View Full Version : Pizza Crust: How to make more crisp or cracker like?

Steve Petrone
08-26-2007, 05:01 PM
How do I make the crust more crisp or cracker like?

How do you clean the cornmeal off the pizza stone when reusing the stone....A brush just for it and foil under it ? As you know it will burn after a couple of cooks.

Bryan S
08-26-2007, 05:29 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Steve Petrone:
How do I make the crust more crisp or craker like?

How do you clean the cornmeal off the pizza stone when reusing the stone....A brush just for it and foil under it ? As you know it will burn after a couple of cooks. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Steve, for a cracker style crust you need to make a less hydration dough and roll it out thin. Many cracker crust recipes call for the crust to be docked and a pre bake on the crust. I haven't made one yet but was thinking about doing one just yesterday. Steve here's a link for you if you don't already know about this pizza forum. Here's a direct link to the cracker style forum. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gifpizza making (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/board,28.0.html)
EDIT: Steve, A FYI for you. DKM and Randy are the 2 experts in the cracker style pizzas over on the pizza forum. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

David Lohrentz
08-26-2007, 05:30 PM
1. Thin dough
2. High temps
3. Minimal toppings

You need to have a really strong gluten worked up in order to get it thin. You'll want to be sure to use flour with a very high protein content. It needs plenty of kneading to get the gluten really strong. After kneading, try testing by taking it between your fingers and stretch it as thin as possible, then hold it up to the light to see how it looks. It should be able to get paper thin without tearing. If not, knead some more.

When you are done kneading, let it rise until doubled. Then deflate the dough and separate your dough into baseball-sized balls and let them rest for about 15 minutes. Then take a ball, and use your fingers to work it into a frisbee shape, or use a rolling pin to go as far as you can with the pin.

After you get the frisbee shape, you have to toss it. Tossing technique is something that isn't as hard as it looks, but it is critical to getting super thin pizza crust. When you toss it you want to kind of rotate it in the air using both hands to throw it gently. I use my fists to catch it. Catching it this way gets it very thin, but you don't want to go too far or you will get holes in the dough. If that happens, you can just patch them up and it won't be a big deal. Another technique is to take the dough between two fists and gently work the dough by moving your fists away from each other. I usually do this after tossing if some spots got a little less stretched by tossing.

If you have an oil mister, misting with EVOO also helps get it nice and crispy. It also helps to go very, very light with other ingredients. If you pile on a lot of sauce or cheese, you will not have a crispy crust. It also helps to use a drier cheese rather than something like fresh mozzarella. Mist with olive oil, or if no mister, brush gently with a pastry brush, then scatter fresh herbs, some minced garlic, some sea salt, a tablespoon or so of grated cheese and a few sprinkles of sauce on top. If you have meat, keep it small in size--bacon or ham cut into very small dice works well. Large pieces of sausage and the like won't work as well. By putting the sauce on top, you minimize the contact between sauce and crust.

If using the oven, let it preheat on the highest setting for about an hour or longer. You can also mist the oven with water right after you slide in the pizza in order to get it super hot from steam, but be sure not to mist any glass surfaces or light bulbs. You want to close the door as quickly as possible after you mist to keep the moisture in the oven.

In term of keeping my "pizza stone" i.e. home depot floor tiles clean, I use high grade parchment paper from Whole Foods. I build the pizza on top of the parchment paper, then use the peel to slide the paper and pizza into the oven. It keeps the oven very clean and makes it easier getting the pizza into the oven. Cheap parchment paper won't work well for this application.

Steve Petrone
08-27-2007, 03:41 PM
Bryan and David thanks for the answers and comments. I did mean to get parchment paper but forgot...
That pizza forum got me off topic for quite a while. Thanks again guys.