Why Is Your Pizza Crust Turning Out Soggy?

A crispy, crunchy crust adds another layer of enjoyment to a well-topped, flavorful pizza. Unfortunately, many home cooks struggle to achieve the crunchy, crispy crust they crave, instead turning out soggy pizzas. You don't have to be doomed to a lifetime of soggy crust. Consider these possible causes of your limp, lackluster pizza, and make the recommended adjustments to yield a better result.

Using the Wrong Flour

To achieve a crunchy crust, you must use bread flour, rather than all-purpose flour, to make your pizza crust. Bread flour is available in most grocery stores. Its finer texture allows it to absorb the water more thoroughly than all-purpose flour, and this contributes to a crispier result.

Not Preheating (or even using) Your Pizza Stone

If you're not using a pizza stone, and have instead been baking your pizza crusts on metal sheets, this is probably why your crusts are not crispy. Wood-fired pizza ovens, and even standard commercial pizza ovens, get a lot hotter than your home oven. To compensate for the lower temperature of your home oven, you can bake your pizza on a pizza stone, which is literally made out of stone.

The proper way to use a pizza stone is to preheat your oven with the stone in it. Then, you transfer your pizza to the already-hot stone, and the direct heat from the stone crisps the crust. Placing the dough on a cold stone does not work well and will result in a soggy crust.

Overloading Your Crust

Many of the ingredients that are typically used on pizza– including sauce, cheese and veggies – are high in moisture. Use too many of them and your crust will become moist, too. Make sure you only use a thin layer of sauce and cheese. If you're using moist vegetables, such as mushrooms or onions, pre-cooking them before putting them on the pizza can lower their moisture content so your crust turns out crispier.

Not Baking the Pizza Hot Enough

As previously mentioned, home ovens don't get nearly as hot as the 600 – 800 degree F pizza ovens that professionals use. The hotter you cook your pizza, the crispier your crust will be, so crank that thermostat up as high as it will go – usually 450 – 500 F.

By using bread flour, cooking your pizza on a pizza stone in a very hot oven, and avoiding using too many toppings, you can make a crispier, more enjoyable pizza. Give these tips a try, and treat your family to the best homemade pizza they've ever had.

If you don't feel like cooking, check out restaurants like Columbus Pizza & Donair.