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I made pizza from scratch, including the dough. I followed the recipe correctly and kneaded it for around 30+ minutes until it passed the windowpane test. It was stretchy and not too dry or wet. I let it sit and then proof in the fridge before stretching it out and baking it on a pizza steel (That was heated for 1 hour at 525F). The crust turned out WAY too hard, so much so that if I tried to fold the tip of the slice it would crack like a cracker. I like pizza crispy but I still want to be able to fold it! The dough seemed fine and nice and stretchy and easily workable before I put it in the oven... it was light and airy and the outer crust formed those nice big bubbles (that were way too hard, though)... what went wrong? Is it possible that I over kneaded? How do I keep a crispy outer crust but still nice and foldable so I don’t break my teeth when I eat it? Also, after kneading the dough can I let it rise in the fridge overnight?

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    Did it rise? It seems a problem with the yeast/proofing. How long did it sit in the fridge? And after you removed from the fridge, did you let sit until room temperature before opening the dough? – Croves Mar 26 at 19:45
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    30+ minutes of kneading sounds like way too much. – Pete Becker Mar 26 at 20:07
  • @Croves I let it rise at room temp over night and it doubled in size. The next morning It was super puffy so i lifted the plastic wrap and gently formed it into a uniform shape without squishing the air out of it. Sat in the fridge for about 4 hours and let it sit for 2 hours outside of the fridge to come to room temp before forming the pizza. – Pizza Help Mar 26 at 20:55
  • @Pete Becker I thought it was way too much too but it kept tearing when I tried to do the windowpane test. Next time I’ll definitely knead for less and see what happens. Thanks! – Pizza Help Mar 26 at 20:56
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    What's your recipe? I'd like to answer but it is dependent on that. – GdD Mar 27 at 8:48
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Possible problems:

  1. You have too little water in the dough (you said that it felt OK, though)
  2. You baked it for too long at too low a temperature (likely).
  3. You let it proof for too long or too high a temperature (sounds like this may not be the case if you followed the directions and had it in the fridge).
  4. You kneaded it too much (likely).

I'd suggest making sure the hydration is correct according to your recipe, kneading 10-12 minutes, then cooking it on a pizza stone or baking steel in a really hot oven so it cooks as quickly as possible. Let us know if this solved your problem.

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  • Thank you! I’ll try that out next time. – Pizza Help Mar 27 at 17:16
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It sounds like the dough was kneaded too much. Rather than go by time in kneading a yeast dough recipe I try to go by the way it feels including texture and elasticity. I've had great success with my Kitchen Aid mixer and the dough hook. Also, be careful not to add too much flour if kneading by hand. A shaker with flour in it works perfectly to disperse an even, light layer of flour when flouring a board during the kneading process (or when rolling out any type of dough)

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  • Thank you! I’ll definitely knead less and go by texture rather than time. – Pizza Help Apr 1 at 0:23

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