I have a stone, I usually keep it in my oven ~ about 1 hour with 500F. The pizza turned out to be very tasty except the bottom - dry and firm (~6-7 minutes in the oven). What should I check?


The base is not just crisp, it's really hard to bite and chew. My dough:

  • flour 200g
  • water 140ml
  • salt 4g
  • yeast 0.4g

The process:

  1. I mixed water and flour, leaving for 0.5hour
  2. Add yeast to a small amount of warm water
  3. Add salt and yeast mix into the dough, mix to incorporate
  4. Leave for ~40mins
  5. Fold
  6. Leave for 6 hours.
  7. Bake

The recipe is from the "Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast" book.

  • 1
    I think you will need to add more information about how the base of the pizza was compared to how you wanted it. I think most pizza-makers want a dry base and it is common to aim for a crispy base too. 'Firm' is a bit too vague to understand your problem.
    – dbmag9
    Oct 24, 2021 at 7:24
  • Also, sharing your dough formula and your process will help.
    – moscafj
    Oct 24, 2021 at 11:19
  • @dbmag9 The base is not just crispy, it's hard to bite and chew, I updated the post.
    – mimic
    Oct 24, 2021 at 19:22
  • Which type of flour? Are you baking directly on a stone, like a Neapolitan style?
    – moscafj
    Oct 24, 2021 at 19:36
  • 1
    Are you mixing the salt and yeast together with water before adding it? Also, are you sure you have the recipe right? Do you really have more water than flour?
    – GdD
    Oct 25, 2021 at 10:51

3 Answers 3


I believe your water content is too high. I use a reciepe similar to yours to cause the exact effect you dont like. High water content cause a crust so chewy it is hard to bite through. Try 90-110ml of water instead of 200ml.

When the stone hits that high water content is does something similar to when you mist bread in the oven to make blisters.

  • 1
    Perhaps....70% hydration is high for Neapolitan pizza. Try reducing to 60 - 65%, for starters.
    – moscafj
    Oct 24, 2021 at 21:27
  • Thanks, I will try out the next time (next weekend) and let you know if it worked or not.
    – mimic
    Oct 24, 2021 at 22:43
  • I still want to know how he managed to stretch a 140% hydration dough. that's not dough, it's pudding.
    – FuzzyChef
    Oct 25, 2021 at 19:40
  • @FuzzyChef I mixed up the flour and water - here, not in reality.
    – mimic
    Oct 25, 2021 at 22:21

I suspect at least a part of the issue might be having too little alveoles (air bubbles/pouches) in the dough. If the dough size has not doubled after step 6 you might need a longer rise. If it has doubled you need to take care to work the dough in a way these bubbles not destroyed or flattened out before the bake.

In case you are aiming for a Neapolitan style with soft an fluffy dough a higher temperature and thus a shorter baking time would help to reduce the amount of evaporation that takes place.

In case you want a crunchier pizza adding some oil will help.

  • Thanks, but I don't think it's the reason. The dough was more than perfect, it doubled after 3 hours or so and after 6 hours it was filled up with a LOT of bubbles. Even although I flattened it a lot when prepared, it raised great when baking, and the taste was delicious. But the base was firm like a stone...
    – mimic
    Oct 25, 2021 at 17:35
  • I see, but I still have no clear imagination what your desired result is. Are you aiming for a Pizza Neapoletana, a thin Romana Tonda, a thicker al taglio or rather for an American style Pizza with a thick and fluffy base?
    – J. Mueller
    Oct 25, 2021 at 17:46
  • Sorry, @J. Mueller, I'm a noob in the pizza's classification... I can't answer your questions precisely. I wanted my pizza to be delicious (check), slightly crispy (check), and bottom to be slightly crispy, not the stone firm (ups).
    – mimic
    Oct 25, 2021 at 18:20

In addition to water content (per Adam Wheeler's answer) the other reason for unpleasant chewiness in a home-oven pizza is protein content and gluten development. When you bake a pizza at 450-500F as opposed to 700-800F in a pizza oven, it cooks longer and can become tough. The solution is to reduce the protein content per Cook's Illustrated(paywall). By having a lower-protein flour and working it minimally, you get a more "tender" pizza when baking at a lower temperature.

I've used this recipe a bunch of times, and make a pizza dough that is 25% either semolina or corn flour to reduce the protein content, with less than 5 min of kneading, at 60% hydration. Works quite well. And if it ends up being too soft, you can tinker with the percentages, kneading, and rise time until you dial in the right consistency.

  • Thanks! What is in the recipe? How is it different from mine (I updated mine because I mixed up flour and water)?
    – mimic
    Oct 26, 2021 at 1:40
  • 1
    Figured I could find someone on the interwebs who bootlegged it: craftybaking.com/recipe/cooks-illustrated-pizza-dough That's the original, which uses cake flour. I recommend using corn flour or semolina or even rye instead, to give it a bit more flavor.
    – FuzzyChef
    Oct 26, 2021 at 5:05

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