Only a few things can ruin an otherwise perfect pizza, like pineapple [sometimes!] or a limp crust. While your pizza topping choices are entirely up to you, how do you make a pizza crust crispy all the way through?
You can make your pizza crust crispy on the bottom by:
- Increasing the oil content of your pizza
- Baking your pizza crust twice
- Using a pizza stone or a perforated pizza pan
- Investing in a high-powered pizza oven
It's hard to make homemade pizza resemble the pies you can buy from a professional pizzeria. While your available tools may limit the kind of creations that can come out of your kitchen, you can still use at-home tools to up your pizza-making game. Let us break down some of the best techniques for crisping up your pizza crust so that your next pie comes out of the oven more to your liking.
How To Make Pizza Crust Crispy On Bottom
There are several different ways you can increase the crispiness of your pizza's crust. If you want to approach crispiness from a recipe-based level, you can increase the amount of oil you drizzle on top of your crust. You can also bake your pizza crust twice - once to start crisping up the edges and a second time to melt your toppings.
You should also consider what tools you use to cook your pizza. If you don't have access to a pizza oven, consider using a pizza stone to increase your oven's temperature. You can also turn to a perforated pizza pan to increase the air circulation around your homemade pie.
Why Isn't My Pizza Crust Crispy?
Without an at-home pizza stove, your pizza crust isn't going to be as crispy as the crust you get from the store. In most cases, a convection oven won't be able to get as hot as a pizza stove. Where most kitchen stoves top out at 500 degrees Fahrenheit, professional ovens can go up to temperatures of up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
There's also a chance that the bottom of your pizza crust isn't getting the circulation it needs to cook properly. You can rectify this oversight by either cooking your pizza directly on your rack or investing in a perforated pan. Perforated pizza pans support your crust, allowing air to reach the bottom of your pizza without letting a homemade dough fall through your oven's racks.
Should You Pre-bake Pizza Crust?
If you're making pizza dough from scratch, you will want to pre-bake it. It's in your best interest to slide your pizza crust onto a pizza stone using a pizza peel. Let your crust cook at the recommended temperature - usually somewhere between 350 degrees Fahrenheit and 450 degrees Fahrenheit - for up to six minutes.
What's the benefit of pre-baking your pizza crust? A pizza crust that's already been exposed to the heat of the oven is more likely to retain its shape during a second bake. The outside of your crust is more likely to get crispy, while the inside remains easy to chew.
Making Your Dough From Scratch
It can be intimidating to try and make pizza dough from scratch. The control that at-home cooking gives you over the texture of your pizza dough is hard to beat, though. When you control the amount of water and oil that goes into your pizza, you transform its crumb. In turn, you can make your crispy snap, pull, tear, or otherwise fit your preferred texture profile.
What's the best recipe for at-home pizza dough, then? Make sure you have the following ingredients on hand before you get started:
- 1 supermarket packet of instant yeast
- 1 and a half teaspoons of sugar
- 2 and a half cups of either all-purpose or bread flour
- Three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Three-quarters of a cup of warm water
The Best Pizza-Making Method
To make your perfect pizza dough, you can:
- Mix together your cup of warm water, sugar, and yeast.
- Allow your yeast to bloom for up to ten minutes.
- In a separate bowl, combine your flour, salt, and any spices or herbs you want included in your dough.
- After the yeast has bloomed, slowly pour your yeast mixture into the remaining ingredients. Try to prevent the yeast mixture from coming into direct contact with any exposed salt.
- Mix, adding olive oil as the dough comes together.
- Using either a stand mixer or your hands, knead the dough until it forms an elastic ball. Expect a sticky dough but one that remains together when touched. If your dough is falling apart, add more water or more oil. If your dough is too wet, add additional flour.
- Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a separate bowl. Spread the oil around the sides of the bowl.
- Place the dough into your bowl. Allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with a pizza stone already placed in the oven.
- After 30 minutes or your dough has completed its rise, gently knock the air out of it.
- Oil a pizza peel. Then place your dough on the pizza peel and shape with your hands until it resembles a pizza crust. Drizzle olive oil over the dough once your oven is preheated and your dough is formed.
- Poke holes into the uncooked dough with a fork.
- Place the dough into the oven for five minutes. Your dough should not be finished cooking by the time you remove it from the oven.
- After your initial bake, place the sauce and toppings of your choice onto your pizza. Cook for an additional fifteen minutes until ready to serve.
Adding certain spices, like garlic or basil, to your pizza dough improves the dough's flavor. That said, you can also experiment with the dough's oil or water content to change its crumb.
Does Olive Oil Make Pizza Dough Crispy?
You can use olive oil in your pizza dough as well as on top of it. When you add oil to your dough, you help keep your dough's crumb, or texture, tight. While too much oil can inhibit your pizza dough's rise, the right amount will ensure that your pizza cooks evenly throughout.
If you want to make your pizza dough crisper, you can also add additional olive oil to the crust once the pizza finishes its first bake. By adding oil at this stage, you ensure that the crust of your pizza reaches a higher temperature. In turn, your crust is likely to brown faster than it would otherwise.
Do note that the way in which you use olive oil needs to vary based on what kind of tools you have for cooking your pizza. If you have access to a traditional pizza oven, it's unlikely that you'll need to put additional work into crisping up your crust. You'll also want to take care with your oil distribution if you have a pizza stone.
Rather, additional oil tends to serve your pizza well if you're contending with a conventional, low-temperature oven and only a few other heat-inducing tools.
Does a Pizza Stone Make the Crust Crispy?
Unless you have a professional, wood-burning stove in your home, you cannot cook a pizza at the same temperature that the professionals do. However, a pizza stone can make it easier for you to crisp up your pizza's crust.
Ceramic pizza stones absorb some of the heat that your oven produces. These stones also retain that heat over a considerable amount of time. When you put your pizza on a pizza stone, you expose the bottom of the crust to that concentrated heat. In turn, the temperature inside your oven is less prone to fluctuating, and your crust is likely to cook at the same rate as the rest of your pizza.
That said, there are still mistakes you can make when using a pizza stone. If you want to get the crispiest crust possible in a home oven, make sure that you:
- Preheat your pizza stone
- Prevent your pizza stone from cooling
- Leave your pizza stone in the oven
- Cook your pizza at the right temperature
- Clean the pizza stone without using soap
You'll also want to avoid making your pizza directly on the pizza stone. Give your stone time to warm up in the oven before cooking your pizza. You can then transfer your pizza onto the stone with a pizza peel.
Improve Your Homemade Pizza Making Skills Today
While no homemade pizza is ever going to beat the real deal, you can still improve your at-home cooking game. If you're sick of eating pizza with a limp or undercooked crust, consider the tricks that can make your cooking experience more enjoyable. Pizza stones, perforated pans, and other at-home tools can both help you improve your homemade pizza, whether you're making your meal from frozen or from scratch.