Top Reasons Your Pizza Dough Is Not Cooking & How To Fix It

You cooked your pizza with nicely browned toppings, but when you slice it up and bite into it, the pizza dough is not cooked in the middle. Extra cooking only seems to burn the toppings! How do you fix undercooked pizza dough?

Your toppings are cooked, but your dough is still raw, indicating that there has been enough heat coming from the top but not from the bottom.

Cooking your pizza on a preheated pizza stone or steel ensures a suitable base temperature. Otherwise, turning down the heat or lowering the oven rack will allow you to cook longer without burning the top.

Quick Fix For Undercooked Pizza

Suppose you’re halfway through cooking and need a fix for right now. Reduce your oven temperature by 70ºF/20ºC and lower your oven shelf by one rack. Cook your pizza for 3 more minutes and check on it again.

Why Your Pizza Dough Is Undercooked?

Baking temperature and baking time are closely related. The higher the temperature, the shorter the biking time. 

Likewise, a shorter baking time requires a higher temperature to achieve the same results.

You should aim for a quick bake in a hot oven to get a great pizza. That’s how you get a crispy pizza crust that’s still soft and light in the middle, just like in an Italian restaurant.

1. The Dough Is Too Thick

A common reason is too thick pizza dough. It will take longer to bake a thick pizza because the heat takes longer to penetrate the dough and bake the center of the pizza. 

Therefore, a thick dough is going to take longer to bake than a thinner dough. This is part of the reason why Neapolitan pizza is so light. It can bake quickly in the oven.

You can’t bake thick pizza in a wood-fired oven because the outside of the pizza will be completely burnt before the center is fully cooked.

If you want to recreate Neapolitan-style pizza at home, you, therefore, need to make thin pizza using Neapolitan pizza dough.

2. Overtopping The Pizza

Another reason your pizza is undercooked can be overtopping. This can be too much sauce, cheese, or any other toppings. Pizza gets crispy in the oven by evaporating moisture. The pizza can’t get crispy if it contains too much water.

The more moisture the pizza contains, the harder it will be to evaporate enough water to bake the dough properly. Therefore, be cautious when you add toppings to your pizza.

More is less when it comes to pizza toppings!

3. Too Short Baking Time

You need to bake your pizza longer if you don’t have a wood-fired oven. In general, when you bake pizza, you want to increase the temperature to reduce the baking time rather than increase the time.

The goal is to get a crispy, charred crust, and if you can do this in a shorter period of time, you’re going to end up with a pizza crust that’s crispy on the outside but still lovely and soft on the inside.

This can only be achieved in a hot oven with a short baking time. You, therefore, aim to reduce the baking time but increase the heat. But you still want to bake the pizza long enough to be crispy and nice on the outside.

4. Too Low Baking Temperature

To understand how the temperature affects the final result, you must first understand pizza baking.

In a wood-fired pizza oven, the pizza is baked with a combination of radiating, reflected heat from the ceiling and the hot floor of the oven.

Therefore, if you want to bake pizza at home, you must replicate the baking environment. You need a radiating heat source above the pizza and a hot baking surface with which the pizza is in direct contact.

Bake The Top Of The Pizza Using The Broiler Method

Let’s address the radiating heat first. You might think: “I don’t have a fancy wood-fired pizza oven…

How can I do this at home?” You can actually achieve this in most home ovens! A broiler or grill element inside the oven will do the trick, not fire.

Almost every home oven comes with a broiler in the ceiling. A broiler gets really hot and is ideal for baking pizzas quickly. In Italian restaurants, you might even see charred leopard prints.

As a result, the broiler’s heat doesn’t reach very far. It is, therefore, essential to position the pizza as close to the broiler as possible without touching it.

It’s ideal to cook the pizza between 1-2 inches from the broiler. Make your pizza crust awesome with this recipe!

Additionally, cheese and other toppings benefit from fast baking on the pizza top. This is because much moisture will vaporize during baking from the toppings, cheese, and sauce.

When baking at home, the broiler can be a huge help.

A Hot Baking Surface Is Essential To Bake The Bottom Of The Pizza

A second aspect of the equation is the baking surface.

You simply can’t bake your pizza on a baking sheet. A lack of heat is entirely the problem. You have to allow the cold baking sheet to heat up for a while before it reaches a temperature where pizza bottoms are baked.

It is also common to find aluminium baking sheets that are pretty thin. This is because they have a poor ability to retain heat. Therefore, baking sheets are not ideal for pizza baking, which puts the pizza at risk of undercooking.

A simple solution can, however, be found to this problem! Using a pizza stone or pizza steel is the key to baking pizza. They both serve as baking surfaces for ovens in homes.

The product works by retaining and conducting heat, thereby speeding up the baking process.

It will be able to hold a lot more heat, and it will be able to transfer that heat to the pizza dough much more quickly. You’ll get results similar to those from a wood-fired oven on a pizza stone or steel.

A vital point to note is that it needs to be preheated before baking pizza on a baking surface. Usually, it takes between 45 and 60 minutes.

If you don’t already own a pizza stone or pizza steel, it doesn’t matter which one you choose. It’s a win-win situation for both of you; you’ll notice an improvement in your pizza game almost immediately!

Pizza stones are typically less expensive. But I prefer pizza steels, personally. The majority of my pizzas are baked in that oven.

Pizza steels are more durable, better at conducting heat, and easier to maintain and clean than stones.

When you combine the use of a pizza stone or pizza steel with the broiler trick, you will create a fantastic pizza. It’s never a good idea to undercook pizza dough again!

5. Your Toppings Are Too Wet

When you use wet toppings, it will be impossible for your pizza base to bake correctly, and your pizza will be sloppy.

There are many beginners out there who load their pizzas with as much as they want, thinking that it will bake just fine.

High-moisture vegetables and fresh mozzarella are the main culprit for making your pizza soggy.

There is a problem here because a pizza’s dough can only endure a minimal amount of moisture before becoming soggy.

The pizza crust is thicker so that more toppings can be added. However, unless the toppings are not too wet, you should not fully top the pizza.

You should keep your pizza simple with a limited amount of sauce and cheese if you want it to bake properly. You will be able to bake through the dough more effectively because you will use less, so you won’t need to worry about it becoming soggy.

Once your basic pizza is coming out well, you can use more advanced toppings but remember to think about what you’re using and whether or not it will suit your style.

6. You Added The Toppings Too Soon Before Baking

When you top your pizza with toppings, you should add them as late as possible before baking. A better crust results from adding them later.

You can run into two significant problems if you add your toppings too soon before baking:

The Dough Will Stick To The Pizza Peel

You may find that your topped dough isn’t budgeable when you slide it into the oven if it has sat on the peel for too long.

I assure you that you want to avoid this situation at all costs.

The Dough Will Get Soggy

A pizza sauce coating will tend to moisten the dough after a while, causing it to become soggy.

The base of the pizza will likely remain soggy after a long baking time.

Topping your pizza right before it goes into the oven is the best way to get the best results.

When you add them as late as possible, you limit the time they sit on top of the raw dough, helping it not become soggy.

Pizza is usually baked with all its toppings on top, but some people prefer to partially top it and add some toppings during the cooking process or just partake in the base before topping it.

When you partake in the base, you’re ensuring that the surface is cooked, so it won’t become soggy when you add the toppings. It can be parbaked by simply placing it in the oven until the surface feels or looks a bit dry.

7. You’re Using Cold Dough

To slow the rise of their dough and develop more flavour, many people place them in the fridge. Although it improves the texture of your dough, the low temperature can do two things that may ruin your pizza.

Firstly, because it’s cold, the gluten is tighter and, therefore, harder to stretch. As a result, you will not be able to make the dough as thin as you would like. This will affect baking time, so it will take longer.

In addition, lower temperatures will increase the baking time because it will take more time for the dough to reach the desired temperature. No matter what, freezing dough isn’t a good idea.

Ensure your dough has gotten to room temperature before you shape and bake it.

The wait may take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on how warm your home is, but the results will be much better afterwards.

As soon as the dough warms up, it becomes less stiff, it becomes easier to stretch, and it bakes faster.

8. You Didn’t Preheat The Oven For Long Enough

One of the biggest mistakes people make is not preheating their oven long enough. High heat is essential to cook it thoroughly when making thin-to-medium crust pizza.

Typically, people preheat their oven for 15 to 20 minutes and think that it’s plenty of time to cook pizza.

This will make the pizza less tasty since the temperature probably isn’t the same in every part of the oven, and it won’t get hot enough to properly bake the pizza.

Especially if you’re using a baking stone or steel, you must get your entire oven up to temperature.

Without proper preheating, it will take longer to bake and probably bake unevenly.

Preheating your oven for 60 minutes is recommended to ensure everything is adequately heated. The time is long, so make the most of it by preparing your pizza toppings and any possible side dishes.

In addition to warming up the whole oven, this longer preheating period also allows the baking steel/stone to hold plenty of heat while waiting to cook your pizza.

How To Fix Undercooked Pizza Dough?

Getting undercooked pizza dough can be disappointing, but you can salvage your pizza and improve your results with a few steps. As an alternative, you can:

Make Thinner Pizzas

Make sure you make thin pizzas if you want to prevent undercooked pizza dough. Neapolitan pizza dough is what I recommend. This is a great recipe. Using a proper dough, it’s easy to stretch it thinly. 

It is going to be the crispiest pizza you have ever tasted. Undercooking this dough is not an option!

Bake The Pizza In A Blazing Hot Oven

The oven needs to be heated to the desired temperature. In addition, you should use a pizza stone or pizza steel. Preheat the stone or steel in the oven for at least 45-60 minutes at the highest setting for optimum results.

As a result, you’ll get an extremely hot baking surface and a crisp and charred pizza. As if from a wood-fired pizza oven. You should also bake the pizza’s top. It is recommended that you use the broiler.

You can also heat the pizza stone or steel by turning on the broiler. Consequently, the baking surface will be even hotter!

I recommend turning off the broiler a few minutes before baking and lowering the oven temperature slightly. Whenever you bake pizza, you need to turn on the broiler.

As the oven temperature rises, the broiler usually turns off to prevent the oven from getting any hotter. Using this trick, your pizza can be baked at an even higher temperature!

Don’t Overtop The Pizza

Aim for a balanced sauce and cheese ratio, and don’t add too many toppings. Pizza will become moister as a result, which will increase the cooking time.

The following methods will ensure that you never have an undercooked pizza again!

Final Words

To fix undercooked pizza dough, I recommend using a stone or steel as the first step if you do not already have one.

You may already be doing this, but reduce all the wet ingredients and keep the dough at room temperature, too.

Get to know your equipment better, and make sure you follow a good recipe that proves the dough well so the pizza is cooked evenly. This article has hopefully helped you!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *