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I am on my road to perfecting thin crust pizza, but a major problem is that about 5 to 10 minutes after getting it out of the oven the cheese begins to congeal and harden, making my homemade pizza taste like it just came out of the fridge.

Why does it happen? I know the cheese in commercial pizzas from Dominos or Italian mergheritas from Rome both retain somewhat desirable texture for more than 30 minutes after serving. Even as those pizzas get colder, their cheese "coating" does not harden as mine.

Recipe: 500g white flour /335 ml water with 7g dried yeast and 1tbsp of salt / knead for 10 minutes or so / proof for 2 hours / 220c in the oven for 7 minutes

The cheese was a think layer of grated Parmeggiano Reggiano with 18% Mozarella Fresca and a little olive oil with a sprinkle of kosher salt.

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    Most are not going to watch a video to learn your recipe, you need to either put it in your post or find a link. – GdD Feb 1 '16 at 13:44
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    Dominos pizza does not stay hot for an hour... They get cold practically as soon as you open the box. Only the first slice is usually truly hot. Same with pizza in Italy, it gets to your table and cools quickly. – Catija Feb 1 '16 at 14:38
  • Remember that many pizza delivery companies use heated, insulated carriers to deliver your pizza, and the closed cardboard box does a lot to insulate it, too. – Catija Feb 1 '16 at 14:41
  • What kind of cheese? Also: I do not translate cheese begins to congeal and harden with going stale. Your question needs some clarity (see also the other comments), please edit. – Jan Doggen Feb 1 '16 at 14:58
  • @jandoggen for me the closest term I know for congealed, hardened cheese on pizza is stale pizza. If you know of a better term, im up for editing. – Bar Akiva Feb 1 '16 at 21:34
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The easiest solution is to use different cheeses.

Most commercial pizzerias, like Domino's or Pizza Hut do not use expensive cheeses like Parmesean or fresh mozzerella... they use crappy cheese designed to be stretchy and to stay that way when warm instead of hot. In general, they use part-skim mozzarella, which is often sold pre-shredded and in hard blocks like you'd find cheddars. This is addressed in another answer, here.

Hard cheeses like Parmesan are unlikely to melt at all and, when they do, they will firm up quickly as they lose heat. You should rarely expect a hard cheese to melt well. Most of them don't. They also lose a lot of oils when they melt, causing unsightly separation. They're great for a burst of salty cheese flavor but they won't behave like Domino's cheese. This is why it's common to top a completed pizza with shredded Parmesan but you wouldn't want to use it as your primary base cheese for the unbaked pizza.

Fresh cheeses like ricotta and mozzarella have the opposite problem. Their high moisture content will often make pizza unappetizingly soggy.

In contrast, the part skim mozzarella used in pizzerias is specifically chosen because it has low water content.

Check out the two questions linked here for a ton more info.

You should consider doing some research into which cheeses melt well as opposed that separate into an gross mess. Note, this list, like many others includes Asiago but it's important to notice that the list refers specifically to fresh Asiago, not the Parmesan-like aged sibling.

  • I dunno how well this will work for pizza (as opposed to cheeseburgers) but... obligatory Serious Eats article: aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/09/… – Cascabel Feb 2 '16 at 0:33
  • So what cheeses do you use? How do you make "pizza must haves" like mozarella work well without making the dough soggy? What cheese does work with thin crust pizza? – Bar Akiva Feb 2 '16 at 5:21
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    @BarAkiva those are completely new questions outside the scope of your original one. I don't make pizzas at home. I don't think the type of crust matters, though. – Catija Feb 2 '16 at 14:24
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I recommend putting your pizzas in a place where they stay warm. An isolated box, or in your bed in a carton box.

The dough will get soggy eventually, though. Domino's gets away with this because the dough is thicker so it takes a while.

If you want crispy, nice, fresh pizza, I recommend eating them fresh, especially because you are making them fresh anyway. I wouldn't really recommend switching to thick dough Domino's-like pizza, because they are designed to be transportable, not the best quality pizza you can have. If you make the effort to make them at home, you can do better!

  • OP is making thin-crust pizza at home, not using Domino's dough for the crust. Is 10 minutes a normal lifetime for cheese on a homemade pizza? – Erica Feb 1 '16 at 21:47
  • @Erica It took me a bit to understand, but I think the point of the Domino's part was to reply to the OP's comparison to pizza from Domino's. I tried to edit to clarify all that. – Cascabel Feb 1 '16 at 22:32
  • Dominos does offer an extremely thin crust pizza option... it's almost cracker-like in its thinness. Regardless, the phrasing of the original question, with the term "stale" made it sound like the question was about the dough but it seems now the concern is the cheese, not the crust. – Catija Feb 1 '16 at 22:36

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