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Been in business for 30 years but my crust is mostly limp,like when you pick it up it takes two hands to hold it up so you can eat it. I want to pick it up with only one hand. What am I doing wrong?

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    Can you give some more details about your pizza and crust -- recipe, method, equipment? Can't tell you what you're doing wrong if we don't know what you're doing :) – Erica Jan 5 '16 at 21:34
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Some bulleted advice without knowing your techniques and tools...I made pizza professionally for a little while (don't ask me where, it's embarrassing)

  • Use higher temps underneath the pizza, not just the air. If your equipment doesn't heat the bottom, get stones with feet so you can have a hot bottom.
  • thinner crust
  • let the pizza dough rise some more, or adjust your dough recipe to rise a little more.
  • don't over-knead the dough, or you just make it tough rather than crispy.
  • don't load the pizza up with too much stuff, it stays wet and cools the pizza down while it's cooking.
  • avoid center loading, the cheese pulls everything toward the center which makes the center more soggy, Leave a 1 inch hole devoid of cheese at the center and focus on even distribution of cheese right to the edge of the crust.
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Not a professional pizza maker, but a self confessed ny pizza snob. One piece of advice i can give you, which may not apply here, is that i've seen many pizza's go limp because right after they come out of the over and are steaming hot, people put them down on a metal (or other non-porous) surface, at which point i think it's own steam causes the crust to become soggy again. If yours is coming out soggy out of the oven then escoce probably gave you better advice than I can.

good luck

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"Crust" is made by searing out all the moisture from top layers of the dough. In short,

  • make sure you have the "top layer" well formed, e.g. by stretching the doughball's surface before you flatten it into a pizza
  • more temperature helps. Turn it to 100%, pizzas can easily survive initial temperature around ~300 Celsius (550 Fahrenheit) If you don't have a professional oven, try to bake on a preheated clay brick or something similar that holds temperature well (difference in dough rise and final texture is more than noticeable) and prevents initial temperature drop.
  • steam in the oven doesn't "put moisture back" into the dough in such temperatures. The steam is useful only to make the dough crust dry slower (to aid dough rise) and prevent burns from high temperature.
  • after taking the pizza from the oven, make sure the steam can vent off easily. I usually put it on a fine steel grid for around 3 minutes just above the oven (so it doesn't get cold).
  • do not use baking powder (I have no justification for this, but everytime I use baking powder the crust gets out weird)
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I have observed a fine pizza shop owner cook the pizzas on a grid/screen and then allow them to cool a minute on the screen after the oven. Then off the screen and into the box or serving tray. The oven is a 2 inch stone base oven at 550 Fahrenheit.

  • If you are a pizza shop owner look through the catalog from your supplier for screens made for this exact use. They are thin expansion metal with a half inch border folded around the edge. When they are new they can be seasoned with heat and oil to avoid sticking. – Wade Bednarick Jan 16 '16 at 8:51
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You might try using 00 (double zero) flour, available at stores that sell Italian groceries. An employee of an Italian deli told me this flour is for pizza and has a little less protein than other flours. it is to make the dough light and the crust crisp. Hope this helps.

Andrea

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