Author Topic: How to get my crust crispy?  (Read 1040 times)

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Offline Dark Knight

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How to get my crust crispy?
« on: December 10, 2013, 01:46:07 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I am working for a local pizza chain where I have been given a task to make a thin crust pizza and a light fluffy pizza. I am new in pizza industry but my interest in NPD made me to take this challenge. I have tried the former one with the help of Pete-zza formulation (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.0.html) which gave wonderful results but it would be wonderful if it becomes more crispier from the bottom. I have tried to reduce the hydration to 50% but still the results were not there. If I go below 50% it will go towards cracker like pizza which is not required. So I would appreciate any suggestions to improve the crispiness in the crust.

Secondly I am also interested in a good light fluffy crust pizza. An airy structure which has good chewiness as well. Any suggestions on how to get it.

Thanks,

DK


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: How to get my crust crispy?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2013, 02:26:12 PM »
DK,

It would help to know what kind of oven you are using and how you are baking the pizzas (both types). For example, are you using a conveyor oven or a deck oven with stones, and are you baking directly on stones or are you using pans, screens or disks?

Peter

Offline Dark Knight

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Re: How to get my crust crispy?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2013, 02:38:24 PM »
Pete,

Its a conveyor oven with temperature around 550F. At the moment I am using screen with perforation at the bottom. I use around 500 gram of dough ball for 14 inch pizza. I roll it out from a machine, use a docker and assemble it.

DK

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: How to get my crust crispy?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2013, 11:43:42 AM »
DK,

As you may already know from reading the Papa John's clone thread, PJ uses screens or perforated disks in conveyor ovens. Because of the conveyor ovens they use, it will be difficult to get a crispy bottom crust. Some of the members who sought to get a more crispy bottom crust used pizza stones to achieve that result. You can see examples of this at Reply 596 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg277924.html#msg277924 and the related post that shows that bottom crust at Reply 603 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg278039.html#msg278039. Another example can be seen at Reply 630 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg283203.html#msg283203. The advantage of the use of the stone is that it has a searing effect on the crust of an unbaked pizza as soon as the unbaked pizza hits the stone. You won't be able to achieve the same result as when using a stone, or at least not as easily, in a conveyor oven. I am not an oven expert, but maybe if a conveyor oven were set to a lower temperature, say 450-475 degrees F, and the pizza were baked longer, then maybe the bottom crust would be more crispy. But doing something like that would penalize the output from the oven. That might not be acceptable if you are trying to turn out a lot of pizzas in a short period of time.

Your idea to lower the hydration value to get a more crispy bottom crust might seem logical to achieve a more crispy bottom crust but it is likely to have the opposite effect. Making the crust more dense will actually result in more of the bottom heat passing through the crust to cook the top of the pizza. Often the result is that the top is finished cooking before the bottom crust is where you want it. What you really want to achieve is a dough that acts more like an insulator. That way, more of the heat is directed to the bottom of the crust and helps it brown more quickly and become more crispy. To increase the insulative effect of a PJ clone dough, you could try increasing the hydration while at the same time lowering the amount of oil so that the dough is not too wet or sticky and hard to handle as a result. But, even doing that, you would have to find the right settings and bake time for your conveyor oven.

In the U.S., some pizza professionals have been using special disks that are designed especially for use in conveyor ovens to achieve a hearth-like bake that is said to be comparable to what can be achieved in a deck oven with stones. Those disks are perforated and called Hearth Bake Pizza Disks or Hearth Bake Cloud Disks. You can read about them and see what they look like at http://www.pizzatools.com/Hearth_Bake_Disks/30886/subgrouping.htm. You can also read more about them at the PMQ Think Tank at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7773&hilit=#p53040, http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=14196&hilit= and http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7629&hilit=#p51888. Whether the hearth disks would work in your oven, if you are able to overcome the sticker shock once you see the prices, not to mention shipping costs, would have to be tested in your particular model of conveyor oven.

As for the "light fluffy crust pizza", are you thinking about a Pizza Hut pan type of pizza, or something comparable to it but baked on a screen? PH has several stores in Pakistan so you might already be aware of the pizzas PH sells in Pakistan. In the U.S., PH uses frozen doughs for most of its pizzas although it is possible that they are still using fresh doughs in certain parts of the world. In PH's case, they typically get a bottom crust that is crispy by using a lot of oil in the pan. That has the effect of "frying" the bottom crust. Of course, that is not possible with screens or even disks. Maybe you can describe more fully what you are looking for in a "light fluffy crust pizza". In a broad sense, one usually uses a highly hydrated dough with an above-average amount of yeast, with modest amounts of sugar and/or oil (and maybe none at all), and maybe an oversized rim, and a high oven temperature, to achieve a crust that fits your description.

Peter


Offline Dark Knight

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Re: How to get my crust crispy?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2013, 03:29:32 PM »
Thanks Peter, that was so kind of you to give me a reply so quickly.
Honestly speaking I loved PJ's clone and if I was running the company I would have launched it straight away but things are a bit different here.

Arranging discs is a good option but it will take time and we have to launch the thin crust before new year.

I thought of lowering the temperature as well to make the crust crispier just like it is done in making baguette but operationally it is not acceptable as we have other products and making time is also an issue.

In past three weeks I have done several trials with your PJ's clone formulation. I lowered the oil in it but it gave a chewy texture (just like napoli style pizza) which was somewhat not desired. I hope I has taken the pics. But I am not giving up on this I will continue to experiment.

I was reading your recipe of cracker like crust (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.120.html) and I was impressed with the results. I tried a batch of it today in commissary and kept it in chiller. Hopefully tomorrow morning it will give a good result.

There are couple of things I wanted to ask about your cracker style. First I increased the amount of sugar to 4%, will it make an impact on the result?
Secondly, if it turns out to be ok then we have to make whole batches of it and making sheets in commissary will take a lot of time. I have made dough balls of half batch today and kept it in chiller for experimenting tomorrow but I want your opinion about it.

For Light puffy crust I will ask you later because I have time for that but for now I want to focus on thin crust.

Thanks again Peter!

DK

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: How to get my crust crispy?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2013, 08:32:14 AM »
I was reading your recipe of cracker like crust (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.120.html) and I was impressed with the results. I tried a batch of it today in commissary and kept it in chiller. Hopefully tomorrow morning it will give a good result.

There are couple of things I wanted to ask about your cracker style. First I increased the amount of sugar to 4%, will it make an impact on the result?
Secondly, if it turns out to be ok then we have to make whole batches of it and making sheets in commissary will take a lot of time. I have made dough balls of half batch today and kept it in chiller for experimenting tomorrow but I want your opinion about it.
DK,

On the page you referenced, there are two recipes but I am assuming that you meant the one at Reply 126 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5762.msg53174.html#msg53174. If so, that recipe calls for 1.5% sugar. Increasing that sugar to 4% would make the crust a bit sweeter, maybe even noticeably so to someone with a palate sensitive to sweetness, but otherwise it might make the finished crust a bit more tender because of the capacity of sugar to retain moisture rather than allowing that moisture to escape the dough through evaporation during baking. So, the crust shouldn't be quite as crispy. You might also see more crust coloration because of the higher sugar levels but if you are using screens in your conveyor oven at your normal oven temperatures, the crust coloration shouldn't be excessive.

I assume that you are using the commissary for testing purposes rather than as a business model that would be used to supply the stores with dough or partially prepared products such as frozen skins (unbaked or pre-baked). In the U.S., the dough for cracker style pizzas is usually formed into skins at the store level using dough rollers or sheeters. It's possible that the dough comes from a commissary but I don't recall reading that anywhere. However, I am aware of one pizza operator (Donato's) that supplies frozen skins to its stores from one or more commissaries.

Maybe by the time you read this post you will have concluded your experiment. So, I will be anxious to hear of your results.

Peter


 

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