Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Secret of Crispy Crust Pizza


One thing about pizza that has always discouraged me is getting the bottom crust crispy. I can get the edges good but the middle is usually a soupy mess. Definitely needs eating with a fork.

I've tried pre-baking my crust before putting the toppings on. It helps but I hate the extra step.

I used less sauce, cranked up the heat, tried different pans - and nothing really made a difference.

I know the pros often suggest a pizza stone. It may be the secret but I don't have one.

When talking to my sister-in-law the other week, she suggested baking lower in the oven. Why didn't I ever think of it? But would it work? It does!!!

I used my basic pizza crust with all whole wheat flour. I used my usual toppings and baked for the same amount of time at the same temperature. I placed the oven rack as far to the bottom of the oven as possible.


The crust was astoundingly different! It was crispy! This was pizza you could pick up and eat in the hand! Ed loves the change. I've baked the pizza this way for several weeks now and I'm never going back!

Simple solution to a problem I've had for years!

14 comments :

  1. What an awesome tip! It always seems to me that the best solutions are usually the simplest (and cheapest). I wouldn't have thought of that either, so thanks for a great tip!

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  2. Why do we miss the obvious? I'll try it!
    Thanks, Liz

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  3. good solution! We do use a pizza stone. You don't have to purchase the expensive home party variety, I bought mine at the grocery story for just a few dollars and it works really well.

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  4. Thanks for the tip! I've always pre-baked ours for 10min but loath the extra step as well. What temp & how long do you cook yours for?
    I'm buying a table top convection oven off Craig's List this week ($20!!) which I hope will help as well.

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  5. That might be nice! We use a pizza stone and have had great results, but you do have to preheat the oven for an HOUR at its highest temp to get the stone up to the temp it needs to be. Thus, it uses a lot more energy and heat. This might be a nice option to a stone! I'll have to give it a try sometime!

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  6. We love our pizza stones, but I don't preheat them. We do pre-bake the crust. I've done it that way for years, so it's just habit now. My oldest dd found a new "thin crust" recipe that she doesn't pre-bake, so I'll have to tell her about the bottom rack tip ~ Thanks!

    Mmmm, is it pizza night yet?! =)

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  7. Here's what I do to get a crispy bottom crust. Brush pan with olive oil (not too much) and then sprinkle with cornmeal. I also use cornmeal instead of flour while I'm rolling out the crust. Bake at 425-450 for 15 min. I have a convection feature on my oven so I use that to make for more even baking and the oven is hotter too.

    I don't think I've ever commented here before, but I really enjoy your blog. I'm a Mennonite mom too and recently have become more health conscious so I'm especially interested in your recipes that are aimed in that direction.

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  8. I do mine on the second from bottom level. I do a slightly thicker crust and it works great for me!

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  9. If you have cast iron skillets, they make awesome deep dish pizza. The crust comes out crispy but chewy in the center ;)

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  10. Mmmmm, those pictures made my mouth water!
    Andrea, from Yorkshire.

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  11. I do have a stone, and it is absolutely necessary with Gluten Free pizza. So is pre baking. GF is a whole new world. There is just no way around it. But I am also going to try the bottom rack not too! Thanks for the tip.

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  12. Hi Gina,

    I tried your method of cooking pizza on the bottom rack. It made a much nicer crust for me. But, I was still wanting a pizza stone. After seeing the $32 price tag for a 15" round stone from Pampered Chef, I turned to my big box home store this weekend. I ended up buying a 16" square floor tile. The man that helped me there said that he wasn't for sure if the floor tile was heat rated like the ones sold for baking, but I figured for $3.98 I would take the risk. I tried baking some pizzas at 350 degrees for lunch today on them, only pre-heating them as long as it took my oven to heat up anyway, and I was happy to find that it did just fine. The crusts turned out lovely. I haven't tried it at a higher temp yet, but suspect that it will work as well. Just thought you might want to know that there is an option to the expensive chef'y baking stones being sold out there.

    Have a great day,
    Pam

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  13. Instead of using a pizza stone, and Italian woman told me to lightly grease a pizza pan or cookie sheet with Crisco and stretch the dough out on it, it will not slide back as it does when using oil, bake at 450-475 degrees for 20 minutes, the bottom always comes out crispy

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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