HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

pizza crust

  • k

So I bought a TJ's pizza dough and tried it. I was very disappointed with the texture. Even after baking at 450 for 15+ minutes (the directions said 8-10 min), it was sort of gummy, although browned along the edges and underneath. And my oven tends to run hot. The toppings were not heavy, just a smear of homemade pesto, diced fresh mozzarella and some thin slices of tomato. So I had delicious toppings and mediocre crust. Any ideas? Or can anyone recommend another ready-made dough OR crust? I'm NOT interested in making my own dough.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I'm far from a pizza expert but the fresh mozzarella and the tomatoes might be the culprit. Both have a lot of water in them and could have caused your crust to become soggy and never firm up. Perhaps if you prebaked your crust you'd have more success. Just add the fresh cheese and sliced tomato right before the pizza is done and just long enough to melt the cheese.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Evan

      Also, did you use a pizza stone or unglazed quarry tile? Heat up the oven to as high as it will go with the tile or stone in, then leave it for an hour (yes, an hour!)

      Put the pizza on the stone and bake it, it should crisp up better even with fresh mozzarella and tomato on it.

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        I have a pizza stone and I didn't use soggy toppings, but I agree with original poster, TJ crust are not that great. Actually, I found the one that I bought from my TJ store to be old looking. The dough has started to turned sort of splotchy. After it was baked, the splotchy went away, but the crust was so so. I wouldn't buy it again.

        1. re: Wendy Lai

          Also good to know. I don't have a pizza stone and am not in the market for any more household paraphenalia! I'll look into local bakeries/pizzaria's for crust.

          1. re: Wendy Lai

            Also good to know. I don't have a pizza stone and am not in the market for any more household paraphenalia! I'll look into local bakeries/pizzaria's for crust.

            1. re: kfk

              I know you said you don't want any more paraphernalia, but an investment of less than $10 in some unglazed quarry tiles will make a HUGE difference in your home pizzas. I cook mine at 550F for about 8 minutes on well-preheated stones.

              1. re: kfk

                no, seriously, you want a pizza stone. It's not paraphenalia because you store it in the oven. Stick it in there and forget about it. You can also use it any time you bake or reheat any bread product. Leave it in there when you run the self-clean cycle.

                My stone became such an integral part of my oven that I forgot and sold it with the oven when we remodeled and had to buy another one!

        2. Did you cook it on a preheated stone or some tiles? There is no way that it could be soggy if you did that, unless you put on a ton of sauce which you didn't. Did you let the dressed pizza sit around for long before cooking it? How about after? I make pizza a few times a week, using a pretty wet dough, lite sauce and lite toppings. I always cook it at 450 on unglazed quarry tiles. I assemble the pie on a wooden peel and slide it onto the hot tiles. Good luck.

          1. I've had the same experience with TJ's dough. Normally (I do not own a pizza stone and am not planning on getting one for space/budget reasons) I put my pizzas on a cookie sheet for 5 mins in a hot hot oven to "proof" it, then I take it out of the oven, top it and put it back in straight onto the racks to brown the bottom of the crust. I've always had great results using this method, with a variety of crust recipes.

            The TJs dough took literally 20 minutes to cook and only b/c we took it out b/c the cheese was getting scorched. Yes, it was browned, but it was raw in the middle, even though the dough was at room temp when I made the pie. Shame b/c I really don't like making crust from scratch, but it seems that's the only way to have success.

            Sorry- no suggestions here, unfortunately, but I did want to commiserate.

            1. TJ's dough is terrible. With the right stone you might make something passable, but you'll never make a great pizza.

              My recommendation is to buy raw dough from a pizzeria that you like. And don't freeze it - I've found it's best if you use it fresh. If you're in LA as I am, I buy dough from Angeli Caffe - it's great and inexpensive.

              Dylan

              1. I've probably used TJ's regular white pizza dough about 20 times in the past. I always take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temp in a covered bowl in my oven (turned off). The last few times though, it's lacked the right sponginess and feel during kneading and stretching. In the past, I used to be able to feel lots of air holes and little "bursts" when I rolled out the dough w/ my fingers. No more though, which has led to a smaller, leaden crusts.

                My conclusion: Dough freshness at dif. stores will vary. The dough I got in LA was always great; the ones I've gotten in NoCal have been not so great. This depends on turnover and popularity of dough among other customers. TJ's may also contract out to dif. bakeries depending on region, not sure. If you want to try again, you might ask your TJ's staff when they get a fresh shipment of dough in.

                My rec: Go to your favorite pizza place and ask to buy a dough ball. Most are happy to sell them to you for like $1-2.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Carb Lover

                  Yeah, I live in L.A. and have never had a problem with the dough... I love the whole wheat dough especially. HOWEVER, the way I do is to cook the dough first, and then add toppings (usually fresh Moz and mini tomatoes) and return into the oven until the items heat through.

                  --Dommy!

                  1. re: Carb Lover

                    Very interesting. I'm in No. Cal. I'll ask about their delivery days.

                  2. s
                    sally from LA

                    I've found that the secret to TJ's pizza dough is to leave it at room temp for 1 hour (longer than recommended on the dough), roll it thin, and place it on a pre-heated metal sheet in a hot convection oven. This gives good results every time. I have used old dough, and if anythung, the results were even better!