Help with soggy pizza crust?

Filet Mignon
2013/08/18 17:56:33
I was trying to copy a pizza I had at a food fest. I put olive oil on the uncooked crust, then heirloom tomatoes and burrata (buffalo mozzarella infused with cream). I cooked it at 450 for 10 minutes. As you can probably guess, the crust was terribly soggy.
Maybe they pre-cooked/blind baked the crust then just put it in a salamander or broiler long enough to melt the cheese?
Any idea?

Re:Help with soggy pizza crust? 2013/08/18 18:24:50
Did you use a pizza stone underneath the crust?
Russ Jackson
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Help with soggy pizza crust? 2013/08/18 19:19:26
It looks like the tomatoes are cut way too thick. Try cutting them 1/8th inch. You have to do it on a stone and turn the oven as high as it will go. Don't put olive oil in the field of the pizza just on the outer crust. You can drizzle it on when it comes out of the oven. Finally get a mist sprayer filled with water and about 5 minutes into cooking the pizza open the oven door and spray the inside of the oven three times and close the door as quick as possible...Russ
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Help with soggy pizza crust? 2013/08/18 19:24:56
I make pizza several times a week.  I usually stack my pizza's pretty high with mozza, pepperoni, sauce, onions, peppers and I have found that it usually takes about 35-40 minutes to get the crust crispy.  A soggy crust does not cut it.  I put my pepperoni on top and cook the entire mess until the pepperoni gets crispy brown.
My thoughts is the length on time cooking at 425F certainly improves the crust.
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN 
ann peeples
Re:Help with soggy pizza crust? 2013/08/18 19:36:06
I agree, Paul. Bob and I make pizzas often, topped heavily, and it takes 30 minutes or better at 425.
Re:Help with soggy pizza crust? 2013/08/18 20:42:30
A tip, keep your pizza crust thin and cook with your choice of toppings in a large diameter (pre-heated) cast iron skillet pan on the bottom rack of a very well pre-heated oven set to it's highest temperature.
If you use a pizza stone, first pre-heat it in your oven for 30-45 minutes at your oven's highest temperature before putting your uncooked pizza on the stone.  
post edited by Twinwillow - 2013/08/20 10:04:55
Re:Help with soggy pizza crust? 2013/08/18 20:51:20
If you want to make really good pizza at home, a pizza stone that sits on the bottom rack of your oven is the ticket. Crank up your oven to 500F if you can and heat the oven for 45 minutes to an hour - not just until the oven sounds it is at temperature.
When using fresh tomatoes on a pizza here are somethings that might help:
~ oven roast the tomatoes before hand, dry off as much liquid as you can; the flavor will be more concentrated by the oven roasting
~ remove the seed cavities where the most liquid and the seeds are, then slice and blot well on paper towels
~ cut the tomatoes much thinner than what you did this time.
Hope this helps!
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Help with soggy pizza crust? 2013/08/19 01:37:52
i don't have a pizza stone, so I pre-bake/toast the crust.   Then pile high with pre-cooked hamburger & sausage (drained); peperoni & vegetables; a little extra sauce and lots of cheese.   ... At this point you only need to cook the vegetables & melt the cheese.  Set oven at high and cook until the cheese is browning, about 20 to 25 min.
In the home oven you need a hot piazza stone or cast iron pan for un-cooked/baked crust.    Pizza restaurants that use wood fired ovens, cook at 600 plus degrees.  Some may be about 800 to 1000 degree (faster ).  You can't get these temps in a home range oven.
Pizzahut chain-type ovens has hot direct heat top and bottom.  I have a seen good manager run a 'take-out' pizza through the oven a 2nd time for  crisper crust and to pre-event soggy crust until delivered.
At home ... Pre-cook/toast the crust, then build the pizza.  Use a stone if you have one. You can't get the high heat needed in a home oven to cook like the pizza restaurants.  Your pizza will be just as good, but just takes a little longer to make.
post edited by edwmax - 2013/08/19 01:44:18
Filet Mignon
Re:Help with soggy pizza crust? 2013/08/19 05:36:33
Correct, I do not have a pizza stone. I cooked it on a baking sheet.
The place where I tried this had big,thick tomato slices but the water emitted by the burrata and tomato was crazy.
Thanks for the tips. Back to the drawing board.
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Help with soggy pizza crust? 2013/08/19 19:24:13
It would be hard to avoid the liquid being released from the Burrata.....but I'd try gently squeezing the tomato slices to get rid of the seeds, then salt them and leave them sit on a rack for 20 minutes or so. Blot them with paper towels and go from there.
Filet Mignon
Re:Help with soggy pizza crust? 2013/08/20 09:02:32
Ed, is spot on with the oven temp, the hotter the better. I would try cooking it on the outside BBQ grill using a stone. I would also put a finger hole in the center of the pizza so the center cooks as fast as the rest of the pizza............
Re:Help with soggy pizza crust? 2013/08/20 12:33:03
It's all the moisture in the Burrata.

Try setting the heirloom pizza and let it go to 80-90% done...then finish the pizza with Burrata for the last few minutes under screaming high heat.
Re:Help with soggy pizza crust? 2013/08/20 14:26:40
450 at 10 minutes is not enough for fresh dough. Unless you bake at high heat on a stone the olive oil may keep your crust soggy. Even wood fired at 700 degrees plus pizzas can get soggy in the middle with too much olive oil. That seems quite common with Neapolitan wood fire baked pizzas. Go very light on the olive oil on top of your crust if you are baking on a sheet. I bake at 550 degrees on a pre-heated stone usually for 10 minutes in my oven at home. I'd like more heat but that is not possible in today's conventional kitchen ovens.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Help with soggy pizza crust? 2013/08/20 15:24:11
Which is why I pre-bake a crust or toast a pre-made crust with olive oil  (so shoot me).   Then build the pizza on a hot crust.   I might add a little more olive oil before adding the sauce.   The olive oil helps to seal the baked crust from the moisture of the sauce & vegs.
post edited by edwmax - 2013/08/20 15:28:16
Re:Help with soggy pizza crust? 2013/09/08 12:29:04
I grew up in New Jersey so I like a very thin and crispy pizza crust. I have a great dough recipe and I use a pizza stone and a pizza screen. The screens are very inexpensive and make a huge difference in how the pie comes out. And no soggy crust even when I put something watery like ricotta on it. And I always put olive oil on it too. I bake the pie on the screen, which sits on the stone, at 450 degrees for about 12.5 minutes. It comes out amazingly good.
Re:Help with soggy pizza crust? 2013/09/08 18:17:58
As you (I believe from the picture) started out with a pre-made 'Boboli-type' crust, that is problem #1.  Putting those quality ingredients on a Boboli is like putting an $8,000 set of chrome wheels on a clunker.
Problem #2 is that all those thick-cut tomatos leeched way too much moisture into the Boboli crust, so much so that the fresh cheese didn't even brown.
As the others advised above, home-made pizza ideally starts with a pizza stone pre-heated to at least 450 and raw dough.  A few tips from observing Mrs. Metro - whi learned these things by trial and error.
Buy dough.  Luckily you live in Cali, so there are Safeways everywhere.  Of all the raw doughs we have tried - including Grimaldi's - Safeway's "Original Italian" is by far the best.  It is in a refrigerated case by the deli and is the best $1.69 you'll ever spend there! 
  • Put stone in oven at least 1/2 hour before starting to fool around with the dough. 
  • Use that time to thin-slice your veggies with a mandolin or ceramic knife.
  • Roll the crust out to desired size and thickness.
  • Set an elevated rack on your counter, remove stone from oven, and set on rack.
  • Dust stone with coarse-ground corn meal and lay dough over the stone.
  • Carefully cut away overage and crimp edges with a kitchen tool of your choice (a fork works fine).
  • Apply sauce, cheese, & toppings.
  • Put stone and pizza back in oven. 
  • Bake 12 minutes, watching it after 10.  (Note: the crust starts to bake as soon as you lay it on the stone).
For us, this yields a 14" pie with a wonderful, crisp crust that will not even droop when you hold it by the edge.  Yes, handling the stone and laying and crimping the crust are a little tricky, but my wife was yet to burn herself.
Shara had a nice idea about a pizza screen.  Using one of those would reduce the "stone handling", but also increase the oven time by 5 minutes or so.  I'd still dust the screen with corn meal, though.  
post edited by MetroplexJim - 2013/09/08 18:24:22