dough deconstruction . . . gum line??

I just had some pizza at a new place. It was a very different style than I am used to, so I am not certain if it was right, or if it had a problem. I found it generally not to my liking, but it could just be the style.

It was a VERY thin NY style (as he advertised) pizza with no collar. When it hit the table, the bottom was crispy, and the overall crust fairly firm, but tender. I niticed after about a minute that the crust separated, and the bottom was still the cripy, tenderish sort of thing, then maybe halfway up, it had a separation (this really is a thin crust overall) where the bottommost seemed gummy, then the sauce then the cheese. Would this be the classic gummy issue I’ve seen discussed here? The part that peeled off the top of the pizza really was rubbery, with no real bready quality whatsoever. He advertises a high bake temp on stones (700F supposed).

Did I give enough description for someone to advise me? It seems his bake is too hot so that the bottom cooks too fast, and the cheese melts before the top of the crust can cook through. It just gelled and was steamed by the somewhat loose sauce before it could spring and proteins set up. I can describe differently, if I missed the right terms, or someone who does this really thin crust can walk me through some questions. I really want to learn for when my customers come to me and ask about it. I want to be able to tell them my/our theories . . . which is as described above.

Several customers already tried their pizza and came running back to us. we arne’t a NY thin pizza crown around here. $8 for a ten inch cheese pizza that is really, really thin is going to put off my customer base, thankfully.

Nick, I know others will be able to chime in with more learned confidence but it sure sounds to me like you’ve diagnosed it correctly so far! I guess that all adds up to “great news” for Nick’s. Hopefully the new guy will get it figured out quickly though…I hate to see anyone struggle when there seems to be an easy answer sitting in front of them.

I also liked your comments re the “wool coat” post. I think we’ve reached a point where there is no turning back and that frightens me, but the “little guy” is seriously out there on his own more and more everyday thanks to the folks WE all hired in the first place!

First thing that I think. I know of a place just like you describe and that is exactly what they do. Turn up the heat.

What I think you were looking at was a type of pizza that you may have heard me describe before. Very thin crust, baked in a very hot oven for just a couple minutes, some times less. The resulting pizza is fairly firm and crisp when it first comes out of the oven, but as you eat it, it soon becomes soft and a lot more chewy. In Pittsburgh, PA, where there is a following for this type of pizza, they serve it with a knife and fork, that should be the tip off. No, this is not typically the gum line that we’re talking about, but the pizza does most likely have a gum line. The only way to rid this pizza of the gum line is to make the crust thicker, but then, the pizza will lose it’s identity, so it remains a catch-22.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor