Author Topic: How to get a crispy crust with no pizza stone using regular oven and tray  (Read 1802 times)

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Offline ninya

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Hello

I have finally mastered (in terms of my own satisfaction - all critics please note I am not saying that I am a master pizza maker) making pizza's, it's just this one thing now that mystifies me. I do not have a pizza stone, a pizza oven etc. I just have a regular oven and I use a perforated pizza tray.

I have in the past par baked the dough to get a crispy thin crust that holds it's shape. I do not want to continue par baking as I feel that the pizza looks and tastes a lot better without par baking. The only problem I have is that no matter how hot the oven, I cant get the crust to go nice and crispy. I have to take the pizza out of the oven before the rest of the pizza is burnt, but the crust hasnt cooked to the point of being crispy and the slice holding it's shape.

What is the secret? Is it possible to cook a pizza by my method - i.e. no stone etc, and still get a thin crispy crust?
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 03:55:07 AM by ninya »


Offline McCoy

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When I was baking on a pan, I needed to parbake if I wanted the crust to have any crispiness, although I never exceed 500 F (I don't know how high your oven goes). I found a pizza stone really helps a lot in getting sufficient heat to the skin before the toppings get overcooked. If you are hesitant about the cost of a pizza stone (given that they can crack even with careful use), try finding unglazed quarry tiles. They are available at stores like Home Depot. I found even a single layer (about 1/4" thick) is sufficient to get the results you're looking for, although some people have bought enough of the tiles to form a small stone hearth on the racks of their oven. I got 9 6x6" tiles for under $5.
Finding my way in homebrewing and pizza making: http://pizzabeerblog.wordpress.com/

Offline ninya

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Thanks McCoy. I am in Australia, so cant shop where you've suggested, but I will look into this.

How do you feel about par baking? I feel that it ruins the end taste and look of the pizza..it just isnt the same I dont think.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Hello

I have finally mastered making pizza's...

So how does it feel?  :-D just kidding.    If you are serious about pizza making, get a stone or steel plate.  If you still can't find one or afford one and want pizza, then besides what McCoy said here is another inexpensive option.  Get an old cookie sheet and fill it with small river rocks, at least 1/2 inch deep if you can.  Now smooth it out as much as you can and place a sheet of foil over the rocks.  Preheat your oven for 45m-1h.  Slide your pizza over the foil and try to remove the foil after 3m or so once the crust has set.  But it would be much easier to just get a stone.  They are cheap.  Good luck!

Chau

Offline mililani

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Get a steel plate.  One of the best upgrades for me as far as getting exceptional crust.

Offline McCoy

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Get a steel plate.  One of the best upgrades for me as far as getting exceptional crust.
I am now using a steel plate and it has given me better results, but it depends on what you're looking for. So far I haven't gotten a crispy crust on on my steel plate, though a lot of factors go into that (oven temp/bake time, hydration, fermentation, etc.). Quarry tiles are a good place to start even if you eventually move on to steel, because the tiles are so cheap.

I really like the river rocks idea - quite clever.

As for my opinion on parbaking, I haven't done it since I started using a better baking surface (stone/steel), but I don't think it's the worst thing you can do to a pizza. Unfortunately it is easy to overbake while parbaking, which can easily ruin a pizza. However, I don't think I could distinguish between a pizza that had been parbaked and one that had not by flavor alone. I think the bigger difference will be in the texture and crumb of the crust.
Finding my way in homebrewing and pizza making: http://pizzabeerblog.wordpress.com/

Offline JD

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What is the secret? Is it possible to cook a pizza by my method - i.e. no stone etc, and still get a thin crispy crust?

If you've mastered making pizza how come you still have questions?  ;D >:D

 
If you're making pizza like this for any other reason than to save money, you're really cutting yourself short and will never truely have mastered the art. I'm sure even the true masters feel this way about themselves.

The more you learn, the less you know.

Josh

Offline mililani

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If you've mastered making pizza how come you still have questions?  ;D >:D

 
If you're making pizza like this for any other reason than to save money, you're really cutting yourself short and will never truely have mastered the art. I'm sure even the true masters feel this way about themselves.

The more you learn, the less you know.

Yep, I was thinking that myself.  Even after making pizza over the past 3 years, I still consider myself an amateur at best.  I'm still learning about dough, stretching and tossing, different styles of pizza, KNEADING, all kinds of things.  And, really, if you've mastered the art, why are you still asking questions about it??

Besides, no true pizza master would consider cooking a pizza in a home oven, especially on a tray.  They would have a small wood fired oven in the back yard.


Offline ninya

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Oh for gods sake. I said "mastered" as a figure of speech, a phrase. No I am not a master at making pizza's. I just meant that I have finally gotten to a point - after posting here around 6 years ago initially - where I am making good pizza's that I am happy with. I was making a disaster every time before I first registered here. Now Im usually happy with what I make, still sometimes make a crap one, but have with time, practice and doing a lot of asking questions here and reading, and figuring out through trial and error what makes for a pizza that I am really happy with managed to get to a point where I feel like I'm making really nice pizza's that I am happy with. Something I never thought I'd achieve when I first registered here. Hope that's cleared that up.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 03:57:46 AM by ninya »

Offline ninya

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I am now using a steel plate and it has given me better results, but it depends on what you're looking for. So far I haven't gotten a crispy crust on on my steel plate, though a lot of factors go into that (oven temp/bake time, hydration, fermentation, etc.). Quarry tiles are a good place to start even if you eventually move on to steel, because the tiles are so cheap.

I really like the river rocks idea - quite clever.

As for my opinion on parbaking, I haven't done it since I started using a better baking surface (stone/steel), but I don't think it's the worst thing you can do to a pizza. Unfortunately it is easy to overbake while parbaking, which can easily ruin a pizza. However, I don't think I could distinguish between a pizza that had been parbaked and one that had not by flavor alone. I think the bigger difference will be in the texture and crumb of the crust.

Thanks again McCoy. I hadn't not parbaked until just the other day, and except for the crust not being crispy enough, I was really blown away by how much better the pizza was in general. Have made a couple of "parbaked crust" crappy ones recently so am a bit turned off doing it now. Maybe as you say I just overbaked them..probably. I didnt know about steel plates..I'll look into it.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 03:58:21 AM by ninya »


Offline ninya

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Yep, I was thinking that myself.  Even after making pizza over the past 3 years, I still consider myself an amateur at best.  I'm still learning about dough, stretching and tossing, different styles of pizza, KNEADING, all kinds of things.  And, really, if you've mastered the art, why are you still asking questions about it??

Besides, no true pizza master would consider cooking a pizza in a home oven, especially on a tray.  They would have a small wood fired oven in the back yard.

I guess I just said "master" in terms of my own satisfaction. I have been practising and making them now for the past 6 years after initially coming here not knowing anything. So in that respect I feel that I can just use a simple harmless phrase "mastered it" to describe that I have learned an awful lot in 6 years and am pretty happy with the pizza's I make these days. Still a complete amateur though, and yes, still asking questions and still dont know anywhere near everything. Of course not. But hey, feel free to jump in here with more criticism of what words I've used. No I'm not a "true pizza master" as I'm just using my home oven and a tray, thanks for your concern.

Offline ninya

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So how does it feel?  :-D just kidding.    If you are serious about pizza making, get a stone or steel plate.  If you still can't find one or afford one and want pizza, then besides what McCoy said here is another inexpensive option.  Get an old cookie sheet and fill it with small river rocks, at least 1/2 inch deep if you can.  Now smooth it out as much as you can and place a sheet of foil over the rocks.  Preheat your oven for 45m-1h.  Slide your pizza over the foil and try to remove the foil after 3m or so once the crust has set.  But it would be much easier to just get a stone.  They are cheap.  Good luck!

Chau

How does it feel - I feel pretty happy with my pizza's these days, so yeah, it feels pretty good.  :)

Thanks for your advice re the steel plate. I didnt know about that.

Offline ninya

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Get a steel plate.  One of the best upgrades for me as far as getting exceptional crust.

Thank you. I always learn so much from coming in here. Appreciate it.