The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pizza Crust

Carb Addict's picture
Carb Addict

Pizza Crust

I bought a stone and made pizza using my sourdough recipe. The dough is terrific. The pizzas turned out really good BUT, the bottom of the crust did not brown at all (I realize this is not a brick oven, just our kitchen oven). The funny thing is the top was great; bubbly well cooked and browned nicely. No broiler time at all. Nice airy puffy outer ring of crust too.

Does anyone know how to get a bit of char on the bottom of the crust? Any advise?


BobBoule's picture

stones don't transfer heat very well (although they do hold heat very well). I had the same problem and kept turning up the temperature on my oven to try and compensate but wound up burning the top.

The two things that seemed to work for me are lowing the rack one level (too low and it will burn) and once I cracked the pizza stone into two pieces I purchased a cast iron pizza pan. The cast iron does not hold quite as much heat as a stone but it transfers heat much better than stone does so it goes me a great, crispy brown crust when my oven rack is in its normal position.

Pizzacraft Cast Iron Pizza Pan, 14-Inch, For Oven or Grill - PC0300

Fatmat's picture

I use a stone. The base of the pizza is never particularly brown, but it is beautifully crisp. 

Are you giving the stone a good pre-match. It takes me 40 mins to pre-heat to 280 c. 

I hope this helps. 

HansB's picture

What temp are you baking at and how long of a pre heat? I usually pre heat for at least 60 minutes at 525-550F.

You could always add a bit of sugar or LDMP to your formula which helps with browning.

eddieruko's picture

In addition to the advice on preheating, the other suggestions to consider are rack position and parchment paper.

If you like thinner crust with a few toppings, I would suggest putting it as close to the top as you can. Preheat at max temp, and then fire up the broiler. I actually leave my oven door ajar while the pizza is baking to make sure the broiler stays on. If you like thicker dough and "meat lovers" style toppings, you will need to go lower. I still follow same approach with broiler.

The other consideration, if you are using parchment paper, it can definitely inhibit browning... and at high temps will begin to burn quickly. I used to use it for transferring the pizza onto the stone/steel, but have since gotten the hang of rice flour on my transfer pan/peel and things slide in nicely without sticking.

One other observation, if you make multiple pizzas, the first may come out great... but your stone/steel/oven may not be able to reheat fast enough to yield consistent "leoparding".

FWIW... I have since switched from a stone to a steel (1/4 inch thick Dough Joe version), and my bread, pizza , and my belly thank me.