Warm vs Crispy? What would be number one for you?

I cannot ensure the best of both worlds because of my style of pizza as well as the mass.

We will be making a thin crust, cracker style pizza and are only going to be a delivery and take away operation. From what I have seen around here, delivery would be a majority of the business and not take away.

Our 11" pie will be approximately 5.5 oz in weight (only the base). I have tried weights higher and lower than this. Lower tends to go cold really really quickly as there is no mass whatsoever and also is not filling. Higher (7 oz) the texture is something which I don’t particularly enjoy as it becomes less cracker like and more soft chewy, even with a lower hydration dough formulation. Assuming that I am sticking with the 5.5 oz for a 11" pizza I would like to know what would your preference be when a pizza is delivered to you:

a. Warm to Luke Warm (this is the best I have been able to do with insulated bags and a twenty minute window after it is out of the oven)
b. Crispy (I am able to achieve a good crispiness when I let it sit on a wire rack for a minute and then cut and box; however have not yet tested crispiness when a pizza is heavily topped yet)

Would love to hear your answers & suggestions


p.s. - The weather conditions through out the year are hot and humid

When I get a pizza I would like it to be hot to very warm. If you have a heat lamp, try putting the pizza box and / or hot bag under that so that it will get nice and toasty. Should keep better.

Hot, hot, hot is the way to go. We’d all like to be able to deliver a hot AND crispy pizza after being boxed and placed into a “moon bag” for 20 to 30-minutes, but the reality is that the steaming will soon eliminate or severely reduce the crispiness to wish. Some local health departments will limit your delivery time to that in which you can deliver a pie at or above 140F. We have found that there is a difference between a single pie or two pies in a bag. Two pies wil stay hot (140F) for 8 to 10-minutes longer than an equal size single pie.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Your delivery plates should stay warm for more than 30 minutes. Maybe you’re not microwaving them long enough? We get 30 minutes out of 500 watts for 1 minute.

There is a way to get both but your not going to like it (maybe)

If you want cracker to stay cracker the only way I have been successful is to change the way I make pizza + the right packing materials + bags. Dough needs to be lower hydration (36% to 40%) and low oil <3% and managed correctly.

  1. You have to keep sauce on dough to a minimum. 1/2 amount shred on bottom OR thin slices. Sauce on top of that, then toppings then 1/2 (the rest) of cheese (if you keep toppings under cheese). Sauce goes on with a squeeze bottle as opposed to ladle (only way you can do it if shred on bottom). Cheese will melt and protect upper crust from moisture (Meats and veggies + Moisture from sauce). I use Part skim only on bottom - never whole or higher fat cheese.

  2. 1 to 1.5 minutes on wire rack before cutting

  3. Use vented box with Ripple sheet (or flute sheet), cut on sheet and box up.

  4. Box goes into temp and humidity controlled system to wait for pick up

  5. CookTek Bags with “vapor vent” during delivery.

If you par bake the cracker its hot when it comes out, cheese going on will melt to some degree and that’s an advantage as well. Either way, Par bake or not this technique works for me. The thicker the sauce the better, less water will go a long way to keep the crust crispy.

Other factors to consider. The idea is to reduce moisture on the cracker.

A) Use leaner meats - Fresh is best, precooking will remove fats but you lose flavor
B) Microwave Pepperoni to remove fat before using
C) Slice Veggies thinner - but put a decent amount on. Green Peppers can go thinner and still retain lots of flavor.
D) Give mushrooms time to dry out before using and slice thinner
E) Cheese needs to be used after proper aging, oil must be reduced so can’t use early or late cheese. Temps must not break cheese down so you can’t go too hot.

Also, the best crackers for me just take a lot of time. Dough is sheeted to size, LIGHT flour, laminate (fold 2 to 4 times) re-sheet to size. Dock well. Par-bake for 4 minutes (Doug is low hydration and little sugar - so it does not brown much during this step). Then following the above steps, I cook low heat@475 - no screens or pans. On deck ovens setup for par-baking - Ultra Rokite Decks


BBH thank you for the wonderful reply and also thanks to others for their input. It is a little late here and am going to bed but will re read your post a few times to digest it all and then try it out. Maybe come back with some questions :slight_smile:

My pizza would stand out from competition if I were able to get it crispy. Have already inquired about ripple sheets.

Good night & Thank you

Or… recognize that thin crispy pizza and delivery just don’t go together.

Really, if one wants that thin and truly crisp style pizza, one needs to go to a pizzeria and eat it 2 minutes out of the oven.

If you do find the Holy Grail of a thin that delivers as hot and crisp as in the dining room, then you’ll be famous.