Author Topic: Techniques to get the thinnist crust possible (like a cracker)  (Read 4018 times)

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Offline bortz

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Here's what I've learned and tried to get my crusts very thin and cracker like:

Mix the dough a bit on the dry side.

Use water around 80 degrees F.

Use 100% high gluten flour.

Keep kneading times shorter than normal.

Use a same day dough with 3-4 hr. rise time.

Use a rolling pin to get the crust as thin as possible without putting holes through it when handling.

Don't expect to get nice voids using these techniqes.
Anybody have anything to add?


Offline Steve

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Re: Techniques to get the thinnist crust possible (like a cracker)
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2005, 08:14:49 AM »
I prefer a 24 hour rise at room temperature.
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Offline bortz

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Re: Techniques to get the thinnist crust possible (like a cracker)
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2005, 11:53:21 AM »
I'll have to try your 24 hr. room temp rise technique. 

Offline Randy

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Re: Techniques to get the thinnist crust possible (like a cracker)
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2005, 02:38:20 PM »
The kitchen rise for 24 hours adds a lot of flavor and it is more workable as Steve noted.  He is the first one to try this 24 hour rise and DKM and I both have tried it and it is the best.  It can be done in 9 hours if you have a warm place for it to rise, say 80F.

Randy

Matthew

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Re: Techniques to get the thinnist crust possible (like a cracker)
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2005, 05:41:16 PM »
Also, a good helper is to add 1 oz powdered milk for every pound of flour for thin crusts. It sort of acts like an anti-caking agent. Hope that helps someone.

Offline Randy

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Re: Techniques to get the thinnist crust possible (like a cracker)
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2005, 09:53:03 PM »
Matthew that is interesting and something I haven't tried.  Will give it a go.

Randy

Offline Danivel

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Re: Techniques to get the thinnist crust possible (like a cracker)
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2005, 10:36:05 PM »
Hi,

From the sounds of the other posts, I must be getting about the thinnest crust of anyone, but I like to make it a bit thicker than that.  I've had it down to about 1\16th inch, and it doesn't fall apart even when it's that thin, unless I've used too Crisco.

I'm not real big on accurate measuring, I adjust the ingredients as needed. 

I use about 1 cup of warm water and add two heaping tablespoons of yeast (bulk yeast from Sams).  To that I add about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and set it aside to rise.

I use a KitchenAid mixer so I start with about 5 cups of flour and add 1 slightly rounded tablespoon of Crisco (much better than oil) and about a teaspoon of salt.  I let it mix while the yeast is proofing.

After about 5 minutes, I pour the water\yeast into the flour and mix for about ten minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.  If it's too wet or dry I add a little more water or flour.  The dough should be fairly dry, but not crumbly. 

I lightly spray the inside of a gallon-size Ziploc bag and put the dough in it and let it rise.  You have to watch itto make sure it doesn't explode the bag from rising too much.  Punch it down a couple of times.  I usually go ahead and make one pizza with the fresh dough and put the rest in the fridge for upto a week, sometimes even longer.  When I want to make a pizza, I take enough dough out, an amount a little less than the size of a tennis ball (probably about 1/4 cup), and put it in another sprayed bag and let it come up to room temp.  Don't over-spray the bags or it will add too much oil.  That little ball will wind up as a 16-17" pizza crust, so you know it has to be thin.

To make the crust, I use a marble rolling pin and spread about 1\4 cup of flour out on the counter. I pat the dough down into a round pad and then use the rolling pin to push the dough down into flour.  I turn the dough over several times and keep working the extra flour from the counter-top into it.  I can usually work all of the flour into the dough and sometimes have to add a little more to get a really dry crust.  Adding too much Crisco will make the dough easier to roll out really thin, but it keeps it from getting crisp. 

By then, it's about the size of my pizza peel, if  it's too big, I trim the excess off and put it back into the dough bag.  I  put a little bit of corn meal on the wooden peel and then put the crust on it.

I use 9, 6" square, unglazed quarry tiles in my oven, arranged in a 3x3 pattern.  I heat them to 500 degrees and it takes my gas oven about 45 minutes to get them completely hot all the way through.  If I use two racks, it takes over an hour to get them both fully hot.  I put the the oven thermometer in the middle of the tiles, it gives me a better idea of when they are fully heated.  I never use a pizza pan, even if it has holes in it, it traps too much moisture and keeps the crust from getting really crisp.  20 tiles only cost me about $7 at a carpet and tile shop, a lot cheaper and better than most stones.

I sometimes put the crust on the tiles to puff it up.  It only takes about 2 minutes to get it bubbly, leave it in too long and it will become a basketball.

I mostly use tomato paste in my sauce, two small cans to one small can of tomato sauce.  Too wet, or too much, of a sauce can ruin the crisp crust.  You also have to be careful not to overload the top with goodies or it will add too much moisture to the pizza.  I like "deluxe" pizzas and tend to put a lot of it on them, so I have to control myself.  A little is better than a lot.

It only takes about 10 minutes to bake the pizza if the tiles are hot enough.  Done right, the crust will crunch when you cut it and then again when you bite into it. 

To reheat leftovers (if there are any), I put the pizza on a paper towel and use the defrost cycle on the microwave to warm it up.  I then take a cast iron griddle and heat it till it's HOT and put the pizza on it for a few minutes.  That crisps the crust back to what it was when it was fresh.  Leave it too long and it will scorch the bottom.

The next time I make one, I'll have to take some pics of it to show just how thin it really is. 


Offline buzz

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Re: Techniques to get the thinnist crust possible (like a cracker)
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2005, 08:40:19 AM »
I learned a lot from quizzing the manager at a local pizza place, which makes the best cracker thin crust I've ever had! They use AP flour, three separate room temperature rises, a scant bit of oil, and they sheet the dough out razor-thin.