Posted on 15 Mar 2014 19:03
I Really Mean Like Cracker Thin Crust, I'm Not Kidding
If you found this here blog post through a search engine, I'll bet you're one of the frustrated who have been trying to figure out how to get that thin crackery pizza crust at home. The kind that you can't get in many places at all, in fact because only a few of us really prefer this kind of crust. I'm with you, I get it. We want that textural difference between the toppings and the crust. We want to TASTE the toppings and not be overwhelmed by a bunch of bread. Pan Pizza? It has its place, I guess, if you like bread better than pizza, that is.
I'll also bet you've found some other articles purporting to hold the secret to crispy pizza crust and they didn't work. The author lied to you. Well, no, that's usually not the case. The problem is that not everybody understands what you and I mean when we say 'thin and crispy'. To many, anything that is not a super-thick crust is thin. Or they mean, kinda-sorta thin. Not that thin-style pizza in general is hard to find. It's just the degree of thinness that is questionable.
And when people say crispy, often they may just mean "crunchy." You know, like crunchy on the outside chewy on the inside? Or, just crunchy around the edges. Thin and chewy, like New York Style pizza, is all fine and well. And I also enjoy the thin New Jersey pizzas, when I can make enough right turns to buy one. But they're not getting it. That is the problem. When we say 'thin and crispy,' we mean a pizza crust that is darn near the same as a saltine cracker. But tastier and able to stand up to some toppings…which should be kept sparse, of course, on this kind of crust. A proper thin and crispy crust has little air bubbles all throughout it and it is crisp not just hard in places.
This is something I searched long and hard for: The technique for making cracker crust pizza. Until now. Because my penchant for looking in books to find answers to my questions instead of perusing the internet, finally turned up some thin and crispy gold. I made my first cracker thin pizza crust, with sausage, of course, and then many more to follow. I was fairly stoked about it, if you really want to know. There are a lot of pizza cookbooks on the market, but this one, my friends, makes a science out of it. It's one of my favorites by far and one big reason is that there is a section for every kind of pizza dough texture and thickness, and the author, Curtis Ide, obviously derived the recipe through experience, unlike so many cookbook authors who simply pass down what they themselves have read or been taught. Here's the catch though, the cookbook, Passionate About Pizza, is only available as an eBook. I got it on my Amazon kindle. It's also available on Barnes and Noble Nook, and as an Apple iBook for iPad. I'm talking about crispy in this particular post, but this is a pizza bible, folks. I don't really think there is a better pizza book out there. According to Ides:
Cracker crust pizza is made in the home by poking the dough with the tines of a fork (this is called docking) to make little holes. These holes allow the carbon dioxide produced by the yeast to escape during cooking so that the crust stays thin.
But it is not really holes you're making, per se. You want to know what I mean get the book and find out. He goes on to explain that the little holes in saltine crackers are there for the same reason we'd want holes in our thin and crispy pizza crust. A special cracker-style dough recipe is included, along, of course with all sorts of other special recipes. He recommends baking it on a pan or a pizza screen, if not a pizza stone.
What else can you expect in the book? The first section is on planning, and then the author covers equipment, ingredients, techniques, recipe basics, dough recipes, sauce recipes, thin-style pizzas, thick-style pizzas, Pizza's close recipes, pizza recipe compendium, and a troubleshooting guide. There is nothing you will need that is not included in Passionate About Pizza.
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