When you make your own pizza, there’s always that one thin crust piece of dough that just never seems to want to properly cook in the oven. It is totally fine to take out those pieces of bread when you first bake the pie, but then it is really hard to eat the rest!
If you are ever faced with this problem, here is something we learned from somewhere else! Breakup food or “throw-away foods” are foods that when you have leftovers, you either throw them away or refrigerate them so they go bad more slowly.
These are very common dishes at restaurants, like chicken fingers or hot dogs that people usually wash down with ketchup and mayo. If you don’t use all of these things up, then you can save some of the leftover ingredients and taste better than if you threw everything away!
The same thing happens when your pizza crust breaks down. You could cut off all of the toppings and compost/recylce them, but what do you do with the remaining crust?
You could toast it and put it in a bag as a snack, but then it won’t hold its shape well and could get soggy, making it less tasty.
Use the correct oil
When baking with olive or vegetable oil, your choice of oils makes a big difference! Using too much oil will cause your dough to get gummy and you will have to scrape off all the dried bits- not good!
When baking with butter as an ingredient, make sure it is soft enough to mix into the other ingredients without leaving hard pieces that will burn in the oven when baking.
Too warm oil can also cause your crust to break down and become thin and crispy which are both not desirable for our pizza! Make sure your oil is cold before mixing into the dough.
Use the correct flour
When your pizza dough is really sticky and won’t roll out, it can be due to either of two things: low-quality bread or baking powder/soda in the yeast mixture. If you have soft, stretchy dough that breaks down as you shape it, make sure there are no stray pockets of yeast left over from before kneading. This could cause your pizza to rise poorly, or even explode.
If the dough seems very dry instead of wet, try adding some water! The dough will need enough moisture for the yeast to grow and take hold. As mentioned earlier, if the dough is old and dried out, try using higher proportions of milk instead of water so it doesn’t burn during the rising process.
Another option is to use lower temperature butter than usual since cold pieces of fat break down the gluten slightly, creating a more flexible dough.
Don’t press down too hard
When baking with an uneven crust, your first instinct might be to push down harder to get it to set, but this can actually make the dough break down more quickly, creating an even worse situation!
Pressing down very firmly will probably fix the problem at the initial stage, but soon after you let go of the pie, the edge may collapse, leaving some raw dough exposed. This could potentially lead to getting soggy or wet toppings due to water absorption or flavor diffusion.
If this happens, try re-pressuring the pizza slightly less forcefully, or in other words, use a lighter touch when pressing the pan into the hot oven surface.
Let it sit a little before you add the cheese
When your pizza dough is ready, let it rest for a few minutes before adding any toppings or cheese. This allows time to set the ingredients aside and bind with each other.
After letting the dough relax, spread some extra-virgin olive oil over the top of the crust to help keep it from sticking as you layer the sauce and cheese on. If needed, use a paper towel to soak up excess liquid until the dough can be pressed down into the pan.
Now, using a knife, cut the pizza in half and then reassemble! Once again, make sure to press the dough together well and anenble it to cook properly.
Use the correct cheese
When your pizza dough is too crispy, it can be difficult to enjoy every bit of the cheesy goodness that you wanted or hoped for. If you like crunchy crusts, then use less toppings or even no toppings and just have plain old thin-crusted pizza!
If you are able to eat some of the crust however, there are two main things that can cause a burnt crust. The first is using incorrect cheese types or wrong amounts of cheese.
Too much Parmesan cheese will dry out the dough and make it taste more salty which may hurt your appetite more than help it. Too much Romano or Swiss cheese may go bad and burn in the oven.
The second culprit is undermixing the cheese into the dough. Only mix enough until the cheese is mostly absorbed by the dough– not mixed in completely. This could mean having to scrape off the excess cheese so do this very carefully!
After baking the pizza, let it cool slightly and try cutting it to see if it’s easier to chew and/or tastes better.
Use the correct sauce
When your pizza is crispy and crunchy, it means that there are lots of sugar molecules in the crust that caramelize during baking. This happens when water from the dough reacts with the sugars in the toppings or the tomato sauce you use!
That’s why most people like thin-crusted pizzas — the longer time needed for the oven to cook down makes sure that enough time is given for the sugar in the topping to react and burn off. If you need fast food, go for thicker crust so they can be ready faster!
But if your pizza has what seems like burnt, raw bits in it, then try using different sauces instead of the normal marinara. More acidic tangles will help break up the hard, melted cheese and other toppings.
Make it fresh
For anyone that has ever made their own pizza, they know how hard it can be to get those crispy cheese sticks or an easy to roll up crust. The dough can become too dry and/or hungry yeast cells will grow faster than the surface area of the dough, resulting in bread that tastes funny and is sometimes even mushy!
When baking with raw ingredients like wheat flour, olive oil, and milk, the mixture usually ends up sticking to the pan. This happens when there are no functioning oils or molecules in the sauce to coat the pan.
The solution? Re-oil or re-melt the pan before putting the toppings on! This should fix your stuck pizza just enough to make eating it easier.
Another way to fix this is to let the finished product sit or “rise” for a few minutes after spreading the top layer of sauce onto the dough. This allows for some of the liquid in the sauce to soak into the newly formed crust which helps create a crispier texture.
Use the right temperature
When baking pizza, there is one very important thing that you must always keep in mind – temperature! The temperature of your oven really makes a difference in how well or bad your dough will rise and what kind of crust you get.
Too hot of an oven can result in burnt edges and overbaked toppings, while too cold of an oven could make your dough feel like it does not want to rise properly.
The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is by using a pre-heated oven. An easy way to do this is just to turn off the heat source (the burners) and let the oven cool down naturally.