What Makes Pizza Dough Tough In The Oven

When talking about pizza, dough is the major player. It is the ultimate base of the dish and a whole experience. So, the discussion below will shed light on the following question: What makes pizza dough tough? Well, there are certain aspects to look at. 

What Makes Pizza Dough Tough

Ingredients Impacting Dough Texture

Flour: The type of flour we use will unavoidably change the way our pizza dough feels. Gluten development in the dough depends on high-protein flour, such as bread flour. Gluten is a kind of protein produced by kneading flour with water. It gives the pizza dough its necessary chewiness by forming the structure and adding flexibility. Consequently, using low-protein flour, such as all-purpose flour, which might lead to a weaker gluten network and a less soft crust, is what makes pizza dough difficult.

Water: As it is very important, we must make sure our dough is hydrated enough. A too-dry and tough crust can be produced by adding too little water, while too much water might make the dough excessively sticky and hard to handle. Avoiding what makes pizza dough difficult, therefore, depends on striking the correct balance. Pizza dough typically has to be between 60 and 65 percent of its flour weight hydrated.

Yeast: It is in charge of giving the pizza dough its rise by resting. Overuse of yeast might cause too soft and unstructured fermentation. However, a firm and hard crust might result from the pizza dough rising too little or too much. Therefore, as yeast contributes to making pizza dough airy and smooth, it is essential to use the right amount and to carefully monitor the fermentation process.

What Makes Pizza Dough Tough In The Oven

Mixing Technique

Kneading: developing gluten and distributing materials uniformly in the dough. Even texture and structure are guaranteed in the finished crust by a flawless kneading. However over-kneading is out as it might cause too much gluten to develop, which makes the pizza dough chewy and rough. Thus, without going too far, the dough must be kneaded just enough to become smooth and elastic.

Mixing Time: Dough texture is also influenced by the amount of time we spend mixing ingredients. While minimal mixing might cause uneven hydration and ingredient distribution, too lengthy mixing can cause excessive gluten production. To get the appropriate texture, we must thus discover the ideal proportion and follow the recipe’s recommended mixing time.

Resting and Proofing

Resting: The dough needs time to rest after being mixed and kneaded. The dough is given form and kept from becoming too elastic by the relaxation of the gluten. Also, resting enables the yeast to ferment and flower. Depending on our dishes, the time might take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours.

Proofing: Correct proving is crucial to having a light and airy crust in the pizza dough. As the dough ferments the sugar during proving, carbon dioxide gas is produced which aids in the dough’s expansion. A light and airy crust requires proper completion of the entire procedure. But the dough’s form might be destroyed by too much proving because of its excessive softness.

What Makes Pizza Dough Tough In The Oven

Rolling and Shaping 

Rolling Pin: While shaping the dough using a rolling pin can be helpful, we need to ensure that it is not overdone. Too much rolling can flatten the dough, pushing out air pockets and leading to a tough crust. Rather, we can gently roll the dough out to the required thickness to avoid what makes the pizza dough tough. 

Hand Stretching: To shape pizza, we can use traditional hand stretching methods. These allow us to maintain air pockets and make a lighter crust. We need to be gentle while stretching the dough, extending from the centre to outwards and rotating throughout the process to achieve equal thickness. Hand stretching requires consistent practice to deliver the desired outcome

Baking Conditions

Oven Temperature: The texture of the pizza crust also depends on the oven temperature. The temperature between 450°F 550°F (230°C and 290°C) is generally recommended for baking recipes. If we bake a prepared dough in a hot oven, then the pizza will have a crispy exterior and a tender interior. In fact, it is a perfect balance of crust texture. 

Baking Surface: For a crispier crust in pizza, a steel or pizza stone can be used as a baking surface. It evenly distributes heat and absorbs moisture from the dough. However, if we use a baking sheet or a pan, then it might soften the pizza crust with less browning. Therefore, experimenting with various baking surfaces can be helpful to get a perfect texture. 

Common Causes of Tough Pizza Dough

Pizza dough can become challenging for many reasons. Ingredients can be the foremost cause. The use of regular flour, inappropriate amounts of water, and yeast can make pizza dough tough. The process of mixing and kneading can be another reason for tough pizza dough. Apart from that, pizza dough may become challenging due to improper shaping, baking, and resting. All this can be the reason behind tough pizza dough. 

What Makes Pizza Dough Tough In The Oven

Tips for Preventing Tough and Chewy Thin Crust Pizza

We came across reasons responsible for Tough and Chewy Thin Crust Pizza. However, it can be prevented by following a few tips. 

Choosing flour is the first significant thing; the right choice of flour gives the pizza an appropriate texture. Using bread flour can be a proper choice for pizza dough preparation. Then comes the mixing and kneading technique. We must knead till the flour blends well with other ingredients and shapes into a smooth ball. Skip over kneading, which makes the dough tough. A soft and pliable dough results in a lighter and crisper crust.

Therefore, appropriate hydration can prevent a tough and chewy pizza crust. Allow the dough to rest for at least 30 minutes to an hour, as it is essential for a good texture pizza. We need to be gentle and easy while shaping or rolling the dough. Using a hand stretching technique with a minimum rolling pin can help in forming soft air pockets to keep the crust light. Finally, baking pizza at a high temperature is a helpful tip for a premium texture pizza. Using a hot oven or pizza stone, we can get a crispy bottom and tender inside the pizza.

How to fix tough pizza dough

If we end up making tough pizza dough, then there are a few tips that can help us overcome it. Checking the hydration level can be helpful. Adding water in little amounts just to make the dough soft and pliable can fix tough pizza dough. Offering proper rest time can help restore the tough pizza dough. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. It will make the dough elastic and easy to work with. Adding a bit of olive oil can help smooth the dough and make it even more tender. After all these, try if the dough remains tough, then try rolling it out and let it rest again before baking.

This will give another chance for the dough to relax and become accessible to stretch. Lastly, to fix a tough pizza dough, we can bake it at a high temperature. Fast baking will help mitigate dense and tough pizza. It will make a crisp exterior and tender interior to give a perfect texture to the pizza. 

What Makes Pizza Dough Tough In The Oven

What makes pizza dough chewy in the microwave? 

Baking pizza dough in the microwave may result in a chewy texture. Microwaves have electromagnetic waves that leverage water molecules within the pizza to create steam, which processes cooking. The food remains undercooked in the microwave, which results in a chewy texture. There is a steam trap in microwave cooking, which traps steam that processes cooking. It makes the dough soggy and chewy instead of a crispy texture. A quick and uneven baking happens in the microwave, which gives the pizza a rubbery texture. It doesn’t allow dough to develop a proper gluten structure, like when baking in an oven.

Microwaves are not designed for baking purposes as they lack dry heat and caramelization, which are essential for baking. Lack of proper heating, steam trap, gluten development, and cooking techniques are the reasons for the chewy texture of pizza. Well to overcome identified issues, we can use a few tips for a perfect pizza texture. Using a microwave crisper pan can help in getting an even crispy base in pizza.

We can also use a pre-cooking method, which is simply pre-cooking the base for an even crispy texture before adding the toppings to it. Baking pizza in a conventional oven or pizza stone is the best way to go with it, as it will provide a perfect crispy base with a tender, soft interior texture to the pizza. 

So, there we got to know about various reasons that make the pizza dough tough, starting from the choice of flour to the baking process. Everything has a major contribution to the making of pizza. But with little attention, practice, and detailing, we can achieve a perfect balance of crisp, chewy, and tender texture in each bite. 

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