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Techniques for Tender vs. Crisp Pizza Crust

Ron asks: I would like to make a pizza that when fully cooked has a brown, soft, non crispy bottom crust, and is fully foldable.   When you bite into the pizza, the crust just seems to blend in with the toppings.  The crust reminds me of a cross between  pastry and pizza dough.  I’ve tried to duplicate with no luck.   Any recipe I use ends up with a crisp bottom crust.   I bake on a pizza stone at 500 degrees.  I thank you for your time in reading this and any suggestions you may have.

Baking S.O.S. says: I had to smile to myself when I read your question because I have always experienced the exact OPPOSITE problem as you: I WANT to get a nice crisp bottom crust, not a soft, tender, chewy crust.

For a long time, I could not figure out the secret to getting a dark, crisp bottom crust on my homemade pizza dough.  I tried many solutions, and I finally found that if I baked the pizza directly on a pizza stone at a very high heat (450 degrees), then my pizza crust would get nice and crispy.  You are baking at an even higher temperature (500 degrees), so that explains why your pizza crust is turning out so crispy.

If you would like a softer, more tender crust, then you need to try all the other techniques I have used that DIDN’T produce a crisp crust for me!

I don’t have any advice for a recipe that is a “cross between pastry and pizza dough” ask you asked, though perhaps you might try to search the Internet for some recipes for calzone doughs to see if that might be closer to what you are looking for, rather than straight up pizza dough.

As for baking process to get a softer crust, try these techniques:

  • Bake at a lower oven temperature: 375 degrees – 400 degrees.  The dough will bake slower and not get as dark. (baking time will be longer as a result of the lower temp)
  • Instead of baking directly on the pizza stone, bake your pizza on a pizza pan or a metal sheet pan.  You can place the pan directly on the pizza stone or eliminate the stone all together.  When I used a metal pan to bake pizzas, the crust NEVER came out crisp.  It was always soft and chewy.
  • Do not pre-bake or par-bake the crust in any way.  Simply take the raw dough, place it in the pan, add sauce & toppings and bake.  I find that par-baking the pizza dough can help produce a crisper crust, so avoid that step all together if you want to keep the crust tender.

I hope those techniques will help you achieve the results you desire in your pizza crust.  Good luck!

1 comment to Techniques for Tender vs. Crisp Pizza Crust

  • I love the idea of a baking day, and given that we suevvird without an oven for nearly a year (gasp!) I think it should be instated starting now. We had a gas stove that worked fine, but the stove components were electrical so the temp, time etc couldn’t be programmed but now we have a new gas stove and my boys love baking too thanks for the inspiration!~Erin

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