When I first started making pizza at home, my pizza would taste fine, but the crust would always turn out soggy – especially in the middle. Without a crazy high temperature wood burning oven, the crust just wouldn’t crisp like commercial pizza. Then I learned these three tricks:
1. Heat your pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven before you put the dough on it. Make sense — if the stone is already warm, then the pizza is going to warm and crisp faster. I usually just put the stone in while the oven is pre-heating (5-6 minutes). This method ensures that the stone doesn’t heat too fast.
2. Always cook the dough before you add toppings. I used to cook the dough for 5-10 minutes and then take it out before it was done because I was worried about overcooking it. If the dough is still soft, it’s just going to absorb the sauce and be soggy. It needs to be cooked enough to stand up to the toppings. Now, I cook the dough for 10-15 minutes at 450 degrees until its nice and golden brown all over. It’s kind of like blow drying your hair. If you leave your hair a little wet and then step outside into the humidity or rain, your hair will immediately frizz (at least mine will!). If you blow dry your hair all the way through, it’s more likely to stand up to the elements.
3. Brush a teaspoon of olive oil over the entirety of the crust before putting it in the oven. This helps the dough crisp on top so that it doesn’t get soggy in the middle.
If you follow these three tips, you should have wonderfully crispy pizza dough!