The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Keeping The Pizza Crisp

brednbrew's picture
brednbrew

Keeping The Pizza Crisp

Ok, the pizza is out of the oven, if left in the pan, it steams up

and gets soggy.

(I don't cut pizza in my pans anyway)

Putting pizza on a wooden board makes it soggy.

Is there a trick to keeping the bottom of the pizza crisp

while enjoying a slice at the table?

My pizza is crisp enough to hold the slice without flopping,

but not after being on the board for a few minutes.

Thanks

dosco's picture
dosco

How do you cook your pizza? On a stone?

 

What temperature?

 

I used to cook at a pizza shop many, many moons ago. The oven ran at almost 700dF.

 

When I cook my pizza the oven is set to 500dF and I cook on a Pampered Chef stone. I normally cook it so the cheese is just slightly brown (some think of this slightly overcooked) and the bottom is quite brown.

 

The finished pizza usually softens a tiny bit on the board but if it's crusty and crisp it usually stays that way.

 

-Dave

 

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

put my pizza on a rather large (gigantic) dry frying pan on the stove, set to its lowest setting. It works for me but I have a rather wimpy stove so you'll have to experiment to see if this works for you.

lepainSamidien's picture
lepainSamidien

You could try baking it a little longer, for starters. Just a minute or so extra might crisp it up a little bit.

I submit also the following speculation: the water inside of the dough is turning to steam, which is trying to escape. No problem in the oven, really, but when it gets pulled out and placed on a flat surface in which it can't breath (a COLD flat surface), the steam ends up going right back into the dough or condensing onto the board or pan, which will a soggy crust make.

I would perhaps try a cooling rack for a few minutes before slicing, in order to provide some air circulation. Direct contact with a flat surface might be the culprit. Worth a shot ! 

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Cool your pie on a pizza screen or wire rack instead. I agree that direct contact with a pan might be culprit, as may be slightly underbaking your crust, especially if it's thick. 

brednbrew's picture
brednbrew

Thanks everyone!

I cook my pizza on a Wilton round pizza pan, but it does have a bit of a rim.(steam gets trapped?)

I bake at 450 on the 2nd to the lowest rack.  (I like a little browning on the cheese bubbles too)

I have also tried baking it in my large cast iron skillet, but it was too difficult to remove and I don't have a cutting board thats big enough. I don't like cutting pizza in cast iron.

I'm limited. My oven is a built in wall unit; a 16" pan almost touches the door.

Ok, I'll do this: bake on lowest rack, remove from pan, onto a cooling rack, let it set a few minutes, cut slices and return remaining slices to wire rack.

I'll let you know if that does it.

I appreciate all the great suggestions!

Regards,

BnB

dosco's picture
dosco

BnB:
I'd strongly suggest you get a baking stone. I don't think there is any way to use a pan to get the proper "finish" on the bottom of a pizza.

I'd bet you can find one that fits your oven.

Cheers-

Dave

brednbrew's picture
brednbrew

Thanks! I was looking at one yesterday, but it was 16".

14" would work better with my oven. The racks angle up near the back wall of the oven and 

shorten the front to back distance about 1.5". Just enough to make 16" too big.

 

 

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Or a baking steel, which IMO is even better than a stone for pizza:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22227/steel-sheet-instead-pizza-stone

They are very cheap and will last forever

 

drogon's picture
drogon

Sounds like the issue here is not when baking it, but when it comes out, so stones/steels are going to be of limited use there...

I've got a pizza tray which has holes in it, but I rarely use it - it's more handy for re-heating pizzas up.

An eternal problem though - out of the oven, onto a wooden board, cut into slices then immediately transferred to ordinary wire cooling racks and served off them?

Or eat faster ;-)

 

-Gordon

dosco's picture
dosco

I've never been able to get a properly crisped pizza crust cooking it on a cookie sheet or pizza sheet. And we all know that proper pizza is cooked in an oven that has a firebrick (or some other ceramic) bottom.

 

So, to gently disagree, I *do* think that the lack of a stone (or steel) is a contributing factor here.

 

-Dave

 

drogon's picture
drogon

@breadnbrew says in his first posting:

My pizza is crisp enough to hold the slice without flopping,

but not after being on the board for a few minutes.

which suggests to me that the issue here is after its out of the oven, not while its cooking.

-Gordon

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

baking rack will retain the crispness.

brednbrew's picture
brednbrew

Thanks everyone who responded!

! went out today to look at pizza stones and remembered my son had one.

I called and asked him about it and he said is smelled so bad, that he tossed it after

a few uses. He said he wasn't sure why but maybe it was made in a foreign country of questionable materials. He said it was a chemical smell.

We are a cast iron cookware family (Lodge outlet 20 miles away) so we have skillets in

all sizes and I have the cast iron rectangular platter (meant for sizzle serving).

I'm going to try that, the lowest rack and then put unserved pizza on my small grid

cooking rack.

Eat Faster---LOL! That'll do it!

brednbrew's picture
brednbrew

I have found that using a drier dough for one thing helps, but I remove the pizza to a cooling rack for a few minutes (good to let the cheese set too)

Then I slide onto board, slice and return to the cooling rack.

This works.

By the way, I have for several years now, been re-heating leftover pizza slices in a dry, cast iron skillet. Loosely tent it with foil. (crinkle the foil, open back up and drop lightly over skillet)

The cast iron crisps the crust and gently heats the top. And you don't have to heat the oven.

I also make pizza in cast iron skillets; some deep some regular.

 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

I agree with Cranbo.  Pizza Screen.  I cook my pizza on a BS pizza oven, which uses a stone, and the bottom is definitely done, but when I take it out,  I put it on a screen, and the screen sits on a pizza pan, with another pan on top to keep it warm and let the cheese set.  When you look at the pizza pan under the screen, you can see the moisture that has settled there.  If you let the pizza sit directly on a cold pizza pan, it will get moist.