I got my recipe down pretty much, tested in wood fired oven it worked great. But at home in the oven at 520F (270C), the edge crust is just unbelievably hard. I bake it on pizza stone at the bottom for about 4-5 minutes. Everything works out great except the crust. I tried pulling it out half way to soak with water but it didn't help.

  • 4
    Are you sure your dough is okay? A hard crust is usually caused by a gluten problem, either due to wrong flour or insufficient proofing. Does your dough pass the windowpane test? Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 20:03
  • I think I'm sure. I only had an opportunity to bake this dough once in a wood fired oven on high temperature. It was amazing. But at home, 99% of attempts is hard crust.
    – Ska
    Commented Nov 7, 2015 at 10:37
  • Proofing was (probably more than) sufficient.
    – Ska
    Commented Nov 7, 2015 at 10:45
  • 6
    It's hard to diagnose the problem without knowing the recipe details, or even the style of pizza crust you're trying to bake. Is the edge more "crunchy" (like a cracker, usually seen with thin crusts and big bubbles that separate the outer layer and dry it out) or "tough" (usually seen with thicker crusts, not as airy, that can come out like "hard rolls")?
    – Athanasius
    Commented Nov 7, 2015 at 16:23
  • What works in the extreme heat of an pizza oven might not work in the longer baking required in a home oven. I'd either try adding a little more oil to the dough so it's more tender, or using a cast iron skillet to get fast heat into it.
    – Joe
    Commented Nov 7, 2015 at 17:45

4 Answers 4


You can try high hydration flour. go to 75 percent hydration dough. It will be harder to handle but will be more fluffy. Another thing, heat your oven as high temp as possible. use around 2% yeast as well.


If the only problem with your crust is the very edge, you can try a few things to make it softer. Brushing it with water halfway through is a good start, if that doesn't help enough you might try more water - the crust can be brushed with water just before putting it into the oven, and again right after it has been take out of the oven.

If it's "just" dried out, a single layer of water might dry right off it in the oven - but adding layers of water while baking (just before and/or halfway through) should retard the crust's baking just a bit (much like the sauce does for the center), and brushing water on after it has been taken out of the oven can soak in and hydrate the crust without the oven's heat to dry it off before it soaks in. It works better with several thin layers of water and time between to let it soak in and evaporate off, just dousing the crust may get you a hot and slimy texture. But between water and heat it will soften up if you're patient and let it drink its fill.

On the other hand, you can try adding a layer of oil, or brushing milk instead of water on your crust edge. The fats will not dry off quite so easily, and should make the crust more tender. You could even try an beaten egg or egg yolk around the edges or something, for a thicker coating and more tenderizing effects.

Alternatively, you can use strips of foil or a pie crust shield or something like that to cover just the outermost edges of your pizza (I mean, whatever fits your pizza size). Your crust won't be exposed to quite as much heat, and so it shouldn't dry out as much, and it may have a chance to bake less or keep more water and so stay soft without making adjustments that would change how the rest of your pizza cooks.

If all that doesn't help, or more of the crust is harder than just the very edges, you might have to tweak your actual recipe - as Joe mentioned, different circumstances mean different results, and even with the same dough baking at home might end up with a tougher crust because of the differences in cooking. If that's the case, adding milk or oil or eggs to the dough, should make the crust a tad more tender. I leave it to someone with more experience with pizza crust to suggest specific recipe tweaks. You might still want to brush the edges with a bit more liquid, but a softer crust to begin with might help a little.

  • These ideas all make sense, and would be great for a bread or pastry recipe, but somehow they seem really out of place in for pizza. I'm not trying to be a purist, but I've never seem a recipe wash or otherwise shield the edge of the pizza; it just seems hard to pull off. I do like the idea of a tenderizing agent: olive oil and sugar are standard for New York-Style pizza, which is well-adapted to a 520F (270C) home oven. Commented Sep 21, 2020 at 0:49

Yes l have had the very same problem with the crusty edge. I have since realized that if l make my pizza on tinfoil and mark the size to be made by pressing the desired size of plate under the tinfoil as a guide for size. I only work my dough as big as the desired size rather than too large then shrink it back, my dough gets over worked otherwise. I turn my ovens baking tray upside down, heat it in the oven on very high then pop the pizza on the tinfoil onto the baking tray.Never overcook and it comes out fabulous and brown underneath with fabulous edges. I always make my dough the day before, let it rise in the fridge after a lot of needing, take it out of the fridge, leave at room temp to rise, knock it down after a few hours the leave to rise again, then only shape to fit my desired size without over working it. I have perfected my pizza at home in my oven and it’s a great achievement.


i think your dough temp is lower than it should be.to make fluffy dough u should maintain your dough temp.around 40°c.

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