Author Topic: Help me...The crust is too hard on bottom.  (Read 3598 times)

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Offline ieslei

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Help me...The crust is too hard on bottom.
« on: October 13, 2006, 11:01:28 PM »
Hi everyone!! I'm 100% new over here, actually, i'm from brazil, and i'm just one more guy trying to learn something about pizzas. :chef:
Here goes my problem:
I dont know why but everytime i try to bake my pizza the bottom of it gets too hard...i think my oven is not hot enough or i'm using the wrong sort of stone(granite)..it takes about 17 minutes to get ready...thats considering 50mins of a preheated oven....The crust is getting to hard, i can barelly cut it using my front-teeth... :-\
thats the procedures i usually take to prepare it...

basic recipe
1 tbspoon of yeast
2 tbspoon of sugar
1 "  of salt(kosher)
1 " of olive oil
3/4 cup of warm water
2 cups of flour

after I get all mixed up i usually wait about 10 minutes and i roll it by hand for 8 mins till iit gets smoth(i dont hve a mixer machine)....after that i let dough rest for couple of hours out of the fridge...and when it got bigger i stretch it by hand(not rolling) also tossing it...i dress it up and put it in the oven after 50mins on....but infortunelly it takes about 17 minutes tops to get ready...if I try less then 10 its still raw....
What is it? my oven, the stone(granite)? I tried another recipes, like high protein flours, high levels os hydration, like 75%...rest the dough in the fridge over night, not add olive oil, used sourdought instead regular yeast and others....Well, I just dont know what to do!
should I try to buy a real pizza stone, like ceramic or the usual type we find in any houseware store or what?


Thanks folks!!!!!!!

thanks so far! ::)
« Last Edit: October 13, 2006, 11:18:33 PM by ieslei »
I dream every night of one day i could make my own a pizza like the one I ate in famiglia, located in NY! That would be great!


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Help me...The crust is too hard on bottom.
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2006, 11:18:43 PM »
ieslei,

Before I examine your dough recipe in detail, can you tell me whether you mean teaspoons instead of tablespoons in the recipe? If you mean tablespoons, you will have a lot of problems with the recipe. I would also like to know where you got the recipe, and also what kind of flour the recipe itself calls for. 

Also, since you are using volume measurements for the flour, can you tell me how you measure out the flour? That is, do you just dip the measuring cup into the flour, or use a spoon to lift the flour from the container into the measuring cup, and in either case do you level the top of the measuring cup? The answer will help me get a better estimate of the hydration (the ratio of the weight of water to the weight of flour).

Peter

Offline ieslei

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Re: Help me...The crust is too hard on bottom.
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2006, 11:31:40 PM »
opsss, sorry about the yeast i meant teaspoon, the rest of it is tablespoon.... That recipe is from the tvprogram GoodEats...About the flour, on that circunstance is all porpose flour....I guess if I tell you the brand youare not going to know, cause its only found in my country....
Well when I care about hydration I measure the weight....when not i use cups...and about the way i put the flour in the cup is by bending the bag of flour on the cup....

Was that usefull?

thanks
I dream every night of one day i could make my own a pizza like the one I ate in famiglia, located in NY! That would be great!

Offline ieslei

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Re: Help me...The crust is too hard on bottom.
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2006, 11:40:23 PM »
one more thing....the only hard part of the crust is always the bottom...only the area that touches the stone....
i dont know if it helps....The only problem i have is that i cant measure the temperature of my oven...one thing i know...that the temp is under 450F....
I dream every night of one day i could make my own a pizza like the one I ate in famiglia, located in NY! That would be great!

Offline cra z piemaker

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Re: Help me...The crust is too hard on bottom.
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2006, 12:26:54 AM »
My 2 cents, if your oven isn't getting above 450 fahrenheit, your stone will be heating the bottom of the crust just fine. But, there isn't enough heat in the oven to heat the toppings. 10 minutes should be max. You need more heat, 500 deg.F minimum. By the way, the stone should be on the bottom rack. At least that's my experience with a hard crust. Just a thought, if you have access to another stone put in on a rack just above the pie, the heat from it should help cook your toppings faster.
If I keep practicin' I'll get fat

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Help me...The crust is too hard on bottom.
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2006, 12:34:37 AM »
ieslei,

I assume you are using this dough recipe, by Alton Brown, at http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_13823,00.html. That is not a recipe I personally favor because of the high amounts of salt and sugar. 

After weighing two cups of flour like you did and converting your recipe to baker’s percents, I get the following:

100%, A-P flour, 8.90 oz. (2 c.)
68%, Water, 6.08 oz. (3/4 c.)
9.6%, Sugar, 0.84 oz. (2 T.)
5.7%, Salt (Kosher), 0.51 oz. (1 T.)
1.65%, Oil, 0.17 oz. (1 t.)
1.19%, Instant dry yeast (IDY), 0.11 oz. (1 t.)

If my numbers are close, the salt is excessive (exceptionally so) in my view, as is the sugar. The instant dry yeast is also on the high side but it will be necessary to compensate for the high levels of salt and sugar. It sounds like you did not cold ferment the dough in the refrigerator, as the Brown recipe instructs. Even though I don’t particularly care for the Brown recipe, and would not recommend it, if you use it you should follow all of the instructions. Otherwise you won’t be able to tell whether it is the recipe that is at fault or your oven. I have not had any personal experience with using granite as a pizza baking surface so I can’t comment on its suitability. With the proper stone and an oven temperature of around 450 degrees F, I think you should be able to bake a decent pizza although it will take longer to bake the pizza. If the top isn’t finished baking at the same time as the bottom, you may want to move your stone up another level in the oven, or else move the pizza off of the stone when the bottom is almost done baking and move it to a higher level in the oven to expose the top of the pizza to more heat.

I noticed in your tagline at the bottom of your post that you like the Famiglia pizza that you had in NYC. That is a NY “street” pizza. If you are interested in trying out a NY style dough, let me know and I should be able to find a dough recipe for you to use.

Peter

Offline ieslei

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Re: Help me...The crust is too hard on bottom.
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2006, 07:52:38 AM »
Wow!!! Seems like I'll hve to buy a new oven! What about a new oven, new stone? I'll put it my bedroom! Actually i'm still thinking...I dont know if I buy a new pizza stone, or a mixer or a new oven, well I'll decide it someday...
Cra i'll try to buy a new stone, if even though i'm not able to make it well...i'll try something else....
Heyyy pete-zza, thanksss for everything...This amount of salt and sugar I use for almost all my pizza recipes....i didn't know it was too much...Good to know!!! And about the yeast i'm using, lately i've used the fresh one...for me it's a bit faster...so a prefer to use it...  About of baking the pizza crust on the stone and then put it on a higher rack to finish it i'll certainly try that out! And answering that question about the NY pizza street: YEESSSSSSS I would loooveeeee to reach that kind of dough!!! Is that easy??


Thanksssss everyone once again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Last Edit: October 14, 2006, 07:54:25 AM by ieslei »
I dream every night of one day i could make my own a pizza like the one I ate in famiglia, located in NY! That would be great!

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Help me...The crust is too hard on bottom.
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2006, 10:16:51 AM »
ieslei,

Different types and styles of pizza doughs can use different amounts of salt and sugar. To give you an idea about the salt and sugar affect yeast you may want to read this item: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/salt.html. If you are using fresh yeast, you will want to adjust the recipes you are using to get the proper amount to use. The above article discusses this aspect also. For more on salt, please see this related article: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/salt.html.

I would wait until you see how your oven works with a longer, lower-temperature bake before making a decision on getting a new oven. Many pizzerias operate at temperatures lower than 500 degrees F. It just takes longer to bake the pizza. You might also give consideration to using a pizza screen, together with a lower oven temperature.

If you have a decent flour I think you should be able to make a pizza that is as good as, if not better, than a Famiglia pizza. For a recipe, I would take a look at one of these: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg5674.html#msg5674 (Reply 68); http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg26720.html#msg26720 (Reply 389); and http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg27372.html#msg27372 (Reply 424). The first recipe is directed to hand kneading; the other two recipes involve using a pizza screen and, at some point, using a lower oven temperature. All three recipes call for using a high-gluten flour but you should be able to substitute all-purpose flour, and also use hand kneading. With all-purpose flour, I would use a lower hydration, say, around 60% to start. You didn’t indicate what size pizza you are interested in making, but if you are handy with numbers, which you seem to be, you may want to use the Lehmann dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_calculator.html. For purposes of using the tool, I would use a thickness factor of 0.10 and 60% hydration if you use the all-purpose flour. The tool will give you all the quantities of ingredients to use. If you need any help using the tool, please let me know.

Good luck and please let us know how you make out.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 12:44:04 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline pizzoid

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Re: Help me...The crust is too hard on bottom.
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2006, 12:38:23 PM »
opsss, sorry about the yeast i meant teaspoon, the rest of it is tablespoon.... That recipe is from the tvprogram GoodEats...

Cut the sugar and salt in Alton's recipe in half. It will be much better IMO. I ran a dozen batches of dough testing it, marking them with food coloring. My girlfriend looked at me quite strangely when I served her a pizza with a blue crust!

Sounds like your oven is actually not getting anywhere near 450. Your pie isn't so much cooking as drying out on the stone. I suggest you invest in a free standing oven thermometer and find out for sure, otherwise we could go in circles for a long time making assumptions. Also, make sure your oven door is actually sealing, otherwise your temperature won't get high enough in the top of the oven no matter how long you preheat, and the crust will overcook before the cheese and toppings look done to you.

- Al

Offline ieslei

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Re: Help me...The crust is too hard on bottom.
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2006, 02:22:56 PM »
wow Pete-zza :o That was very informative. Thanks so much! Those NY pizza recipes you gave me have nothing of sugar in it, is that right?? Is there a possibility of my crust is getting hard because of the high amount of sugar?? Well...i made that recipe yesterday, the dough is in the fridge right now...just waiting to be baked....This time i'll try to set the stone right over the oven flames, not on the lowest rack but this time on the very bottom....lets see what happens.... I dont actually have a thermometer, its a very expensive thing in my country.... considering that my oven is very old and is not working well. I should be running after a new one by now...  >:D     What about baking at low temps does the crust get crispy and everything else just like in the pizzary? I'll see if i can find that pizza screen you told me about... And what do you think about using sourdough with a fewer amount of yeast?  ::)
And hey pizzoid, what kind of product you add to the dough that gives it a color? hahah i bet it was very funny to watch you girlfriends reaction! hehe And about the temp, i dont have a way to mesure it:( and just as you said my oven door is already falling apart! i'm already doing some researches of my new oven  :P

Folks, i'll defenily let you know about my success! This forum is part of my body by now!

thanks, thanks, thanks!!!!

Ie

« Last Edit: October 16, 2006, 02:25:05 PM by ieslei »
I dream every night of one day i could make my own a pizza like the one I ate in famiglia, located in NY! That would be great!


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Help me...The crust is too hard on bottom.
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2006, 03:00:33 PM »
ieslei,

You are correct that the recipes I gave you don't include any added sugar in the dough. However, in your case, I don't think that the sugar was responsible for the crust becoming hard. In fact, at the level of sugar you have been using, and also the amount of oil, the two ingredients will actually tenderize the crust. There will be some sugar on the surface of the pizza rim that will caramelize during baking, and give the crust a darker color and maybe a bit of crunch, but the center of the rim and the rest of the crust should be fairly soft and tender. It's possible that the long bake had the effect of making the crust hard because the longer bake drives more moisture out of the dough. Like pizzoid said earlier, the crust may be drying out rather than "baking", much like making a cracker. Normally a long, slow bake will produce a crispier crust, just as I experienced when making the pizza described in the last of the three posts I linked you to earlier.

I am pretty certain that pizza screens are sold in your country and may be worth giving a try, although from what you have been telling us about your oven, increasingly it looks like you may want to invest in a new oven if that is an option for you.

As far as using a sourdough starter is concerned, I would hold back on doing so until you get your dough and oven situations corrected and you can demonstrate to your satisfaction that you can produce a decent pizza.

Peter

Offline ieslei

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Re: Help me...The crust is too hard on bottom.
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2006, 08:08:57 PM »
Hey pete-zza, how are yah?
You know what? I tried 3 times that NY STyle dough. Last time it was pretty much good but even though far from NY style... :'( What i did was bake the dough on the stone only with sauce on and then took it out added the cheese and then finish baking on the highest rack....just to melt....the interesting thing is that the thicker the dough is easier is to bake(to get brown), so i must be careful to toss it...try to not let the middle became too thin( transparent membrane)....But the problem is still there...the dough is kinda a crispy(wich is good) but extremely chewy! It hurts my mouth muscle! But i dont fell that the crust is dry...i fell that its not light...its a bit heavy...i dont know if i'm telling you right, did you understand? The air bubble in the dough are not as big as the photo below...they are smaller...só the dough bottom skin that touches the stone is a bit thicky compared to the photo...
check it out!

one more doubt....what kind of pizza stone should i buy...i found a ceramic stone 0,4 inch...for an excelent price...is it good?


thankkssssssss onceeeeee again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
http://ieslei.sp.sites.uol.com.br/DSC00749.JPG
« Last Edit: October 19, 2006, 08:21:29 PM by ieslei »
I dream every night of one day i could make my own a pizza like the one I ate in famiglia, located in NY! That would be great!

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Help me...The crust is too hard on bottom.
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2006, 08:54:14 PM »
ieslei,

I'm a bit confused. Can you tell me which pizza you made? Is it a pizza made from the Alton Brown recipe that you were experimenting with or from one of the Lehmann recipes I provided links to and, if so, which one? Also, is the photo you showed of the pizza you actually made? Or is it just a photo of another pizza that you would like your pizza to look like? If it is a photo of another pizza, where did you get it?

A thicker pizza will sometimes be crispy and chewy if you let it bake long enough at a lower temperature or if you pre-bake it as you did with only the sauce. One way to get a softer, less chewy crust is to bake the pizza at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time. However, it appears that your oven won't allow you to do that. Another way to get a less chewy crust is to use a weaker flour. However, if you are using all-purpose flour, you are already using a weaker flour. You could try adding some cake flour to your all-purpose flour to soften it. If you were following one of the Lehmann recipes, I think you might try adding some oil and sugar to the dough. I would try around 4% oil and 2% sugar (by weight of flour). Without knowing more about your oven situation, it's hard to say what thickness of dough will work best for you

As for the ceramic stone, can you provide a photo or more detail on its composition? If it is intended to be used to bake pizza (or bread) on, then I assume that it should be OK to use.

Peter

Offline ieslei

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Re: Help me...The crust is too hard on bottom.
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2006, 11:16:40 PM »
OWWWWW MYY GOGOOOOSHII!!!!!! :P :P Finally made the pizza I wanted!!!!! I think this song is international so here it goes!! AAAAALEEELUIAAAAA AAAAALELUIAAAA ALELUIA!!!! huahuauhau after months running after a way to prepare at my own house the great pizza recipe you fellas gave me....and finally! hahaa

Hey peter! I bought that ceramic stone that i told about! Now instead 20 mins baking the pizza gets ready in 8mins tops! But problem was still there, the bottom was way too hard! What I did was buy a kitchen scale to have a perfect measurement....And I genious figured out that the hydration level was extremely high muuuchhh more than 80%!!!!!using that cup wasnt a great ideia ahuuahuha thats why the bottom was like that.... now it s weird to deal with a bit sticky dough... buuuut. Things that we'll get use to, right??? The crust know is very crispy and chewy! juuuust very good!The next step is try to make the NY's SAUCE!!! let's see if I can do it!
Also try another flour, one with more protein! I'm now using the fleischmann's basic flour w/ 10% protein...its hard to find in my country one flour with more than 11%...its 11 or less than that...like 9% or 00 type..the only way is adding one table spoon, or less, of gluten flour(which has 45% of protein) to every kilo of usual flour I use....
Well...All I know is that I'm so into it more than ever!!!!!!
Thanks ONCE AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :chef::chef::chef::chef::chef::chef::chef::chef::chef: :pizza: :pizza: :pizza: :pizza: :pizza: :pizza: ;D   ;D
« Last Edit: November 16, 2006, 11:29:17 PM by ieslei »
I dream every night of one day i could make my own a pizza like the one I ate in famiglia, located in NY! That would be great!


 

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