Pizza at home. What's your favorite technique? Prebake the crust a bit..then decorate? Dock the crust?

I've recently started prebaking the crust just a min and then decorating it. It does puff up a bit which is good but not NY style. Anyone have success making NYC style pizza at home and do you dock the crust to keep it kind of flat and floppy?

I've got some dough that's been in the 'fridge for 3 days and waiting for it come to room temp now.

  • Posted by: Sam1148
  • June 16, 2011


hardlikearmour June 16, 2011
Good point, mrslarkin. Mine are usually 8-9" diameterish though I prefer them oblong to round for some reason! I just started cracking fresh eggs on the top. I have to put the pizza on indirect heat to finish, but so far I've had good luck at getting a nicely done white with a runny yolk. Yum!
mrslarkin June 16, 2011
P.S. Last week when I made pizza, I used 1/2 white whole wheat and 1/2 all-purpose unbleached flour (both King Arthur). The whole wheat crust added a really nice crispness to the pie. I'll be using the www mix from now on.

hla, grilled pizza is the BOMB. We made it all last summer when my oven was on the fritz. Super easy. Small pizzas were more manageable for us, as we were not great flippers, initially.
hardlikearmour June 16, 2011
My favorite way to make pizza is on the grill. Cook one side over direct high heat for a minute or 2 (until it has good grill marks.) Brush top side with oil, and flip onto a sheet pan or peel. Dress the grilled side lightly with whatever toppings you like. Place back on grill until bottom side is done and cheese is melted. If using a charcoal grill cover it with a disposable foil pan to help get the toppings done. With the gas grill I typically turn the heat down to med or so for the second side.
boulangere June 16, 2011
I agree with all the minimal topping suggestions. I make my pizza crust with 30% cake flour. Its low protein content makes the dough very easy to press out à la MrsLarkin, and also keeps it tender when baked. And it really won't stand up to being overdressed. I'm with you; I've been on a pizza kick lately.
jeinde June 16, 2011
Bet we all have various techniques based on what kind of oven we have (gas or electric), how hot we can preheat it, etc. I use a pizza stone and preheat it for 30 minutes in 475 oven (which is the tops for my electric oven). To get the pizza I want (crisp, thin crust but with gooey cheese), I need to bake the pizza crust and toppings such as sauce, veggies, (anchovies, yum!) for about 7-8 minutes and then take out and add the cheese and cook for another 5 minutes.
mrslarkin June 16, 2011
That's a gorgeous pie, asa! And gluten-free! Did you enter it into the contest?? You MUST!

Sam1148, if you've got a pizza stone, place it in the bottom-most rack. Preheat your oven to as high as it will go (mine goes to 550) for a good half hour, more if you can tolerate it.

Here's how I make my pizza: Line a heavy-duty sheet pan with parchment paper, lightly oil the parchment just a smidge, place dough onto the pan and start pressing the dough in all directions with my oiled fingers, until it's nice and thin. I don't dock it. Dress the pie with minimal sauce, cheese and toppings. Let rest for a few minutes, then place pan directly on stone and bake until cheese is bubbly and crust is nicely charred. Parchment will get very dark, but won't catch fire.

Keep in mind, it's nearly impossible to get real NYC brick oven pizza-style pizza in a home oven, so just strive for pretty-darn-good pizza, and you'll be fine!

Good luck!
vrunka June 16, 2011
The main thing I've learned about making good thing crust pizza at home is to be sparing with the toppings. That and make the oven and your baking stone as hot as you can! I use a pizza peel and assemble the raw dough and toppings on there with a generous amount of either flour or cornmeal underneath. Then, as quick as you can, shimmy the pizza peel out from under the pizza as you set it on the stone. Close up the oven right away and let it get blasted. Hopefully, 5 minutes top. It helps if you're toppings are warm, or at least room temp -- especially if you want your cheese to melt!
a S. June 16, 2011
I no longer pre-bake the crust, it made it too cracker-like. Here's my method:

Remove all but one rack from the oven, place the remaining one on the lowest level, flip a large, rimmed sheet pan (ie Chicago Metallic Uncoated half sheet pan) upside down onto the rack and preheat the oven to 500. Once it's good and hot, I roll out my dough, transfer it to a sheet of aluminum foil (to keep things clean and make transferring easier) and then add my toppings (no docking). 6-8 minutes yields perfect pizza.

Hope this helps!

P.S. Perfect timing on this, I just wrote a post on my blog about New York-Style Pizza (

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