Pizza crust not crisp before topping is done

  • Posted by: nutcakes
  • February 16, 2014


Sandra January 19, 2019
I too struggled with the baking because in my rental I have the stupid broiler-drawer which is very small and shallow. I cannot get the pizza 8” below the broiling element which is what seems to be themclearance needed. I baked it at 450 in the oven but the bottom of the dough didn’t crisp and the cheese browned well before the dough actually cooked. I second one of the other comments about how all baking sites assume one has an in-oven upper broiler and never give instructions for this other common type, typical of what’s found in rental apart,ents because they are much cheaper.
Smaug March 10, 2017
I've never been to Italy, myself, but I have it on pretty good authority (Lidia Bastianich particularly made a point of it) that typically Italian pizza crusts are soft, though charred in places. If you prefer a crisp crust (as I do) a good perforated pan- the holes should be fairly large- will produce a crisper crust than pizza stones, particularly in a home oven.
nutcakes February 20, 2014
Thanks all, and Jim I don't think I weighted it this time, I will try again-- thanks for the encouragement. The No Knead bread is no fail for me, so another huge fan here.

Yeah my stones are pretty far down. It is possible I didn't let the oven preheat for the extra time period enough past when the indicator showed it up to temp. I did do the broiler 10 min after that though.
Brod A. February 20, 2014
You might try moving the tiles lower in the oven so that there's less heat on top of the pizza, and also be sure you are preheating the oven and tiles for long enough to get that searing hot temp. We recommend 500F. Regarding your dough, something that works well is shaping pizza dough on parchment. Using parchment can change your ease of pizza making dramatically. Less worry about sliding it onto the tiles, and it's especially helpful if your dough is having issues. Pull it out from under the pizza after 5 minutes.
Dr R. February 20, 2014
How are you cooking the pizza? Are you doing it in your oven under the broiler? Just baking it in a hot oven? What rack are you using? How long are you preheating your stone/tile?
Sam1148 February 17, 2014
This is multi purpose. Get a spray bottle a fine mister bottle is best. But any dollar store spray bottle works.
Fill with 1/2 water and 1/2 olive oil. Shake and spray. on the pizza dough. The water and oil will help to give you a great crispy brown crust.
Don't bother with the pam or that 'misto' spray thing which always breaks after a few uses. Spray bottle and water and use it as spray oil. I've been using that for several months now and it's keeper for me. The added bonus is that my pizza crust is now nice and crispy brown. For the bottom of the crust...a very very hot stone..and let it rest on a wire rack to cool and crisp to avoid soggy bottom crust.
cindy March 8, 2017
Hi Sam, when do you spray the crust - and I assume just the top crust? is it right before you bake it? and then add the toppings?
AntoniaJames February 17, 2014
I had this problem, especially with fresh toppings with high water content. I use a "screaming hot" pizza stone (pierino's description, bless him) and pre-bake without the toppings for about 3 minutes, docking beforehand and about 2 minutes in, knocking down any pita-like puffing. Worked like a charm. I use William Alexander's starter method and ratios from "52 Loaves," adding a touch of whole wheat and rye flours for more character. Excellent pizza, if I may say so. ;o)
Jim L. February 17, 2014
Sounds like your dough is either too stiff ( lacking water) and/or over fermented, which decreases the overall elasticity of the dough. What temperature did the pizza bake at? How did you measure your ingredients ? (volume or weight) I advise always weigh your ingredients using grams.
Sam1148 February 17, 2014
Jim..Since you're here, and I hope you check back to this thread.
Can you expand on what type of flour you use. I'm from the south and some of our flour is much softer than USDA. So you have a specific brand you recommend. The No-Kneed Bread recipe failed for me until I converted to using gold medal AP flour and adjusting for weight. 130g/cup for GM AP vs 125g/cup USDA.
nutcakes February 17, 2014
Thanks Cynthia, it worked out much better baking off the crust first. Thin and crisp and chewy this time and not undercooked. Still the dough is a pain in butt. I may try my easy dough but just small amount of yeast and overnight rise.
nutcakes February 16, 2014
Yes, as I said, I'm cooking on unglazed tiles which is like what a pizza stone is made of. I do use cornmeal so the pizza slides off the peel onto the tiles.

I see Cynthia, about adding the topping later, maybe will try once more regular way, then that with the last ball.
Dave O. February 16, 2014
Are you cooking on a pizza stone? That helps out immensely because the stone can get much hotter than a regular pizza pan. I have a grill stone that I use, which allows me to crank up the flames on my grill and get the stone piping hot. Also, remember to go lighter on the toppings than you think. Especially the sauce and the cheese. I also throw corn meal on my stone instead of salt, this allows you to not worry about the saltiness levels.
Christine February 16, 2014
two tips, one I've tried and one that I just heard from a Italian pizza place. The first is to cook the dough for 4 min first, then take out of the oven, add toppings and put back in until done. The second tip is to throw some non-iodized salt onto the tile, then slide on the crust. (since I've not tried that, I'd be worried about the pizza being too salty)
nutcakes February 16, 2014
I struggled with this dough. Last week I was using a very easy handling King Arthur recipe so trying to adjust. This was hard to stretch out and kept tearing. I squeezed the holes together and patted it out. The main thing is that the topping baked and was getting brown spots and the dough wasn't ready and crisp. It was thin and about the size indicated. I could see the flavor was good, but still dough underdone after 4 minutes. Any tips? I have the other 3 balls to use still. I use nonglazed ceramic tiles to bake it on.
Recommended by Food52