Home made pizza: outside crust is perfect, but center is doughy. How can this be remedied? Oven temp would only go to 489 degrees.

The taste was yummy so we tossed the middle soggy part.

  • Posted by: see
  • January 8, 2013


pierino January 8, 2013
As a hard core pizzaiolo I often cook the pizza outside on a "piastra" set on my wood grill. I use real lump charcoal and I can crank it up to around 600F. High heat matters. Per HLA's answer, in Italy they don't pile on the toppings. It tends to be minimalist---the classic being the pizza margherita. If you see big blisters forming on the outside of the crust that's a good thing.
see January 8, 2013
Hi all, I posted this question and must thank you each for such good advice. The photo on instagram makes one want to chow down. That pizza looks too pretty to eat!
bigpan January 8, 2013
I use a pizza stone on the middle rack and preheat at 500F for at least half an hour. Pizzas come perfect every time in about 8-10 minutes depending on the topping load. Thin crust a bit quicker.
If I could get 700F it would be even faster, better and like the restaurant .
For me, hot hot pizza stone is the answer.
hardlikearmour January 8, 2013
Try following the instructions given by Ken Forkish in the book Flour Water Salt Yeast. Place pizza stone about 8-inches below broiler. Turn oven as hot as possible, and once it reaches temperature turn timer on for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes switch to the broiler for about 5 minutes to saturate the stone with heat. Switch back to bake, then slide pizza onto the stone. Bake 5 to 6 minutes, then switch heat to broil for about 2 more minutes. Goal is a golden brown crust with a few small char areas on the topping and the crust. I baked a couple of pizzas this way the other night and the crust was top-notch. Another tip is not to overload the pizza. Here's a photo of one of the pizzas I made just a couple of nights ago.
trampledbygeese January 8, 2013
I've never cooked with a pizza stone before, but I was thinking of getting a bread stone. Do you think it would work the same way?
hardlikearmour January 8, 2013
Hmm. for some reason the image didn't work. Here's a link to it on instagram. http://instagram.com/p/UK48xdjX-q/
hardlikearmour January 8, 2013
Yes. It's the same.
boulangere January 8, 2013
It also helps if it isn't too overloaded with toppings, whatever they are, especially if you're also adding a sauce (rather than just olive oil). In Italy, toppings are used sparingly so that the crust is part of the flavor profile, not just a vehicle for toppings. It's a heavenly combination.
see January 8, 2013
I appreciate you answer very much. I wrote another reply to you, however it must be in cyberspace because it has vanished.

Voted the Best Reply!

trampledbygeese January 8, 2013
I had this trouble for over a decade, then one day I baked the pizza on a lower shelf in the oven. The bottom cooked so much faster and it all came together so that the top and the bottom were cooked to the perfection.

Now I usually bake mine on the bottom or second to bottom shelf - making sure the convection is turned off and only baking one at a time - and a thin crust bakes at 425F in about 15 min. It takes a bit longer for a regular crust pizza or one with extra toppings as the moisture in the toppings can make the dough soggy.

If you can, try to keep toppings as dry as possible - for example, if you like pickled garlic on your pizza (and quite frankly I can't imagine a person who wouldn't), drain the garlic really well, and even go so far as to pat it down with a paper towel dry off the brine. If you are putting something like Kimchi (another favourite of mine) give it a good squeeze to get the extra moisture out before chopping it up and topping your pizza. Just a few examples, I'm sure you can imagine how to treat more 'traditional' toppings to keep them nice and dry. Just remember soggy toppings can make soggy crust.
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