Author Topic: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!  (Read 138273 times)

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Offline joe cool

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #100 on: January 30, 2013, 07:07:09 PM »
A new guy here,just wanted to pass along my results on the crust. I made it last night and had some friends over,it was good ,it wasn't great but it's the first time for me.I deviated in two areas .I always proof my yeast with honey instead of sugar and I only had a rectangular pan.I used the 3/4 cup water version and 425 degrees with the rack at 4.5 inch's off the heating element( standard kitchen electric oven).
I don't think the honey would change things ,it doesn't seem to effect my bread recipes and I assume the pan shape doesn't matter either.
One thing I did notice was after tearing into it pretty hard we sat and talked for a couple of hrs. I grabbed a piece later still setting on the cutting board and it was very chewy and tough. I have no idea why as I eat my storebought pizza cold ,even out of the frig and haven't noticed this.
Does anyone have a reason for this . Thanks for the recipe ,we'll keep reading and pizza making till I catch up some with y'all.
Thanks again.


Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #101 on: January 30, 2013, 08:48:35 PM »
Cutting board got ya. Honey should not be any problem for you at all.
After cutting on the board I transfer the pizza to a wire rack. That helps keep the steam demon away which is fatal to a cracker crust pie.
Bob
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Offline Mad_Ernie

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #102 on: January 30, 2013, 10:07:42 PM »
A new guy here,just wanted to pass along my results on the crust. I made it last night and had some friends over,it was good ,it wasn't great but it's the first time for me.I deviated in two areas .I always proof my yeast with honey instead of sugar and I only had a rectangular pan.

I agree with Bob on both counts.
Honey should not be a problem.  How much do you use?  Because it is a liquid, it can add a bit to the hydration of the dough, depending on how much is in the recipe.  I have a New York style pizza dough recipe from the forum known as Jerry Mac's recipe that uses honey as the "food" for the yeast instead of sugar.  I think honey adds a little more "character" to the flavor profile, but that is just my opinion.  I also have substituted brown sugar for regular sugar for the same reason. 

-ME
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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #103 on: January 31, 2013, 08:41:24 AM »
I put them on a wire rack for a couple minutes, then cut them to allow some of the moisture out and keep them crisp.

Offline mrmojo1

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #104 on: February 06, 2013, 07:44:44 PM »
Cutting board got ya. Honey should not be any problem for you at all.
After cutting on the board I transfer the pizza to a wire rack. That helps keep the steam demon away which is fatal to a cracker crust pie.
Bob
Hey Bob! how do you do the transfer after the cut? do you cut on paper? then put on rack pull paper out,   ahh or do you just slide it onto the rack somehow? thanks buddy!

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #105 on: February 07, 2013, 12:23:19 PM »
Hey Bob! how do you do the transfer after the cut? do you cut on paper? then put on rack pull paper out,   ahh or do you just slide it onto the rack somehow? thanks buddy!
just(very confidently ;)) slide it off the peel. With your free hand just sorta help by pushing off at your center outer slices(the ones nearest you at outer edge of pie). Corner slices usually fall off...no biggie.
Bob
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Offline mrmojo1

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #106 on: February 07, 2013, 11:46:07 PM »
thanks buddy!  i need a harder wood peel!

Online kramer73

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #107 on: February 13, 2013, 12:35:15 PM »
made this last night.  I wasn't too confident in how it looked the night before, but it was a little better yesterday afternoon.
I had a hard time rolling this out, and I don't think I got it as thin as I would have liked.

Despite that, it cooked up just fine, and tasted pretty good.  My girls thought it was good, but I think they like a regular crust better. 

I'll have to try this again sometime!

Offline Klankster

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #108 on: March 09, 2013, 09:16:22 PM »
I made one of these tonight and it turned out AWESOME.  Had a few hiccups along the way -- I was using the original recipe from the start of this topic, before it was modified because it was too dry.  Well, mine came out pretty dry and was MURDER to roll out.  It was OK in the middle but the edges were too dry and wouldn't roll together.  So I said "what the heck" and spritzed the dough with some olive oil from my sprayer and did a french fold on the dough, then rolled that out.  Took a lot of effort but I finally got it to fit my 16" cutter pan.  Docked it, plopped it into the pan and parbaked it at 500F for about 6 minutes.  Then slid the crust out of the pan onto a cooling rack and let it cool to about room temperature.  Put on the sauce, pepperoni, mushroom and black olives, mozzarella and parmesan, then baked it on my stone at 450F for about 7 minutes.  Check out the photos -- the crust was PERFECT -- nice and crackery, lots of blisters and layers (maybe due to my french fold step?) -- Comments appreciated, but I'm gonna do this again next Saturday with a slight modification to add some oil/water to make the dough a little wetter.  TOO COOL!  Thanks for the recipe!
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Offline Steve

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #109 on: March 09, 2013, 09:22:56 PM »
Nice!  :chef:
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Offline Klankster

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #110 on: March 09, 2013, 11:18:29 PM »
Steve, you, by the way, are my new hero.  THANK YOU for this recipe!  I've been trying to duplicate the cracker-style crust of Kansas City's Pizza Shoppe chain for ages and this is just about on the nose.  I'll add a little oil and maybe a little garlic powder for next week's run, but this would really be fine right now (though I really earned my pizza with the effort of rolling this bad boy out).

I had my pizza tonight with a delicious Blue Moon wheat ale and a "Louie's Demise" ale from the Milwaukee Brewery, and after I was done went back to the kitchen to put away the leftover pizza.  Chopped it into a few pieces that I could put into a container in the fridge and it still had that awesome crunch when I cut it.  Couldn't resist chopping off a micro-slice and popping it into my mouth; good grief, it was fantastic.

You ROCK.
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #111 on: March 10, 2013, 09:40:10 AM »
Tom,

As a possible solution to the problem of rolling out the dough next time, you might take a look at Reply 16 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg49138.html#msg49138 where, with the help of member fazzari, I came up with an approach that I found worked very well for low-hydration doughs. I used a proofing box but other members came up with their own solutions in the same thread.

Peter

Offline Klankster

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #112 on: March 10, 2013, 04:44:30 PM »
Thanks, Pete.  I have an oven that you can dial in the exact temperature you want (it also has a 100F "proof" setting that I occasionally use for breads) -- I might try that for the last couple of hours at 120F next time.  I think my biggest problem this time was that I really didn't have enough water/oil in there (one of the things that Steve had tweaked in his recipe).  The more I think about it, Pizza Shoppe's crust does seem like it has a bit more oil in it than what I made yesterday.  I may still do the spritz with olive oil+French fold thing on the off-chance that it improves the structure.  (I'm still blown away that I made a crust that looked that great!) When it started to come out too dry and I was having serious trouble rolling it out, I started to despair a little that it was going to be a total fail, but I stuck with it and it worked extremely well.  I had made the DKM crust before and while it was a bit hard to roll out initially, letting it rest for a couple of minutes after the initial roll-out made it easier to finish up.  The dough last night wasn't so agreeable.

Incidentally, my procedure for making this crust was to put the yeast in the water first, then put all the other dry ingredients in the food processor, pulsed it to mix them, then added the yeast-water and oil to the dry ingredients and ran the processor to get the "wet corn meal" look, dumped that out and pressed it into a ball and into the sealed container on the countertop for 24 hours.  Next time I'll just add the extra oil as Steve adjusted the recipe for, do the rest the same and I'll try the 120F finish before rolling out.

Dang, this is too much fun.  I can't wait to make this pizza for some of my friends.
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Offline Klankster

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #113 on: April 06, 2013, 11:48:07 AM »
OK, after about 5 weeks of recipe and technique tweaking, last night I pulled the trigger on this crust and had a couple friends over for a cracker-style pizza dinner.  On Thursday I made two batches of Steve's recipe using King Arthur bread flour and my food-processor technique, which I think is way easier than the Kitchenaid method -- I measure 3/4C water, dissolve the yeast in it, then put all the dry ingredients in the food processor and pulse to mix them.  Then I add the oil to the water/yeast mix, start the food processor and pour in the liquid ingredients while it's running.  I stop the processor, open it up and scrape down the sides because some of the water will fling onto the sides and cake things up a bit.  I then close it back up and run for about a minute, jiggling it now and then to keep things mixing because as it gets hydrated, the mixture tends to form a mass toward the outside of the bowl.  When I jiggle it, those masses fall in and mix more.

The final product in the processor looks like wet corn meal. I dump that out into a bowl and form it into a compact ball, then put that into a plastic container, snap on the airtight top and put it on the counter for 24 hours.  Prep time is about 5 minutes.

I've found that to make the kind of ultra-fine layering I like in my cracker-style crust, I need to roll the dough and fold it repeatedly.  Here's what I do:

1) Flour the rolling surface a little with bread flour.  Turn out the dough from the plastic container, dust it with flour and roll out to about a 12-inch circle.

2) Using my pump-spray olive oil mister, I lightly spray the top of the dough disc, fold it in half, spray again, fold that in half, then roll out again to about a 12-inch disc.

3) Do the mist-and-double-fold again.  Throughout this process I dust the dough with a little flour as needed.  I usually let the dough rest for a few minutes if it starts to resist rolling out.  Last night, since I was doing two batches of dough, I started one, set it aside to rest, started the second, let it rest, went back to the first and finished it, then finished the second while the first crusts were parbaking.

4) Roll out to the desired size & shape.  This recipe makes a 16-inch pizza or two 12-inch pizzas, depending on how you roll it out (circle or oblong).  Thickness should be very thin -- about 3/32".

5) Dock with roller -- I dock the living heck out of mine to be sure I don't get a blowup like a balloon -- place on cutter pan and trim with rolling pin.

6) Parbake at 500F for 5 minutes (I do this on my baking stone on the lowest rack), remove from pan and place on cooling rack.  Turn oven down to 450F.

7) When cool, add sauce & toppings.  Bake at 450 on baking stone for about 7 minutes.  Remove from oven, cool on rack for a few minutes, then cut & serve.

Some observations:

The 5-minute parbake seemed perfect. I did a very thorough docking and the crust behaved perfectly -- no ultra-large bubbles but very nice, uniform puffing. There was very light browning on the bottom and after the final bake the crust was not overly dark.

Last night's pizza was heavenly.  The crust was ultra-flaky and crispy, and despite having a fair amount of toppings on mine, it stood out when you grabbed it by the edge and didn't flop.  The super-thin layers made it really tender, all the way to the edge.

My friends hadn't had that style of pizza before, and the one who tends to be a light eater devoured his 12-inch pizza, which totally astounded me.  When he and his wife come over for dinner, we typically only figure them as one person from a portioning standpoint!  :-D

Oh yeah -- and the trimmings from the crusts? While the parbaked skins were cooling, I cut the crust trimmings into squares, plopped them on a baking sheet, dusted them with a little salt and baked them into crackers to go with the salad!  My wife loves them.
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Offline Klankster

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #114 on: April 06, 2013, 12:00:44 PM »
A few photos from last night showing the rolled-out dough for the two 12-inchers and finished skins (2 12-inch, 1 16-inch):

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Offline nick57

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #115 on: April 06, 2013, 06:52:42 PM »
Those skins look great! I see you let the crust cool down before adding the toppings. I do the same, it seems to really help crisp up the crust. I haven't tried layering yet, but my next cracker crust I will give it a try. Thanks for the info and pics.
 

Offline Steve

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #116 on: April 08, 2013, 04:50:33 PM »
Nice report, thanks!
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Offline 666MadeMeDoIt

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #117 on: April 08, 2013, 05:08:34 PM »
I used to use a Kitchenaide mixer for my dough until I discovered bread machines. I can get them for about five bucks at goodwill or garage sales for one in great shape. I would run two at a time when my kids got older and started eating more. You can dump the ingredients in and leave.

I did just get a Bosch Universal Plus to replace my aging Kitchenaide and now use that instead, but the bread machines worked great.

Offline Klankster

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #118 on: April 25, 2013, 10:58:55 PM »
Made a 16-incher last weekend from this recipe with one little modification to see what would happen -- I added a teaspoon of baking powder to the recipe and did everything else the same as I listed above.  It came out really fantastic, if possible with a little better lamination and "airy-ness" to the crust character.  I ate half the pizza that night and the rest was put in the fridge in a sealed tupperware box.  Two days later I had the remaining leftovers, heating them up in our toaster oven using the toast cycle for about 3 minutes, leaving the door closed for a couple of minutes after the reheating.  The reheated pizza was phenomenal!  The crust was nice and crispy and crunchy, every bit as good as the night I made it.  I can't overstate how awesome and cracker-like the crust was, all the way to the edge.

To have this recipe all figured out and 100% repeatable is fantastic -- it's EXACTLY what I was looking for.  I'm going to be making this pizza a LOT.
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Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Best ever thin "cracker" crust pizza!
« Reply #119 on: April 25, 2013, 11:18:58 PM »
OK Klankster, now you know the drill...especially on something new tried and turned out awesome...up the pics buddy. C'mon...up da pics!

Bob
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