Author Topic: Chewy Crust  (Read 2916 times)

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Offline lgniro2

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Chewy Crust
« on: June 28, 2006, 09:22:05 AM »
I bake my pizza on a baking stone. The crust is very chewy. How can I get it to be softer or a little crispy?


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Chewy Crust
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2006, 10:01:04 AM »
Igniro2,

Without knowing the recipe you are using, it is hard to say. However, the most common way to reduce the chewiness and get a softer crust is to use a lower protein flour. Another way is to bake the pizza faster, as by using a higher temperature, so that the crust doesn't have enough time to dry out, allowing the center to remain soft. Crispiness is largely a function of heat transfer, that is, how fast does the heat transfer through and around the pizza. That will often be a function of the dough formulation itself, the size of the pizza, its thickness, whether the dough (skin) has been proofed before baking, the number and types of toppings, etc., as well as the oven itself and how you are using it to bake your pizzas.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 28, 2006, 10:48:17 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline lgniro2

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Re: Chewy Crust
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2006, 11:06:01 AM »
I"am wanting to achieve a softer less chewy crust on my pizza. I bake it  on a pizza stone at 500deg. I use bread flour and some times all purpose flour. My recipe is one envelope dry yeast,three and one half cups flour, one and a quarter cups of water and one teaspone of salt.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Chewy Crust
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2006, 12:55:49 PM »
Igniro2,

Based on the additional information you have provided, I can see that your dough recipe is a "bare bones" recipe, using only flour, water, yeast and salt. Although the yeast levels and hydration (the ratio of the weight of water to the weight of flour) seem adequate to support good lift in the dough, I can see how it might bake up as quite crusty and chewy, much like a crusty French bread made from the exact four ingredients.

My suggestion is to add some oil and sugar to the dough. Both will help provide a short and tender crust. I would recommend that you start with about 5% oil (as a percentage of the weight of flour) and 2% sugar. Since you are working in volume measurements, it is a bit difficult to be accurate in the quantities, but I estimate that 5% oil in your recipe comes to about 5 teaspoons. For the sugar, 2% comes to about 2 1/3 teaspoons. I would add the sugar along with the salt in your dough making process, or just dissolve both in the water before adding the yeast (I assume you are using active dry yeast, which should be hydrated first in a small amount of warm water for about 10 minutes before adding it to the main water and the rest of the ingredients). I would add the oil after all the other ingredients have been combined and kneaded together, to avoid interfering with the hydration of the flour.

If you decide to use sugar in the crust and bake the pizza directly on the pizza stone, it is possible that you may experience premature or excessive bottom crust browning. At the levels recommended (2%), this shouldn't be a problem in a home oven setting, but if you do experience premature or excessive browning, you may want to decrease the sugar or eliminate it entirely the next time. Alternatively, you can put the dressed pizza on one or two pizza screens and place the screen(s) directly on the stone. The screen(s) will provide a barrier between the pizza and the stone and allow the pizza to bake more slowly (a longer bake time) and avoid the excessive browning. If you'd like, you can also "deck" the pizza, by removing the pizza screen(s) and letting the pizza sit directly on the stone and get increased bottom crust browning directly from the stone. This is a common approach used by professional pizza operators with commercial deck ovens under similar circumstances. Using both oil and sugar should also naturally speed up the bake of the pizza and prevent the crust from becoming too crispy (or dark) because of overbaking. As with any home pizza baking exercise, you may have to do some experimenting with the dough formulation and oven temperature and bake time to "marry" your pizza dough with your particular oven.

I estimate that your recipe produces about 27 ounces of dough. You didn't indicate the type of pizza you are making (American?) or how many and their size. However, these factors will also influence the final results you get.

Good luck.

Peter


 

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