Secrets To Making Your Own Delicious Pizza Crust
Want to make restaurant quality pizzas at home? Some say that it's all in the crust. If you have a standard, trusted pizza crust recipe, sometimes a little tweak is all it takes to make that good crust recipe into a fabulous crust recipe.
Olive Oil vs. Water
Nearly all pizza crust recipes will involve some amount of water mixed with yeast, oil, salt and flour. Water ensures that the crust will be light, airy and bready. However, in some cases, a buttery, flaky crust is a more desirable outcome. This is especially true of Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, which rely on crusts similar to those used in pot pies and dessert pies. To get a denser, flakier crust, replace some of the water with oil. The more oil used in the recipe, the more pastry-like the crust will be.
A pizza dough's rising time will affect the thickness of the final product. For a thin crust pizza, little or no rising time is necessary. If you want a thick, pillowy pizza crust, plan to let your pizza dough rise for an hour in a warm place in your kitchen.
Keeping it Crispy
These tips will help you make a light, crispy crust for your pizza.
- Pre-bake the crust separately. Toppings have a way of soaking into the crust as the pizza bakes, resulting in soggy, limp pizza. To prevent this from happening, bake the crust until it's begun to brown, then remove the crust, add the toppings like sauce and cheese, and re-insert the pizza into the oven long enough to bake the toppings. Note that the reduced time in the oven will necessitate pre-heating some toppings like vegetables and meats, to ensure that they're properly cooked.
- Brush the crust with olive oil. To further ensure that your toppings don't soak into the crust, brush the crust with olive oil before adding the toppings. The olive oil will create a thin moisture barrier that preserves the crust's crispiness.
- The hotter the better. Longer baking times with lower temperatures can result in a soft, mediocre crust. A short, hot baking time is what it takes to achieve that cracker-crisp texture achieved by brick ovens at pizza restaurants. In fact, brick ovens can bake pizzas at temperatures as high as 425 degrees Celsius! Turn your oven up to its maximum and stick the pizza crust in. You'll need to experiment with baking times and monitor the crust the first several times you do this, to ensure that the crust doesn't burn.
Following these tips will help you on your journey to making restaurant quality pizza at home. It may take some practice before you're able to bake the perfect pizza, but don't be afraid to experiment. Keep the phone number for a trusted pizza delivery service on hand, in case you burn the crust or ruin the pizza.