Secret to the perfect pizza crust?

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by KimberlyJ, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. KimberlyJ

    KimberlyJ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    When we were kids my dad hated mozzarella cheese and claimed even the smell of it cooking would gag him, so whipping up a ChefBoyRde pizza for our lunch while he slept from working third shift was a no no. When I moved out and was single I made it my personal tradition to have pizza every Friday night. Fast forward years later; I’m married now and can convince my DH to honor this tradition most Friday nights. However, over a year ago I had a disagreement with our local Pizza Hut. (DH doesn’t care he hates Pizza Hut anyway, but it’s my fav around here. Nothing is as good as Marie’s in Wadsworth or Coccia House in Wooster OH)) So the next week, determined to make my own, I huffed into the local grocery store and got stuff for a salad, premade pizza dough, pepperoni and cheese AND strawberry shortcake for less than what a delivery pizza would cost me anyway. So since then I have been making almost all of our pizza from scratch--or at least with premade dough. But I just can’t seem to get the crust “right”. Hubby’s from CT so he likes his “New Haven “ Style—thin, crispy crust, but I’m a Midwest girl and prefer Chicago style—thick, softer crust. But no matter which one I aim for I just miss it. So here’s what I’ve got to work with—any tips sure would be appreciated:
    1. BS in Food and Nutrition
    2. 20 yrs experience as a food service director, mostly in upscale Jewish Retirement Centers
    3. A Convection oven—it proofs, convection bakes, convection cooks and regular bakes and broils.
    4. A Pizza Peel
    5. A Pizza Stone
    6. Homemade sauce I canned this fall from tomatoes we grew. (with alpaca compost. It was BC—before chickens)
    7. Deli size pepperoni
    8. Provalone cheese, sliced and shredded Mozz
    9. The usual well stocked kitchen…
    Yep, all this to work with and I STILL can’t get it right. HELP ME PLEASE!!!!
  2. certifiedchef

    certifiedchef Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    the secret to good dough is two parts. First the flour - you want something high in protein - I use a priduct called superlative (if you are in Foodservice, check with your vendor, sysco carries it) Second is letting it rest over night once it has gone thru the primary proof and been scaled out. I have a recipe at work that makes like 16lbs of dough,if you'd like email me at
    [email protected] and i'll snd it to you next week. Otherwise California Pizza kitchen has a dough recipe that is decent. Good luck!
  3. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've got a lengthy pizza recipe here if you want look it up. But here is the dough I've been making recently which I really like. You could do a thin crust or a great thick crust with it easily - I know because I too am from Chicago and like my deep dish in a cast iron skillet from time to time. My wife, from Jersey City (and I) likes a thin crust and this works quite well on a large sheet pan.

    Mis en Place:

    2 cups buttermilk
    1 Tbls sugar

    1 1/2 Tsp dry yeast (I buy in bulk at Costco and freeze part of it)

    1 Tsp salt
    4 cups bread flour

    1 Tbls olive oil (for the storage container you keep the dough covered in, I use a round Rubbermaid one)


    Combine buttermilk and sugar in a measuring cup, warm in the microwave for about 1 minute. Still well so sugar is completely disolved. Check the temp with your finger to be sure it's only tepid, no more.
    Add yeast to milk mixture and stir well - then let stand about 10-15 minutes. When it has really frothed add the milk mixture to your stand mixer bowl, dump in the flour and salt, hook up your dough hook and work the dough at medium speed about 5 minutes, the dough should start pulling away from the sides of the bowl, if not add a tiny bit more flour until it does. Now at a higher speed knead another 5 minutes. Turn off mixer, remove bowl from stand and place EVO in your storage container, gently slide dough into container and flip so all sides are covered with EVO. Cover with lid and let rest in a warm, not drafty area a couple hours.
    Lay out some flour on your work surface and break dough into two portions. Roll one out super thin and lay on a parchment lined pan for your husband. Roll and pull out the other half for a thick crust and place that in an oiled cast iron skillet. Then garnish with a small amount of sauce, your cheeses and toppings. I love both kinds of pizza and can't say one or the other is my favorite, Good luck
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  4. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2009
    Quote:All that edumacation and experience and you still can't get Grandma's Pizza dough right? Here's mine:

    Bread flour, yeast, with olive oil for the fat, fresh pressed garlic, real butter, farm egg. Make your dough with those ingredients and cook the pizza in a large cast iron skillet to get a deep dish thick softer dough with a crispy outer layer. The olive oil and garlic makes my house smell just like Pizza Hut when the pizza is cooking.
  5. KimberlyJ

    KimberlyJ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    I don't think it's the recipe.........I've used about 23 different ones in the last year. I think it's the method. The rolling out, tossing, baking........too much sauce maybe?
  6. KimberlyJ

    KimberlyJ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    Quote:Yep that's EXACTLY what I'm saying! Wastin my Papa's money that's fer sure! I can't cook in a cast iron skillet on the top of my new stove--it's a glass top and they say don't do it. Do you make yours in the oven in the skillet?
  7. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2009
    Quote:Yep that's EXACTLY what I'm saying! Wastin my Papa's money that's fer sure! I can't cook in a cast iron skillet on the top of my new stove--it's a glass top and they say don't do it. Do you make yours in the oven in the skillet?

    Yes, in the oven in a well seasoned ex-large 14" cast iron skillet. Yes, you're right, it's not the recipe, it's the method, to this day my DW can not make pie crust pastry. She tries using a recipe, I use the appearance and texture while making my crust and it always turns out superb vs her attempts. (that really chaps her hide) I only use recipes as a general guideline, I learned a lot from watching my grandmother as a child prepping meals on a wood burning stove/oven and from an old encyclopedia cookbook that talked methods, not rigid recipes. ( my feminine side showing? It's not, famous chefs are Men!)
  8. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

    So what's the actual "problem" with your doughs. Do they rise ok, taste ok. Please elaborate.
    Yes I bake my pizzas in the oven - haven't done a grilled on the barbeque pizza but I am sure it is do able.

    Awaiting some specifics. In the meantime here's my recipe thread for pizza. I made it kinda wordy because people I know needed more of explained.
    "Let me 'splain it to you Lucy" I tell my wife

    I scrimp on the amount of sauce I use, I used to use more but I found when we got a slice someplace I'd see the guy making the pies put on a really THIN layer of sauce and I liked the end result a lot. I make sauce from premade pasta sauce, one of my favorites to use as the base for my sauce: Walmart's Good Value Chunky Garden, around a dollar a jar. I just hit it with some sugar, Herbs de Provence and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Here's last nights pie

    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  9. ImStillMags

    ImStillMags Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Quote:Here is the pizza dough I've been using for a long time...we used it in the restaurant and I use it at home as well. If you have a cuisinart or food processor it's really quick and easy too. It makes a big batch, enough for 3 0r 4 pizzas, or you can refrigerate the dough and use some today and some tomorrow.
  10. peeplessinNC

    peeplessinNC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 23, 2008
    NC Piedmont
    Over the years I've made a lot of homemade pizza - and most of it was pretty good. You sure save a lot of money doing it yourself, too! I was always trying new crust recipes and they were fine, just not as good as I thought they could be.

    Then I found this recipe about 2 years ago and now it is the only one I use. The sauce is really easy and very good - it freezes well too. And the dough freezes fine if you only want to make one pizza at a time as I do. I really want to try pizza on the grill - and my BIL has a wonderful set up.....3 grills and a fireplace on their new patio they built.

    Artisanal Pizza Dough

    3 cups bread or all purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
    3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 1/4 cups 2% low-fat milk
    2 tablespoons olive oil -- plus more for bowl

    Whisk the flour, yeast and salt together in a large bowl, then pour in the milk and oil. Mix together with a large fork or your hands. Knead once or twice to form a ball. It may be sticky, but that’s okay.

    Oil a bowl and set the dough in it. Lay a sheet of waxed paper loosely over the top, then cover with plastic wrap. Place a clean dish towel over the bowl and allow to rise at room temperature and undisturbed for 24 hours. Turn the dough once in the bowl about 3 hours before you want to use it. The 24 hour fermentation process takes the place of kneading the dough.

    When you are ready to make your pizza, divide the dough in half on a lightly floured board, then proceed with your pizza making. The dough can be frozen for up to a month; Thaw at room temperature before using.

    Makes two 12”-14” pizza crusts

    Source: Pizza on the Grill by Elizabeth Karmel and Bob Blumer
    btw: I use a pizza stone in my gas oven with the oven preheated for 30 minutes or more at 500F and I use a peel to transfer the pizza to the stone.

    Weed’s Missouri pizza sauce

    1 16 oz. can whole tomatoes, diced fine
    6 oz. can tomato paste
    1 1/2 TB sugar
    1 t. crushed dried basil
    1/2 t. salt
    1/4 t. dried thyme

    Mix together, let sit, do not cook. Makes enough sauce for 4 pizzas.

    note: I think I might add a TB or two of olive oil to this sauce recipe.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by