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Sep 26, 2007 07:38 PM

can't seem to get a perfect pizza crust

i have the stone, i crank up the oven full blast, i preheat for a hour, and just cant seem to get the balance of crisp outside and chewy texture. i either have nice outside crust, but soggy middle or it's dried out and like biting into a cinder block. any tips on how long to leave it in for or how to know when it's done?

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  1. wow, you've preheated for an hour and it still gives you trouble? i usually preheat for about 20 minutes and the pizza only takes, maybe, ten minutes to cook. crispy bottom, crewy crust. i use a pretty standard dough recipe that i make in my breadmaker. maybe you should experiment with different doughs to get one that will work for you? i've seen recipes with just flour/olive oil/salt and all the way to ones with egg and dry milk powder. also, how thinly are you rolling it? i like to roll mine pretty thin and then fold up the edges to make the crust part (i'm totally incompetent with the whole using my fists and twirling it thing to get the middle "naturally" thinner than the edges). i also always put it on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes and i think that helps prevent the crust from getting soft when it comes out.

    1. No need to pre-heat for an hour. The stone does take time to reach the proper temperature, but as indicated by LNG212, 20 minutes to a half hour should be plenty.

      What exactly are you trying to bake? (i.e. home made dough, store bought pizza shells, etc.)

      The site is an *extremely* detailed resource that might have the info you're looking for. On the other hand, some of the techniques and equipment they use may not apply to most home chefs.

      1. Yeah, I am thinking if your oven temp is correct and you are using a good stone, preheated, it's gotta be your dough. Pizza doughs are really simple, very rustic, flour, water a tad of oil and yeast.

        I have made mini pizza in a cast iron pan on the stove top to test th doug, maybe you might wann mini-experiment thar way?

        1. Your crust probably isn't thin enough. You need to really stretch out the dough for a while before getting it ready to cook.

          1. i always make my own dough and have experimented a few different ways so i don't think that's it. the reason i preheat so long is because my tiles are pretty thick. i guess what i'm looking for is how do you know when it's done? i've taken it out when it looks good, but wound up having a raw center. there's also had times when i left it in and had it look great with bubbles in the crust, but was much too overcooked.