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help! Thawing pizza dough forms hard crust on the dough

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I get this from the grocery store frozen :Real New York Pizza Dough Inc.'s Brooklyn Pizza Dough.

The issue is in the defrosting. It always forms a hard crust. I have tried on the counter, in the frig. i cover it in olive oil, I cover is OO and saran wrap (both just the bowl and wrapping the entire dough ball).

It always forms a hard crust on at least one side. This greatly affects the ability to form and stretch it when the times comes.

I tried emailing the company and never got a response. Any suggestions as to what I am doing wrong, or what I should be doing?

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  1. I'll be interested to read the replies. I defrosted a half recipe of Mark Bittman's pizza dough last Sunday, on the counter still in the freezer bag. No crust developed.

    This is the dough recipe that he suggests letting sit for up to 12 hours to develop flavor. When I make the dough and leave it sitting in the bowl, it usually develops a crust. I dampen a fabric napkin to cover the bowl and also have sprayed the top of the dough with Pam. Maybe putting it in a freezer bag and expelling air will prevent a crust.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dfrostnh

      A comment on expelling the air- I don't think you want to do that when you are wanting the dough to rise. The organisms in it that are going to do the rising DO need air to breathe. There's some air inside the dough, but more air works for me.

    2. I have been making my own pizza dough (from American Pie cookebook) for several years and freezing the dough in zip lock bags.

      I have thawed successfully (without making a crust) in the same zip lock bags, but they don't always come out smoothly. I have evolved to lightly spraying a Glad plastic container, the ones that are taller and hold about 2 1/2 cups) and then putting the frozen dough in the container with the top on tight.

      That keeps the humidity up and makes it easy to transfer the dough to my piel.

      1. I don't buy frozen very often, but the one you get is the best one I've found so far. I don't recall ever having any problem with it.

        Assuming you're putting a generous coating of oil on it, I'm wondering if perhaps something's going on in your freezer. Are all your bagged frozen veggies stuck together in one big lump? Are your boxed items covered with a thin layer of "ice"? Whenever I find either of these conditions in the market I avoid buying that item because it's telling me that it's been partially thawed and re-frozen.

        Perhaps you could try starting to thaw the dough as soon as you bring it home from the store and see what happens.

        If that doesn't work, I would punch down the thawed ball and "re-knead" it - then allow enough time for a second rise.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

          This has occurred using two different freezers (one brand new). So I would think that isn't the issue. It doesn't seem to me that there was a thawing issue at the store (as you describe).

        2. it sounds like you are doing all the right things to try. Since you are buying it frozen I have to wonder if the crust was on the dough before it was frozen . . . .

          Have you tried spraying it with water while it is thawing rather than oil? Maybe that will help soften the crust.

          1. Put the dough in a plastic bowl (or tuppwerware) then cover with a damp cloth.

            1. I think this will help:

              Defrost the dough in the refrigerator in tupperware. Obviously will take longer, but it will not shock the dough. No need for olive oil unless you want the dough to be crispy.

              By the way, perfect dough at home:

              1 liter of water; 2 kilos of zero-zero flour; 2 and 1/2 Tablespoon of salt; about 20 grams of dry yeast. You're done with the dough. Let it rise about 6 hours at room temperature!

              3 Replies
              1. re: Tehama

                WOW- do you really use two kilos of flour? That's a lot of flour- how many pizza crusts does this recipe make?

                1. re: macca

                  I should have known better than posting the metric verbatim without clarifying what it meant in USA English!

                  My boyfriend is a certified Neapolitan trained pizza chef... he told me how to respond. I asked him to "do some 'explainin'!" He says it should make around 10 to 12, 10 inch pizzas.

                  Let me know if you have any more questions, and I will ask Mr. Italy for you! ;-)

                  1. re: Tehama

                    Thanks- I thought it would make a lot pf pizzas! Makes sense if youi are making lots of dough!!

              2. At one time, I had a whole bunch of pizza dough samples of various sizes, and it took awhile to use them up. As time went on, I would find hard areas after thawing, but before cooking, and am pretty sure it was freezer burn. Is this what you're talking about? I'd just rip that piece off once it was soft, but then again I didn't pay for them!