my toppings.
So, if you are facing the same soggy crust issue, especially the ones where the curst is soggy in the middle and the corners are well cooked then read this post as we would discuss everything about Soggy pizza crusts and what could be the reason behind it.
There are so many things that one should consider especially while you are trying to make the perfect pizza if you do not want your pizza crust to turn out soggy in any way then read the entire post.
There are several reasons why your pizza base could come out soggy and hence read the post to figure out which is the exact reason you are facing this problem.
1. Not cooking the pizza properly
One of the most common reasons why your pizza could be coming out soggy is the fact that you are not cooking it for enough time inside the oven.
There are times when you might get too excited and remove the pizza from the oven before it can cook properly. If you in that category then you might want to avoid doing this.
Removing the pizza early or even opening the oven every now and then just to check the pizza can cause the pizza to be soggy because it is not getting cooked at a constant high temperature.
This could be one of the reasons why the pizza is turning out soggy and you might find that cooking the pizza at a high temperature without checking on it more than once in 10 minutes is really going to help.
Do keep an eye on the pizza to make that it doesn’t get burned but removing the pizza every now and then outside the oven is just not going to help.
2. The Oven is not hot enough
This is one of the most common reasons why the pizzas turn out soggy is that the pizza oven cooking temperature is just not hot enough. If you have an oven that does not go above 500F then you are going to more often face this issue.
Most of the time, cooking pizzas require a very hot temperature which is supposed to be around 900F which can be achieved with only a few pizza ovens like the Ooni pizza ovens.
Even if you are unable to get your oven to a temperature as high as 900F, it is better to cook it at max temperature and make sure that there is no loss of heat due to the opening and closing of the oven door.
In case the pizza oven temperature is less than 900 degrees Fahrenheit, you can still cook the pizza but it would take around 10 minutes for the pizza to cook completely and you have to be patient for that time.
You just cannot remove the pizza every minute and check on it since this can cause uneven cooking of the pizza inside the oven. So make sure you have set your oven to the highest temperature in order to cook the best pizzas.
The higher the temperature in which you cook pizzas, the better results you are going to get.
3. Wrong measurements of ingredients
This was one of the problems with my dough and this was a reason more often had to face the soggy dough problem. The main ingredient in getting the pizza dough right is yeast and if the yeast is not fermenting then you are bound to end up with a soggy crust.
It is important that you put the yeast in lukewarm water with some sugar so that it can undergo the fermentation process and then you add the water to the dough.
If the yeast does not ferment or if it dies because the water was too hot or if you added too much sugar then the dough is not going to rise and this might give you a soggy dough while cooking.
Most of the other ingredients can be eyeballed but you have to be very careful with the yeast since that is where most of us mess up.
Make sure you use yeast in the right way in your dough and if you follow instructions carefully, it would be easy to avoid getting a soggy dough.
4. The sauce is too watery
This is another common mistake done by beginners and that is they make the sauce too watery or just use a lot of sauce on top of their pizzas.
Mostly I prefer making my own sauce and hence I can control the consistency but some people just do not understand that a sauce with watery consistency is just going to make the pizza dough soggy in the middle which would ruin the taste.
This can probably be the reason why your pizza is soggy in the middle, all this while. The sauce has to be of the consistency of tomato ketchup, yes, it has to be that thick.
You can even use tomato ketchup if that’s the only thing available around as it works perfectly on the pizza base as well. I usually make my own pizza sauce but I’m not going to judge someone if you use ketchup as the pizza sauce because it works well.
It is not going to make your base soggy so if you think maybe your pizza sauce is the reason for your soggy base then you might want to try and switch to ketchup and see if you can totally avoid the soggy base situation.
5. Too many toppings
Overlading your pizza with too many toppings can cause the base to get soggy in the middle. Vegetables when cooked release some moisture and this can cause the base to get soggy.
If you use a moderate amount of toppings then this would not be a problem. However, if you use a lot of toppings then you are going to a lot of moisture that would affect your pizza dough.
To avoid this, do not overload your pizza with toppings especially vegetables. Try to use a mix of toppings like chicken, onion, olives where a few toppings do release moisture, and some don’t.
This way you can reduce the total moisture content from the toppings that would avoid the base from going soggy. Some of the best toppings that you can use are meat, olives, and Jalapenos.
This combination works really well too and I would any day eat a Meat Lovers Pizza.
6. Toppings that release water
Similar to the previous point, try to avoid using a lot of toppings that release water. If you are using something like capsicum, onion, or mushrooms then make sure you do not overload them on the pizza.
You can use all three on the pizza but the trick has to be to spread out the toppings so that the moisture does not end up making the base soggy.
These vegetables when cooked are going to release some water content and if you really want to avoid getting a soggy base then I highly recommend using them in very little amounts.
7. Create a moisture barrier with cheese
This is something that I do quite often and that is creating a moisture barrier between the toppings that release water and the base with some mozzarella cheese.
The shredded mozzarella cheese works best to create a barrier that can avoid the base from going all soggy.
I usually apply the sauce on the base then spread some shredded cheese and then my toppings then again some cheese and then again some toppings that release water and then again some cheese.
This way the cheese creates a moisture barrier between the toppings that release water and the base avoiding it from getting soggy in the middle.
You can try this trick if you haven’t been using it already and observe if you can see any difference in the base.
8. Using too much flour
If you use too much flour then you are going to have a soggy base as the ratio of flour in the dough does matter.
Most of the time I eyeball everything and do not measure but recently I did observe that too much of a single ingredient can cause a disaster in the pizza dough.
Using too much flour can cause the pizza dough to not rise and leave it uncooked in the middle. You need to have a dough that is soft and has enough yeast that creates gluten bonds inside it.
Not using the right amount of yeast can also cause some problems. I always prefer using 1tbsp of yeast for about one and a half cups of flour and this works best for me.
You can even use 2 cups of flour with that much amount of yeast but anything more than that, you need to increase the amount of yeast that you use in the dough.
The ingredients in the pizza have to be in proportion else the entire pizza dough is going to ruin the taste of the pizza.
In my personal experience, the two main reasons why a pizza dough is soggy is because the oven is not hot enough or you did not ferment the yeast properly.
The rest other reasons can be fixed easily but these two factors usually go unnoticed. You have to remember that the hotter the pizza oven, the better the pizza is going to get cooked.
If you think that your oven does not reach really high temperatures then you can use a pizza stone to aid the cooking of the pizza. This would help to get the base of the pizza hot and crispy which is all you need to get the perfect base.
Also, you can cook the pizza on a pan before inserting it inside the oven so that the base gets cooked more than the top of the pizza. It is no news that the base needs more cooking that the top layer of the pizza.
However, some ovens just do not reach those high temperatures that are needed to get the perfect pizza base and in that case, you can always cook the pizza on the pan before you go ahead and place the oven inside the oven.
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