Author Topic: Chewy Crust- "Newbie"  (Read 460 times)

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Offline gijoe985

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Chewy Crust- "Newbie"
« on: October 25, 2021, 11:54:27 AM »
Ok, so I've been following this forum and making "Good pizza" for over a decade, but I've recently wanted to take me pizza up a notch.

If I had any complaints it would be that the crust is a bit too chewy, only at the rim, and that it never browns that well.

I've been using Power Flour from Cash & Carry, but I just got some King Arthur HG flour for the first time. I'm excited to try it.

This is my, very simple, normal routine.

100% flour
60-63% water
.25% IDY
2% oil & sugar
3% salt

I kinda just kept my numbers round.

In my kitchen aid I mix the water, salt and sugar,  then about 70% of my flour. I mix that to incorporate it all and then add the rest of the ingredients.  I mix at 2-3 speed (of 10) for about 5-10 minutes. I let it rest a bit, divide, and let it sit in the fridge for a day or two.

Sometimes I do all of this the same, but up the yeast to .7-1% for a same day rise.

I bake at 550 on a 2" thick granite slab. (It has lasted over a decade for me.) I wait for the slab to get to full temp. Takes about an hour.

I usually bake them for 4-6 minutes. The first ones cook faster.  The bottom will brown well, but the top never gets as brown as I'd like without overlooking the cheese.

I use frozen cheese. Sometimes I apply it frozen, other times I weigh out what I need and let it thaw.

Anyway, I'm open to suggestions. Everyone loves my pizza, but I'm a perfectionist and continue to strive for a better pie. ;)

Offline amolapizza

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Re: Chewy Crust- "Newbie"
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2021, 02:07:31 PM »
This is difficult.. :)

IME, over kneading the dough will make it what I'd characterize as leathery, but one could also call it chewy.  Maybe something to investigate.

If you'd want a more crunchy pizza maybe lowering the oil would work.

You could also play with lowering the salt level a bit, as it influences more than just taste.  Though personally I'm very happy with 3%, and I think it makes a very well handling and well tasting dough.

I can't help much with the unbalanced bake, but maybe you can move the pizza up or turn on the broiler, some even use a blow torch to add some colour to the rim.  You could also try a different cheese as they tend to melt and brown differently.

Effeuno P134H (500C), Biscotto Fornace Saputo, Sunmix Sun6, Caputo Pizzeria, Caputo Saccorosso, Mutti Pelati.

Offline gijoe985

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Re: Chewy Crust- "Newbie"
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2021, 01:41:25 PM »
Thanks for the ideas.

I should look up what others are doing for time and speed on a standard mixer... and maybe less oil.

Offline Rolls

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Re: Chewy Crust- "Newbie"
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2021, 08:04:14 PM »
For a less chewy pizza I would use a lower protein flour and would actually try increasing the oil to 5%.  Fat content in a dough acts as a tenderizer.  Lowering the salt to 2% or less might also help. The lack of browning on the top of the crust is most likely caused by a heat imbalance in the oven, as Jack has already pointed out.  You should try different rack positions and also the broiler to see what works for you. It's all a matter of trial and error until you figure things out.  As the ever wise Tom Lehmann once said: "Every oven is a law unto itself and only itself". 

Parmigiano-Reggiano doesn't come in a green box!   - Chef Jean-Pierre

Offline kori

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Re: Chewy Crust- "Newbie"
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2021, 08:59:02 PM »
Thanks for the ideas.

I should look up what others are doing for time and speed on a standard mixer... and maybe less oil.

My recipe is quite similar to yours (61.6% H2O, 0.35 ady, 2.2 salt, 1.25 sugar, 1 oil) and I also use a KA stand mixer. I think if you are mostly using speed 3 and running it closer to 10 min you might be over kneading. My process is a little different then yours, I quickly mix flour and sugar then add all of my water & yeast. I use the paddle and mix at slowest speed just to bring everything together (15-30sec) then cover the bowl and let rest for 15min. switch to hook and add salt and oil mix on slowest speed for 2 min. then go to speed 2 for 7-8min. Pretty much works perfect for me everytime. At 0.25% idy you should be in the fridge for 48hrs, if you're going to only ferment 24hrs in the fridge bump your yeast up to 0.6%.

Bigger pieces of cheese wont overcook (I think is what you meant to type) as quickly. There's a potato grater on Amazon that grates cheese twice the size of a normal grater. This thing is heavy duty, you'll never warp or bend it, it's bigger then it looks in the picture.


This really helped my issues, not to mention you can grate a chunk of cheese pretty quickly. My process may be frowned upon but I take my block(s) of cheese and put it into the freezer to firm it up, I put the grater & a bowl in the freezer as well to get them cold, give the grater a quick spray with cooking spray, grate my cheese and put it back in the freezer covered with saran. I don't necessarily fully freeze it but probably half way there, I give it a shake and a mix during the process so it doesn't clump together and stick to the bowl. I don't take the cheese out til it's time to put it on the pizza. This should help with your cheese issue.

If your bottom is browning niclely but not the top I'd suggest maybe looking into a pizza screen. A lot of members on the forum as well as some pizzeria's use a screen in combination with a stone/steel so the bottom doesn't brown too quickly. Pizza goes on the screen then on your stone, bottom won't cook as fast. There's different processes of doing this, some leave it on the screen for the entire cook, some start the cook on the screen then eliminate it. I think in your case for a home oven you'd probably wanna use the screen/stone combination for part of the bake then move your pizza up higher in the oven to get the top browned, or position your stone high enough to use the broiler. I recently started turing my broiler on for about a minute then back off just before I put my pizza in the oven, really helped my top cook.

I'm not as experienced as many, but thought I'd share some ideas that have worked for me!
« Last Edit: October 26, 2021, 09:09:11 PM by kori »