The Recipe for a Perfect Pizza Crust
The foundation of every great pizza is its crust—literally! It’s the canvas that supports the sauce, cheese and toppings that give a pie it’s delicious flavors and textures. And, it’s how most pizza styles get their definition—from deep dish Chicago-style crust to the thin, crispy crust of a tavern-style pizza.
But the truth is, it’s not so easy to create a great dough—and bake it into a flavorful crust—from scratch. With some trial and error, though, you’ll be able to whip up a great dough that leads to a delicious crust and an amazing pizza pie. Here’s a step-by-step guide to achieving the perfect pizza crust.
The perfect crust starts with the perfect ingredients
The typical pizza crust recipe includes a mixture of water, flour, active dry yeast, sugar and olive oil. While recipes vary in terms of the ratio, you should always select the freshest ingredients you can buy. The olive oil you select is particularly important, as it adds a savory flavor and also makes stretching the dough out easier, without any holes.
Flour is the most essential ingredient when it comes to pizza crust—or any other type of crusty bread, for that matter. While all-purpose flour works fine for most recipes, getting a little creative with your choices can have a big impact on the finished product.
If you love a chewier, crumby crust, use high-protein bread flour. If you really want to get fancy, use imported Antimo Caputo pizza flour—it’s ground more finely than most flours you’ll find in American supermarkets, and it gives you that authentic pizza crust you’ll only find in Italy!
Preparation plays a big role in crust integrity
When it comes to making an exceptional pizza dough, one of the best tips to remember is to use a scale. Most people incorrectly measure the flour, either eyeballing it or using a cup measure. The best pizza recipes call for ingredients measured by weight rather than volume, since flour is so compressible.
Getting the correct amount of flour into your dough is essential if you’re looking for a great-tasting crust with the perfect crispness. Measure the flour by sifting it into a cup, and weigh it on a food scale so you know you’re working with the exact amount your recipe calls for. You should also use the scale to measure the other ingredients, like yeast, salt and water.
It’s also a good idea to proof your yeast, to enhance the flavor of the crust. This technique is also called “cold fermentation.” All you have to do is add your dough to a large bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel, and leave it in the refrigerator until it double or triples in size. Your dough will be airier, and your crust will be crispier for your efforts.
Bake with care to ensure optimal taste and texture
How you bake your pizzas has a big effect on both the flavor and texture of the crust. If you’ve ever wondered how your favorite local pizzeria’s pies taste so much better than your homemade versions, the secret is in the temperature. Their oven’s likely much hotter than yours, and a higher temperature leads to better oven spring.
This early phase of baking creates an airy dough that’s full of holes, featuring a perfect crispness. It's best to bake your pizzas as hot as your oven will go—up to the 550-degree Fahrenheit mark is usually ideal.
Maintaining crust integrity
Bringing your homemade pizza pies to a game-day party, tailgate, potluck or any other special event? You need to make sure your pizzas stay fresh on the journey from the oven to your destination, so your friends and family can appreciate your baking prowess. Successful transportation relies on having the right equipment—a pizza delivery bag.
The best pizza delivery bags are designed with features that create an optimal environment for keeping pizzas fresh. Well-designed and expertly crafted pizza delivery bags include insulation on all six sides, a heat shield to preserve warmth and breathable fabric to release humidity.
By preserving heat and releasing moisture, a high-quality bag ensures you’ll never have to worry about soggy crust ruining all your hard work. You can count on a crispy, great-tasting pizza that tastes like it just came out of the oven!
The crust makes the pizza
The best pizza is only as good as its crust, and achieving the perfect crust at home can be challenging. From finding the best recipe to following proven baking methods, making the perfect pizza crust relies on plenty of variables coming together.
Follow these tips when it comes to choosing ingredients, mixing your dough, baking with care and even transporting your pizza. If you do, you’re bound to end up with an incredible crust that sets the stage of a heavenly pizza.