The Secret to Cracker-Crust or Crispy-Crust Pizza Dough

It's possible to use a dough press to form dough skins for this type of pizza, but it takes some extra effort, says Tom Lehmann.



Tom Lehmann says the key to using a dough press for cracker-crust or crispy-crust pizza is a soft and relaxed dough consistency.

If you’ve ever tried to use a dough press to form skins for a crispy-thin or cracker-crust pizza, you may have realized the dough becomes too stiff to press out. But there’s a way around that problem.

The key is to have a soft and relaxed dough consistency at the time of pressing. Unfortunately, the low dough absorption used in making dough for a crispy- or cracker-type crust is highly counterproductive. The solution is to either ferment the dough until it is sufficiently relaxed and extensible for pressing or to add a reducing agent to the dough.

First, the fermentation approach: This is best accomplished by allowing the dough to ferment sufficiently long to develop the desired pressing characteristics. If you are cold-fermenting the dough, this might mean allowing the dough to remain in the cooler two or more days (which will also contribute to a great-tasting crust). But if you are not set up to allow for that kind of fermentation time, you can experiment with higher finished-dough temperatures to achieve more fermentation in a shorter time. Another trick that sometimes works well is to simply remove the dough from the cooler and allow it to remain at room temperature for a longer time (normally two to  four hours) before pressing.

The other approach requires the use of a reducing agent (an additive used for making a dough softer and more extensible) such as L-cysteine (PZ-44), dead yeast (Reduce 190), deodorized vegetable powder/onion and garlic (Basic Natural), or even just the addition of your “off-the-shelf” onion and/or garlic powder if you don’t mind the flavor contribution.

These products will all work (though some better than others) to give you a dough consistency that is ready for pressing usually within two hours of mixing the dough. However, it is possible to experiment with the amount used to find a level which will provide for up to 24 hours of cold fermentation time without turning the dough into something resembling a thick pudding. The key here is to experiment with the reducing agent to find a level that will give you the dough characteristics needed for pressing while still fitting into your pizzeria operation reasonably well.

Like I said, it is possible to use a dough press for this type of pizza, but it will take some work on your part to find the product that is best suited to your needs and that will fit into your operation and pizza concept. While there are significant differences between the reducing agents mentioned, the L-cysteine (an amino acid/protein building block) and dead yeast/glutathione (an amino acid/protein building block) are very fast-acting and have the capacity to completely liquefy a dough if used incorrectly. The vegetable powder-based products are gentler but also have a limited softening effect upon the dough, which, in some cases, might make them easier to use. Do some experiments to figure out which approach works best for you!

 

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Rebranded Pizzeria Hasn't Forgotten Its Corn-Dog Roots

In the first of three eating contests this winter, Otis Pizzeria will challenge competitors to wolf down Pronto Pups, not pies.

Sam's Club Debuts Massive Meatball Pizza for Super Bowl Parties

The pizza reportedly weighs four pounds, one-fourth of which is all meatballs.

Jimmy's Gives Away Pizza to City Workers in Massive Snow Storm

The Troy, New York pizzeria's Facebook post was shared more than 2,000 times.

Wild Slice Pizzeria Offers Free Pies to Furloughed Government Employees and Family Members

Word about the offer has been spread by local TV and radio stations, providing a free PR boost for the Roswell, Georgia pizzeria.

Round Table Pizza Makes Queen Elizabeth a Cheeky, Cheese-Laden Offer

If the queen gives pizza a try in 2019, Round Table customers can enjoy a personal pie for free.

Appeals Court Rules Domino's Must Make App, Website Accessible to the Blind

The three-judge panel reversed an earlier ruling by a Pasadena court.

John Arena's 5 Steps to Success in the Pizza Restaurant Business

Going pro: The veteran Las Vegas pizzeria operator offers a quick guide to living the pizza life.

Kate Middleton Reveals Her One of Her Favorite Pizza Toppings

And now we know why the future King of England fell in love with her.

New Pizza Vending Machine Sells 400 Pies in a Week at Ohio State

The Pizza ATM comes stocked with cheese and pepperoni varieties for hungry Buckeyes.

Culinary Visions Study Shows Customers Intrigued by Cannabis Ingredients in Food

Nearly 50 percent of consumers are interested in trying cannabis-infused baked goods.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags