Homemade Pizza Frequently Asked Questions

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Find answers to all of your homemade pizza questions

We’ve gather a compilation of our homemade pizza most frequently asked questions.  You will find answers on how to make pizza to how to solve the most common problems.  If can’t find an answer to your question, contact us and we will be glad to help you out!

Pizza Dough FAQs

To know which kind of flour to use when making pizza at home you first need to know which kind of pizza you are making.  Different pizza styles get better results with different flours. So what makes the flours different?  Their protein contents.  Flours are classified by their protein levels or gluten content. The protein content defines the strength of the dough which in turn will determine the pizzas style.  Here is how it works. High protein or High Gluten flour (14-15%) yields crisp, chewy crust perfect for New York Style, medium protein or Bread Flour (12-13%) yields crisp, bready crust perfect for Neapolitan or Sicilian Style, and low protein or All-Purpose flour (10-12%) yields a thicker softer crust preferable for Chicago Deep Dish. So the next time you buy flour, check the label to find the protein content so you can make the best pizza.

The order of ingredients when mixing pizza dough will depend on the kind of yeast you are using.  If you are using Instant Yeast the order is Flour, Yeast, Water, and Salt.  On the other hand, if you are using Active Dry Yeast the order is Water, Yeast, Flour, and Salt.  If your recipe calls for additional ingredients the will follow the Flour, Yeast, and Water for both types of yeast, leaving the Salt for last.

If your dough balls didn’t rise, it’s because there was little or no fermentation. Why this happens? Here are some of the reasons why your dough didn’t ferment:

1- The yeast was dead.  Try a new batch with fresh yeast.

2- Not enough yeast.  Check your recipe yeast should be from 1% to 5% of your flour. Try increasing your yeast by 1% increments if you get the proper rise.

3) The dough is too cold. The best fermentation temperature is 80F.

4) Not enough time for fermentation.  The first fermentation should be from 1 to 1 ½ hrs. and second fermentation from 8 to 72 hrs.

If your dough balls rise too much, it’s because there was too much fermentation. What went wrong?  Here are some of the reasons for excessive fermentation:

1) The dough is too warm.  If the temperature is above 80F it can double yeast activity.

2) There may be too much sugar or too little salt in the dough. Sugar increases yeast activity, while salt has an inhibition or retardation effect.

Short answer, let it rest!  Many people want to start shaping their pizza dough right away and attempt to stretch and shape their dough before it is fully proofed. This will cause the dough to shrink and resist being stretched into a nice crust. If your dough is resisting, you need to let your dough rest at room temperature for at least 30 mins or longer before stretching.

A pizza dough that keeps shrinking is caused by excessive development of the gluten network in the dough. You can prevent your dough from shrinking by proofing the dough for longer as gluten relaxes over time.

You can use a different flour that has a lesser protein content.

Mix and stretch your dough by hand as it reduces the stress of the dough.

Ingredients FAQs

You can't go wrong when buying yeast.  You can use fresh, instant, or active dry yeast to make pizza at home.  The key factor is what works best for you.  Fresh yeast is extremely perishable, so unless you can going to use all of it in one day, it is not recommended.  Instant yeast works a little faster than active dry, but in turn, less time is less flavor.  We support active dry when making pizza at home because it gives you a sense of security.  By activating the yeast first, you make sure the yeast is alive, and you are good to go.  When using instant yeast, you mix it with the flour, and if the yeast is dead, we wasted all that flour.  Long story short, try them both and see which one gives you the best results.

Yes, you can, jut try to avoid using Iodine Salt as it has an iodine aftertaste.  Fine Sea Salt is best.  The fine grains of the salt will mix well with the flour and other ingredients.

Baking FAQs

There are many variables that affect the crispiness of a crust but the first one to check is hydration. Hydration for a crispy crust should be around 60% to 70% of your total flour content. If you add more water to the recipe, the dough will actually “open” up when baking creating tiny little air pockets. These air pockets lighten the crust and allow the dough to bake completely resulting in a lighter, crispier crust. 

Another factor to check is the type of flour, you get better results for a crispy crust by using a high protein or high gluten flour (14% to 15% protein content).

The number one reason you get bubbles in your crust is because the dough is too cold. Cold dough will be resistant to the fast expansion of gases that is occurring  during baking. If the gluten structure is tight, the gases will find the weakest spots to expand, therefore producing bubbles.  After the second fermentation, let your dough ball sit at room temperature for about 1 hr. to prevent bubbles in your crust.

The baking time of your pizza will depend on the kind of oven you are using as different ovens deliver different temperatures.  For the average kitchen oven that reached an average of 500F the total cooking time should be from 12 to 15 minutes.  If you have a wood-fired oven at a temperature above 800F, the cooking time is from 3 to 5 minutes.

When in Doubt, Check Our Resources

To help you become a better homemade pizza baker we developed these reference sources that you can use when making any of our recipes.

Conversion Charts

Find our conversion charts for volume, weight, length and temperature.

Pizza Guides

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Pizza Glossary

Hundreds of pizza words. If we don't have it, send it to us and we'll publish it.

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10/26/2021 12:07 am GMT

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