Delivering Thin Crust Pizzas

Hi everyone, this is my first post and I really appreciate the knowledge you guys share. It’s very helpful alothough sometimes a bit overwhelming, as there is so much to learn other than just making a good pie. I have been lurking for sometime but more on pizzamaking playing around with recipes and such.

Soon I plan to open a take out place out of an existing catering kitchen that I own. I intend to sell thin crust (cracker style) and new york style pizzas. I have been making some pizzas in my home oven, the thin crust kind and trying to see if they can stay hot until delivered to customer. A certain popular chain manages to do this on their thin crust so I want to engineer my crust such that it is thin but not extremely thin that it does not retain any heat.

I am using 45% hydration in my dough which manages to give me a crispy crust. I par bake this first. I ran a small test, as soon as the pizza came out of the oven (used 130gms of dough for a 10" pie) I placed it in an empty of box of this popular chain, cut it immediately in the box and shut it. I placed the pizza box in a big insulated box that we use for our catering. After 20 mins the pizza was relatively warm which I was happy reasonably happy about and also it remained crispy. My question is is there a way I can extend this to 35-40 mins on this type of crust. My home oven only gets to 240 C so I am assuming if I was cooking the pie at 300 C in a commercial oven it would come out of the oven much hotter and this may give me a few additional minutes? Am i right? Are there any other tricks like if I use more cheese it can trap more heat?

Can you give me suggestions on what kind of oven I should be looking to purchase for the style of Pizza I intend to make with my Cracker Style Pizzas being parbaked. I am more keen on Deck as it would fall in place with the current layout of our kitchen. I am in another part of the world so perhaps I won’t be able to purchase the ovens that are available in the United States

Sorry if this has been covered before but I could not find the info I was searching for.

Long first post! Thanks for reading :slight_smile:

First of all VarunS welcome to the TT.
I also come from another world, oopps sorry another part of the world to the US, but have used a lot of information gained here to my benefit.
As far as thin crust that is what we do on our pizzas. We use 200gm dough on a 10" which gives a nice thin base witha slightly puffed edge (gives something to hold on to :). We cook on a conveyor for 7 minutes at 258*C. We put our dough balls through a sheeter then spin and dock to the size required and find 200gm an ideal thickness and manageable to work. Any thinner could cause tearing or difficulty in get the dough based out.
I am uncertain why you want to extend the heat life past 35 - 40 minutes. Our aim is to get our pizzas to customers as soon as they are out of the oven by giving realistic cook times be it 10 minutes when we are quiet or 40 minutes when super busy. Managing order taking to make bench is paramount to getting times right so a customer is in the store(if a phone in order) when the pizzas come out of the oven, or gettin deliveries out as soon as they come out of the oven so customers get them within 10 min max of leaving the store (far extreme of delivery area).
There is no way we even comptemplate pizzas sitting around for any length of time let alone planning for it. We even phone cutomers to tell them their pizzas are ready to pick up and it is after the estimated time if they haven’t called to pick up from a phone in order 15 minutes after it came out of the oven.
May I suggest that you work on the order/make/cook time management as a prioroty when you finally open rather than working on preserving the heat factor for prolonged periods. There have been many, many posts written about heat loss, and deteriation of the quality of pizzas as time out of the oven progresses and from my memory most have been from the most experienced people here, including Dr Tom.
Best of luck with your venture.

Hi wa dave,

Thanks for your reply.

I feel that even 160 gms for a 10 inch is a bit too thick for my liking and after some trials I feel 130-135 works best for me. Also I don’t leave an edge or rim on my pizza, the entire pie is covered with sauce and cheese as I notice people tend to not eat this crunchy bit.

I would like to extend the heat life past 20 minutes which is the duration that it stays warm for currently. 35-40 mins from the time it comes out of the oven is what would be ideal however I don’t know if this is possible.

You are absolutely right that I need to work on time management.

I will search for the topics concerning heat loss.


Hello and welcome. I think you are asking too much of your pizza here. If you used heated bags you might get close but I would think the quality of your pies would go down quickly as I am not sure how hot they will keep the pizzas. I think the time management idea should be your first line of thought and then work on extending if needed. Best of luck too ya!

Baking the pizzas in a hotter oven will not result in a hotter pizza coming out of the oven. Typically, pizza temperatures run in the 205 to 209F/96.1 to 98.3C temperature range as they come from the oven, regardless of what the oven temperature was. As for keeping the pizzas hot, many places will limit your delivery time for a pizza to the length of time that it takes for the pizza to cool to a temperature below the minimum of 140F/60C, after that, food safety becomes the concerm. The biggest problem with delivery is that the pizza becomes soft and soggy in the box due to steaming of the pizza in the enclosed box. It is somethi9ng of a catch-22, if you ventilate the box sufficiently to keep the pizza from getting soft and soggy, you lose heat too fast, and if you close the box to retain the heat, you get a soft and soggy pizza. It is this phenomon that has left the door open for take and bake pizzas to become increasingly popular over the past few years. If you really need to extend the delivery time you might need to look at using heated disks, or a heated shelf in the delivery vehicle, however, this would be quite a challange if your delivery vehicle is a scooter or motor bike. In a study that we didi a number of years ago we found that a single pizza, in a box, placed into an insulated pizza bag (moon bag) would stay hot for roughly 20-minutes, but if two pizzas were boxed and placed into a double box bag, the pizzas would stay hot for up to 35-minutes. They were still soft and somewhat soggy, but they were at or slightly above the magic temperature of 140F/60C. There are some things that you can use to help keep your pizzas crisp, these include limited box ventilation, and the use of “pizza savers”, the plastic mesh sheets that are used under the pizza to hold it up off of the bottom of the box, you can also use ripple boards/sheets to accomplish the same thing. It also helps to allow the fresh baked pizza to steam off on a wire rack for a minute or so before boxing it. As for formulating the crust, the use of high oil levels, 4 to 15% will help to keep the crust hot (oil rtetains heat better than water, but it will do nothing for crispiness.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Hey Tom,

Thanks for enlightening me regarding the pizza not coming out of the oven hotter just because it is being cooked at a higher temperature. I guess the max temp it could reach is technically 100 ? I feel quite silly :oops:

Sorry I don’t know what take and bake pizzas are. Are you referring to take out operations where customers collect the pizza and re heat them at home?

Not sure if we are allowed to use names of companies but a popular pizza chain uses rippled paper or cardboard (not sure which) which absorbs the excess grease. I am using a relatively low hydration dough, 45%, and in a couple of tests after placing them in this popular chains box (for trial purposes) it stayed luke warm and crispy after 20 odd mins in an insulated container.

Very interesting about two boxes being in an insulated bag keeps it warmer for longer than just a single one. I guess the bottom pizza would be slightly warmer than the top provided both were boxed at the same time.

I worry at times that my dough weight to pie size from which I get my preferred pizza may not completely satisfy my customers (well future ones :roll: ) appetite. Dave I just recollected that I had tried making slightly thicker pies using a similar number to what you specified. I remember the pie being very very chewy and tough. This maybe due the difference in quality of flour but I am going to give it a shot again and see how they turn out. Can my 45% hydration dough go through a sheeter? It seems really dry to me. I currently hand roll them so wondering if passing them through a sheeter would give the crust any different characteristics?

Thank you guys again for sharing your awesome knowledge :slight_smile:


Your 20-minute time sounds about right for a boxed pizza.
Regarding take and bake, these are pizzas that are made and sold on a raw dough skin, just as if you were getting ready to put it into your oven, but they are packaged and sent home with the consumer to be baked in the consumer’s home oven. Fresh, hot pizza (I didn’t say crispy), just fresh and hot. Papa Murphy’s is the big player in the take and bake game here in the States, and not to be out done, there are a lot of independants getting into the take and bake business too.
Due to the evaporative cooling from the moisture of the sauce, cheese, and toppings, it is all but impossible to get a pizza hotter than 209F/98.3C, much more typically we see 201 to 205F/93.8 to 96.1C. In order to reach 212F/100C you would need to bake out essentially all of the moisture from all parts of the pizza.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor