The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to keep the bread crust crusty and softish pizza dough.

Jmarten's picture

How to keep the bread crust crusty and softish pizza dough.

Firstly, thank you to all the useful replies I have received for other questions.

As a relatively new bread baker, I have mastered the wonderful artisan loaf (my favourite is the Courrone by susan). However, after about an hour or so after taking my gorgeous very crusty bread out of the oven the crust begins to soften a little. Do you wonderful master bakers out there have any tips? Also, I have another question re. Pizza bases. I have tried many pizza base recipes, albeit they taste very nice but I can't get that authentic, flat, flourery, italian base you get from some pizza restaurants, I do use an oven stone.I would appreciate your help.

Kind regards- Jane

cranbo's picture


I've heard leaving your loaf in the oven with the door cracked for a few minutes after baking should help with the crust. The softness is usually a result of moisture inside the loaf working its way out.

Re: pizza bases/crusts, the options are endless. You'd probably have to be more specific about the restaurant to get a better idea for how to make the ideal base for your taste. I would start by using a dedicated pizza flour, like Caputo Tipo 00. That said, you can make very good bases by tweaking yeast, fermentation times and hydration. Head over to forums for recipes and more, that seems to be a definitive resource on pizza.  

Jmarten's picture

Great thanks.

flournwater's picture

"I can't get that authentic, flat, flourery, italian base you get from some pizza restaurant"

Professional pizza ovens work at temperatures nearly twice as high (some even higher) as any home oven.  That's critical for the type of crust you're wanting to achieve.  But skillful use of olive oil in and on the dough in a 500 degree oven with a preheated stone can help.

jaywillie's picture

Seems like it's time for a trip to the library (or Amazon, using TFL's links, for Peter Reinhart's "American Pie." It has recipes for many different types of crusts. Also check out his pizza site,

margieluvschaz's picture

I've had the best luck using Lil Dice's crust  recipe from this site.  I add Ka pizza dough flavor 2 TBL, 2 Tbl of sourdough starter, 2 T sugar & a bit more flour.  I have a batch proofing where I subbed 30 g wheat flour & 2 T olive oil plus a touch more flour not sure how it will turn out.  I wanted to try Olive oil to see if how the crust comes out with  it added.

try her recipe as written first- I think you'll have great luck with it!


margieluvschaz's picture

just wanted you to know I wasn't happy with my dough last night, adding the wheat flour & olive oil. 


rossnroller's picture

Hi Jane

I'm also into thin-crust pizza and have done a lot of experimenting with different dough formulae and tweaking. The best I have managed is a sourdough version, based on the famous Vasasano recipe. Not sure whether you use an electric mixer or hand-mix, but I do the latter and have adapted Vasasano's method to suit. Have also tweaked his formula - just a little olive oil is a good idea for domestic oven pizzas, as it keeps them a little softer during the baking, which is longer than the couple of minutes needed at the high temps of a WFO or commercial pizza oven. The flavour of this base is outstanding, and although a domestic oven that maxes out at 250C wiill never quite match the effects of baking at 500C in a wood-fired oven, you can get pretty close.

As has already been suggested, you'll need a pizza stone or similar.

Pre-heat your oven on max for an hour, pre-bake your olive-oil smeared base for 2-3 minutes, then remove and add your toppings, return to oven and turn on the griller (broiler is the term used in the States, I believe) for the last minute or so. That will give you a char on the edges. You'll need to experiment with baking times, but with the wet doughs and light toppings I prefer, I average about 8 minutes total per pizza in my oven (I don't use the convection fan).

If interested, you'll find step-by-step directions on my blog: Sourdough Pizzas - As Good As Home Oven Pizzas Get

If you decide to give this a go, lemme know your findings.

Best of baking!