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Jan 1, 2007 05:28 AM

my pizza tastes great BUT......

the crust is too hard. everything on top is good, the store bought dough was pretty good too but the very bottom is almost rock hard. how do i make it so it's a nice crust that's crisp but not rock hard? i had the pizza stone on the bottom of the oven and on the highest temperature. was that the problem?

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  1. been making pies for 13 years. how close is your stone to the heating element. this may be your culprit. if the bottom is cooking so fast, the top may not get done. try different distances on your stone. we usually cook our stone-baked at around 550 degrees F.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cook.p.everett

      it's on the very bottom of the oven, not even on a rack..should i put the rack on the bottom level?

    2. How thick was the crust before baking?
      How long did the pizza take to cook?
      How thick of a stone are you using?
      What are the ingredients in the store bought crust?

      1 Reply
      1. re: scott123

        the only answer i have to that is, i cooked it for about 10-15minutes.. and it wasn't that big?

      2. Get a copy of Peter Reinhart's book, "American Pie, My Search for the Perfect Pizza."

        It's a two-parter with the 2nd part full of pizza baking recipes and methods. Pages 98-99 discusses the use of a baking stone.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ChiliDude

          I totally agree. Anyone who has invested in a pizza stone should have this book. It is fantastic! It will raise your pizza making to a new level.

        2. Why are you using store bought dough.

          That is part of your problem, you have no control over your ingredients.

          However the pizzerias in Napoli (are there any better?)have incredibly hot ovens much hotter than 550 F. That is always one of the problems with domestic kitchens, we can't get our ovens hot enough.

          Two great chefs in this country (England) have a couple of different approaches to the problem...

          Hugh Fearnley-Whitingstall thinks that the only way is to build your own clay oven. However if you don't have an open space it's a problem.

          Heston Blumenthal (recently named "Best Chef in the World") suggests that you turn on you grill/broiler and get it really hot, whike this is heating you put a large cast iron frying pan/skillet on a high flame leave both for about 20 mins to get incredibly hot. Construct your pizze, then place it on the base of the hot pan, and put the whole thing under the grill.

          The problem with this is you can really only do one an hour.

          However make your own dough and make sure that you have got the gluten really streched. Use Canadian Red Wheat strong flour or something similar. Shop bought dough uses the cheapest ingredients, and will not have a very high gluten content which is necessary for good pizze.

          1. Last month we had posted a link at the Home Cooking Forum , to the very informative website by Jeff Verasano where he provides very detailed instructions for making perfect NYC style thin crust pizzas.

            It is possible that Varasano’s website and pizza making instructions might contain clues to your problem.