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Chris Hennes

Crisp Pizza Crust

32 posts in this topic

I'm experimenting with ways of getting the kind of pizza crust I like, which is thin and crisp. Of course, most pizza dough recipes out there seem to be sort of bread-y crusts, or for Neopolitan-style crusts, which are thin like I like, but not crisp enough (and of course there is the issue of oven temperature). Tonight I tried to use a recipe from Roden's recent Spain book for a coca dough, which winds up crisp; I had some trouble adjusting the baking time for the thickness I rolled out, which is much thinner than her coca calls for, and the fact is it just didn't taste very good.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a sort of cracker-type pizza crust?


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Have you been to pizzamaking.com? There is a whole section of the forum for cracker-like crusts.

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Reducing or completely ommitting the fat(olive oil genereally) will bring you to a crispier cracker style. I don't have a specific recipe for you though. My preferred is a thin but more chewy than crispy crust. On that side of things,( much of this is a combo of info I have gathered here and other websites) a high hydration autolyze before mixing the other ingredients and long ferment with a bit of ascorbic acid as a dough conditioner has come the closest to my perfect homemade crust. When summer comes I am going to try hacking my bullet smoker and using a pan on top and bottom with natural lump charcoal and having the stone on a shelf inbetween. I may even see if I can get a piece of thick copper foil to go under the pizza for the first few minutes for subsequent experiments.

The best part about perfecting pizza is that most of the experiements are highly edible. :))


"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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Whatever recipe you are using, substitute about 20% flour with fine semola. This is the way a very succesfull pizzeria near me makes their delivery pizzas crispy even after a half an hour wait.


The perfect vichyssoise is served hot and made with equal parts of butter to potato.

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I don't know that reducing or eliminating the fat will end up in a crisper crust. After all, Neapolitan pizza, made according to standards, has no olive oil in it, and is usually a fairly soft crust.

What I think you're looking for is a Roman-style crust, which tend to be thin and crisp. Peter Reinhart, in his book American Pie, has a recipe for that style crust; indeed it contains a small amount of semolina flour, but in no way approaches the 20% mentioned above. Here's a blog post which discusses working with Reinhart's Roman-style pizza crust recipe.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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I think probably what you're looking for is that midwestern-style "cracker crust." And guess what? Most of this is done using a pre-made crust. You might try, then, pre-baking your crust 3/4 of the way through with no toppings. Then take it out, top as usual and re-bake until the cheese melts. Docking the crust before you pre-bake will probably help keep it flat and cracker-like. And you might get some inspiration by perusing some actual cracker recipes and adopting some of the principles. Or google for cracker pizza dough.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Yeah, Sam, I think that's what I'm looking for. Mitch, does that describe Reinhart's recipe? I've thought about picking that book up but haven't pulled the trigger yet.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Cook's Country ep 413 'st. louis' from the America's test kitchen Cabal ( :huh: ) did a thin cracker like pizza. the key ( maybe you can find the recipe on line) is not to use yeast but baking powder. They do use olive oil.

i havent made it but didnt see a ref to baking powder above but its got to be in the noted cracker refs.

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Yeah, Sam, I think that's what I'm looking for. Mitch, does that describe Reinhart's recipe? I've thought about picking that book up but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

No, definitely not Reinhart's recipe.

I just checked out one of the recipes from Sam's link - it's on the pizza making forum. It has a little olive oil in it, but the interesting note is that the hydration level is under 40%. That sounds like a matzo!

Thin Cracker-Crust Pizza.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I messed around with just rolling out the dough as opposed to tossing it!!

Here: Antico 00 Caputo Flour

6783734077_d3cd8229bf.jpg Basically deflated!!

My son likes alot of sauce.. SORRY


Edited by Paul Bacino (log)

Its good to have Morels

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Chris..I think it would have been ( more ) if I hadn't added like double the sauce.. the edge was really crispy..

I cooked this on a stone that registered 500 degrees on the deck.. I was getting hungry.. I think i could have gotten it higher but this was with my Weber


Edited by Paul Bacino (log)

Its good to have Morels

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My best results in the oven, come from slkinsey idea..

Dock and pre bake.. I always/usually sauce on top too!!


Its good to have Morels

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I would highly recommend going to pizzamaking.com. There is a section on cracker type crusts, and the people there are as obsessed about pizza as people here are about, well, whatever foods they are obsessed with. There is also a section called "ask the dough doctor", and Tom, the guy who runs it, has a HUGE wealth of knowledge on all things pizza. There are over 2500 posts in the "cracker style" section. Just like here, if you ask a question, you will get lots of knowledgable people chiming in with helpful information. Along with egullet and thefreshloaf.com, it is one of my favorite food related online communities.

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I'm looking at the thin crust recipe at pizzamaking.com that Mitch linked to above, and they talk about using a dough sheeter (if you've got one). Do you suppose a pasta roller would do the trick? I'm not fixated on round pizzas, I'd be perfectly happy with two long skinny rectangles if it meant a better crust.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I found that to get crispy, one needs a hot stone,the only way I can get my stone hot enough is to make it out of steel,I bought a 1/4inch thick steel plate at the industrial place,and when it is on the bottom rackof the oven and when the oven,turns off at 550 degF the plate is 750deg F

Makes a nice crisp result...

Bud

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I'm not looking to go the high-temp route: I'm really looking for a cracker-type crust here, and crackers and baked at lower temp for longer time.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Ok I understand..I glanced at the pizzmaking article and I must have gotten mine there,as it also uses High gluten flour,and I let it sit for a few days as they do(except I make lots more than I need, and freeze the stuff till I need it

Good luck,,Bud

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You might want to look at this thread. Lots of people report using Pete-zza's cracker style with good success, and he goes through several variation in lots of detail on this thread. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5173.0.html

Seems the common things I am seeing in common with most of the cracker crust threads are low hydration (~50%), roll it thin, moderate heat as far as pizza goes (475F), and a small amount of baking soda in the dough.

Another suggestion for this site - lots of people there get into making clones of their favorite pizza places. If you have a favorite pizza place, do a search, you might find that someone else has already reverse engineered their pizza.

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I have had very good results with the pizza dough I buy at Walmart for about 89 cents. I keep a few in the freezer and take one out in the morning before leaving for work if I think I'll want pizza for dinner. That night the plastic bag will be puffed out like a taught pillow and I remove the dough and toss it out on a floured board. It usually takes about 4 or five sessions of rolling it out, but I just roll it out as much as I can and then let it relax for a few minutes. I can get it as thin as I want using that method. I preheat the oven to 550 (f) with the stone in for about one half hour. If I have not divided the dough I will usually be putting about a 13 or 14 in pizze in the oven, using corn meal as little ball bearings for sliding it onto the stone. It is done in 12 to 13 min. The crust is quite cracker like to the point I have thought about getting a little more chew to it by adding olive oil.

HC


Edited by HungryChris (log)

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You might want to look at this thread. Lots of people report using Pete-zza's cracker style with good success, and he goes through several variation in lots of detail on this thread. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5173.0.html

Thanks for the suggestion: in particular this post looks like a promising method, requiring moderate oven heat and no pizza stone (only a perforated pan, which I think I own).


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Pete-zza really knows his stuff, and seems to be happy to help people. I would give it a try, and if you then have questions, PM either Pete or Tom (the dough doctor) to help troubleshoot. Sorry I can't be more helpful, if you ever want to try Chicago style, I might be able to contribute more than a list of links!

Jess

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