So you decided to make your own pizza at home. After all, it seemed so easy reading all those simple recipes online. But reality has tricked you, and your pizza turned out soggy. Unpleasant, we can say unfortunately. And let’s face it, soggy pizza is not something you want to eat, let alone serve it to your family or guests.
Yes, to make pizza at home is really not that difficult. But maybe the most unpleasant scenario you can face with when making a homemade pizza is a mushy crust.
But is there any way to avoid baking soggy pizza at home? Or that’s just the way these delicacies turn out when homemade?
Good news, you can avoid your homemade pizza being soggy. In fact you can bake a perfect pizza at home, even in your wall oven or regular oven. Try these 11 tips and your pizza will turn out just like one in an Italian pizzeria.
11 Tips To Avoid Soggy Pizza
- Turn your oven to the highest heat possible
- Preheat your oven
- Don’t open your oven door in the first 2 minutes
- After 2 minutes, open your oven door a few times to let the excess moisture escape
- Use the best pizza dough
- Use good quality, thick pizza sauce
- Let your mozzarella drain before baking
- The outer part of the mozzarella goes in the middle of your pizza
- Use less sauce with toppings that release more water or fat
- Don’t put too many toppings on your pizza
- Use a good quality pizza pan
Yes, don’t worry about temperature settings. Original pizza is baked in a stone oven at 905 °F (485 °C), which is way higher than any home oven can produce. So no need to worry about temperature: just set it to the highest heat possible.
I mean, really. Turn it on at least 30 minutes before baking your first pizza. Even if your oven says it’s come up to temperature, it’s not yet heated through completely.
Let the edges of your pizza rise. This will protect the toppings from bubbling all around the edges and ruining your crust.
Modern ovens are almost airtight to be energy efficient. But unfortunately this feature helps creating a soggy pizza. The excess water evaporating from your dough and toppings can’t escape, and it will moisten the crust.
To prevent this, I usually open my oven door at least 3-4 times during baking, and fan out the air with the help of a potholder.
Pizza dough is essentially a type of bread, it only consists of flour, water, yeast, salt and oil. Avoid any other ingredients.
You can use store-bought pizza dough, but make sure it’s excellent quality. Or you can make your own easily, check out my recipe here: pizza dough recipe.
In fact, you don’t really need to use a special sauce at all to make a perfect pizza. Check out my pizza sauce recipe to understand that and make your best pizza sauce yet.
Mozzarella is a fresh cheese, containing at least 50% moisture. Regular mozzarella can contain as much as 60% water. This water content can easily evaporate and escape in a traditional stone oven, but not in your wall oven, see above.
Squeeze out as much water content as you can from your mozzarella when opening, using your hands. Let it drain in a strainer for at least 30 minutes before putting it on your pizza.
The inner part of your mozzarella is always soggier and softer then the outer part. Put the soggy, soft cheese chunks near the edge of your pizza, and the firmer ones in the middle.
Not all toppings are the same. Some release much more water or fat, e.g. salami, Gorgonzola, raw mushrooms. If using such toppings, simply put less sauce (tomato purée, or even olive oil) on your pizza.
Italian thin crust pizza is not about covering it with loads of toppings. Use good quality ingredients, and not a lot of them.
A pizza pan helps you imitate the hot bottom of a stone oven. This way a nice, crispy crust can develop. This will prevent you pizza being soggy even if the sauce stays wet.
Sources: Wikipedia, Serious Eats.