ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Make a Perfect Pizza Crust - Part 1 - Something in the Water

Updated on January 4, 2010

Secret #1 for a Perfect Crust

Learn how to make a pizza crust that will rival ANYTHING you've ever tasted in a pizzeria. Making a great crust isn't difficult; you just have to know what to do. You are about to join an elite group of "upper crust" pizza makers. No more soggy or cardboardy crusts for you!

P.S. See below for Secret #2 and stay tuned for Secret #3 for a Perfect Pizza Crust!

My Long Struggle

Photo courtesy of Flickr and cowbite

I've been trying to make the perfect pizza crust for over twenty years. I've come close a few times, but it's never a sure thing. I've found that there are some things I can do to improve my chances of making a delicious pizza with a beautiful, just-crunchy-enough crust. This series of suggestions will work on any dough recipe and any crust, whether it's thick, thin, deep-dish and double-crust. Give them a try and enjoy the compliments next time you make a pizza. Read on for the first Secret of Perfect Pizza Crusts.

The Basics of Making Pizza Dough

You'll need these ingredients for your crust

Photo courtesy of Flickr and Sarah and Jason

The following ingredients are the basis for most standard white-flour dough/crust recipes. Some people like to use olive oil. You can put lots of other things into the dough too. Try herbs like basil, oregano, or rosemary. Put in some minced garlic or garlic powder, but be a little careful here; too much garlic can retard the action of the yeast. I'll bet some chopped sun-dried tomatoes would be yummy. Don't get too fussy about the exact amount of water or flour; you may need to add more of one or the other while you are mixing the dough.

1 package active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)

1 cup warm water (105° to 115°, no more)

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

(optional) 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little for coating

What does each ingredient do for the dough?

Should I use all-purpose flour or bread flour?

The traditional directions for pizza dough as are follows. After we've gone through the basics, we'll talk about those secrets I promised.

1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water (takes maybe 5 minutes).

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and liquid.

If making your dough by hand, stir until the mixture forms a ball, then turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for about five minutes.

If you have a mixer with a dough hook, knead the ingredients on low for about five minutes with the dough hook.

3. Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover loosely and let the dough rise until about doubled in volume, an hour or two.

4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and move it, by hand or with a rolling pin, into the desired shape and thickness. Make sure your edges are a little thicker than the rest of the pie crust.

5. Transfer carefullly to baking sheet and add the desired toppings. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is melted and lightly browned." />


Should I put Viagara in the Pizza Dough Next Time?

Photo courtesy of Flickr and Thomas23

That recipe is fine as far as it goes, but it won't give you that fabulous slightly-crispy crust that is necessary for a wonderful pizza. So what do you do? Pay very close attention, because you are about to learn something amazing. Are you ready?

Something's in the Water

Photo courtesy of Flickr and miss kris

Folks in New York and Chicago swear that their pizza crusts are superior because of the water. I was skeptical about this until I did some research and discovered that qualities of the water really do affect pizza crusts and other baked products. So should you have the water for your pizza dough imported from New York or Chicago?

The hardness of water has a big effect on the outcome of baked products. Hardness is a measure of the amount of dissolved minerals, mostly calcium and magnesium, present in the water. A moderate amount of these minerals strengthens the gluten in the dough, giving it "body." That's good for your crust. Too much hardness makes the crust tough. That's bad. You want to find water that has a moderate hardness (amount of dissolved minerals).

Treated or filtered water have most of the minerals removed, so they are soft, and therefore not really optimal for making a great pizza crust. You'll get a spongy or soft crust. Try making your pizza crust with bottled spring water. If you want to try other waters and you're not sure about the hardness of your water, you can request a free water-testing kit.

What is gluten and what does it do?

For more information on the effects of hardness and acidity of water in baked products, visit this article from Baker's Journal.

You Can Buy Water Hardness Testing Kits on Amazon

They're not very expensive. If you're really serious about your pizza crust, you can test and experiment with different waters (bottled, spring....)

Making Pizza on YouTube - A quick and easy thin-crust pizza.

These Books Are Especially Good - And you can buy them from Amazon

See the forum discussion about this book at 101 Cookbooks.

What Do You Think?

Does the Kind of Water You Use Affect the Pizza Crust?

When Good Dough Goes Bad

Photo courtesy of Flickr and mandydale

Pizza Stones on Amazon - This is ONE of the Secrets

The North American Pizza Champion Juan Hermosillo - This is how you get to be Pizza Champion

Did you know that there's a U. S. Pizza Team? Me neither.

Cook a Pizza with Amazon - Cool kitchen gear to help you make pizza

Photo courtesy of Flickr and mswine

I always like to get your comments.

Did You Bring Me Any Pizza? - Well then, just leave me a note. Thanks for stopping by.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 

      6 years ago

      Water issue is interesting. But, I won't give up my soft, shiny locks for a crispy-crusted pizza! Thanks for the interesting read. Now to make my pizza....

    • squared1 profile image


      8 years ago

      I have learned something new today. Thank you for sharing. I didn't know about the hardness of the water and it's effects. I said (out loud), "Well, huh? I didn't know that." :-)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      My son makes pizza dough a lot, and is never happy with it, I am sure this lens will help him to improve his pizza dough, thanks! 5 stars!!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This is a definate Ditto with the first!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Very informative.

      Great lens. Rated it 5 stars.

      Feel free to visit Filipino Food Recipes.

    • funwithtrains lm profile image

      funwithtrains lm 

      10 years ago

      Great lens! 5 stars and a favorite!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      NYers & Chicagoans are right. Philadelphians also swear that a real Philly Cheese Steak fr/Philly also is best on acct of their water in making the sub/hoagie roll.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I tried making pizza once using my bread machine to make the dough. We have hard water where I live, but I never thought it would have any effect on the dough. Good to know. Awesome lens.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)