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Jay’s Pizza Crust – The Secret to My Perfectly Crispy Yet Soft and Chewy Crust

Jay's Pizza Crust

Anyone who loves pizza knows how important the crust is. It can make or break a pizza. Nobody wants a floppy slice of bread or a super hard, cracker-like crust that cuts up the roof of your mouth. Over the years, I’ve tried many recipes and techniques for what I believe to be the perfect pizza crust. That being crispy on the outside but soft and chewy once you bite in. And finally, after all these years I cracked the code and perfected it.

I have two tricks that set my dough apart from others. One is my proprietary formulation, which was created through months of trial and error to obtain peak crispness without sacrificing softness or chewiness on the inside.

The second trick is my cooking method and special baking steel that brings out maximum flavor in every inch of this 18” beauty.

In this post, we’ll go deep into everything you need to know about making Jay’s pizza crust at home: from flour types to cook times — and even an easy recipe you can use today! So if you’re looking for some tips on how to perfect your own homemade pizzas then keep reading!

Jay's Pizza Crust

The Quest for Perfection

Just like most things in life, I wasn’t born with this skillset. Before now making great dough seemed impossible. But here we are today with one of the best homemade pizza crust recipes out there.

Before this breakthrough I would get so frustrated attempting to make my own crusts with mediocre results… Okay fine they were sometimes good enough to eat but not great by any means! They would either turn out too dense/bready or wafer thin/crispy where it fell apart during every bite.

It reached a point where I thought only pizzerias had some secret magic powers involved because they always made them perfectly even though they were probably just using the same ingredients we did. But I was determined to find perfection.

After hours of research and hundreds of dough balls later, I finally found a recipe that worked. The first ever Jay’s pizza crust turned out beautiful: bubbly and crispy on the outside — soft and chewy on the inside.

My friends didn’t think much of it, they just saw another test pie but I knew in my heart with this crust that I created something amazing. For a second I even thought about selling it to restaurants but then decided to share it with you guys instead!

Jay's Pizza Crust

An Overview of Jay’s Pizza Crust

What makes this crust so good? Here’s a quick overview:

  • My dough is made with 00 flour for tenderness and semolina for strength and structure
  • The acidity of the tomatoes is cut with a pinch of honey to give it a subtle sweetness
  • 24 hours in cold fermentation help gluten relax and dough develop deep flavor
  • My pizza steel gets piping hot like a real pizza oven and gives the bottom that perfect crisp with leopard spots
  • The patented baking method using ice cubes for moisture creates the soft, chewy inside of the crust we all love

 

I’ll get into this process later on so stay tuned. I’ve tested all these steps rigorously so just know they’re here for good reason. Jay’s pizza crust is essentially a puzzle where every piece was built with care.

Now let’s dive right in and see how everything comes together!

Ingredients for Jay's Pizza Crust

Ingredient
Purpose
Notes
00 Flour
For tenderness and softness
Ultra finely milled, low protein for softer dough
Semolina Flour
For strength and structure
High protein from durum wheat, adds support and color
Water
Hydration
Cool water to prevent overheating and overworking dough
Olive Oil
Fat for flavor
Adds richness
Salt
Flavor enhancer
Flavor enhancer
Sugar
Sweetness
Also helps in browning the crust
Yeast
Fermentation
Creates savory umami notes, helps dough rise
Honey
Sweetness against acidity
Used to cut tomato acidity, adds subtle sweetness

Making The Dough With Specialty Flour Blend

The best pizza starts with the best dough. And my dough starts off by blending two specialty flours:

Flour for Tenderness and Softness

This ultra finely milled Italian flour has very little protein compared to other flours. This means it makes softer dough versus typical bread or all-purpose flour. All thanks to having less gluten, which also happens to be what gives dough its chewiness and structure.

Tender over chewy is preferred when making a pizza crust so 00 flour is used. However, you can’t make an entire batch of dough solely from 00 flour alone since there’s too little protein in it. Doing so will result in a crust that rips apart when attempting to keep ingredients in place. For this reason, we mix it with Semolina Flour for Strength and Structure.

Made from durum wheat which is high protein wheat used for pasta. It adds back some protein strength which provides enough support for piled high toppings.

In addition rich yellow hue along with toasted wheat flavor can be traced back to semolina as well.

Combining these two custom blended specialty flours brings us the perfect balance of proteins needed for pizza crust. All softness from 00 flour and just enough strength from semolina.

Hydration and Mixing

Other than specialty flours mentioned earlier, my Jay’s pizza crust contains water, olive oil, salt, sugar, and yeast. Cool water is used specifically to prevent overheating and overworking the dough as well.

The stand mixer is responsible for combining and kneading all of these ingredients together until the dough becomes soft, smooth, elastic.

At a 65% hydration level this dough has more water compared to others. The result of using more means we get a softer puffier baked crust which is exactly what we want. However it does make handling difficult so be sure to use plenty of flour on your hands and surface to avoid sticking.

Small amounts of fat from oil, sweetness from sugar along with tiny bit of yeast exist solely for additional layers of flavor. The yeast creates savory umami notes that can come off tasting like meat after fermenting throughout the 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Impact of Ingredients on Crust Texture Chart

The 24 Hour Cold Ferment

This extra time for fermentation in the fridge is crucial for both flavor and texture. During this phase, the yeast breaks down and ferments natural sugars and starches, which develops flavors. It additionally makes gluten relax for a more tender bite after cooking.

So you can see how much better your crust tastes and feels even before biting into it. This isn’t something that happens after a mere hour or two of sitting out at room temp between stretches.

Do yourself a favor and resist stretching, topping, and baking right away. Give it the full 24 hours to cold ferment, I promise you’ll never want Jay’s pizza crust any other way.

Time to Stretch

After an unbearable wait on my end for flavor development, it’s finally ready to be stretched! I roll it into a circle with my special rolling pin by working from center outward so it keeps even thickness all around.

Though at home where few have my specialty tool — hands do just fine at stretching dough too. Just avoid pushing everything flat while working with it to maintain pockets of air that then create those nice bubbles we love so much once cooked.

Then I set the stretch over my fists with gentle pressure to lay on my pizza peel (lined with parchment for easy transfer). Since all the rising occurs here on the edges, I always make them a bit thicker by pinching/folding the perimeter over itself. This leaves extra material to puff up and char nicely when baking.

Dough Preparation Timeline Chart

Topping with Signature Sauce and Cheese

With my stretched Jay’s pizza crust ready to be loaded up comes one of my favorite parts — sauce! First thing is ladling over a thick layer of secret sauce made from San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, basil, and pinch sugar right out to edges!

Nobody likes eating plain bread so this does need to be covered completely before adding cheese or any other toppings craved that day as well.

Crunchy outside? Check. Soft and chewy inside? Now it’s time to talk about texture. The secret to getting that perfect texture is simple: steam. It slows down the crust’s formation and creates an open, hole-y structure rather than a dense and bready one.

I remove the ice and shut off steam for the last 60-90 seconds of baking so that if there is moisture or anything left, we’re not going to get a soggy bottom. Then you let it rest for a minimum of five minutes before slicing into it, which sets the crumb and finishes carryover cooking so your cheese gets nice and stretchy.

And that’s it — from dough mixing to steaming, that’s Jay’s process for his signature pizza crust. But don’t be intimidated by all these steps: If Jay can do it, anyone can! The key — as with all cooking — is just following the steps exactly as Jay lists them out.

The Pizza Steel for Crispy, Charred Crust

Good luck getting a half-decent pizza crust in your average home oven. Which is why I use baking steel to mimic the real pizza oven experience at home. The thing conducts heat more efficiently so it browns and crisps up the bottom before moisture has time to soak in and make it soggy.

It’s what gives you those incredible leopard spots and charring that you simply can’t get on a baking stone or sheet tray. I preheat mine in the oven at 550 F for at least an hour before cooking on it. That way it gets uniformly hot and eliminates any variables from run to run.

The magic really starts when you slide Jay’s pizza dough onto that ripping hot steel though. It’ll start browning the sugar and starches right away, with bubbles inflating faster than you think possible. In just 2 minutes flat I can pull out a picture perfect pie with an impossibly thin yet fully cooked bottom.

Jay's Pizza Crust Process Overview

Step
Description
Time Required
Mixing Ingredients
Blend flours, add water, oil, salt, sugar, yeast
Hydration and Kneading
Achieve 65% hydration level, knead to soft, elastic
Cold Fermentation
Develop flavors, tenderize dough
24 hours
Stretching Dough
Roll or stretch to even thickness
Topping
Apply sauce, cheese, toppings
Baking with Steam
Use ice for moisture, steam for chewy interior
Until crust is crispy
Preheating Pizza Steel
Mimic pizza oven, achieve crispy crust
Preheat at 550 F for 1 hour
Jay's Pizza Crust

Tips for Making Jay’s Pizza Crust at Home

Now that you have all of Jay’s secrets, I’m sure you’re eager to make some homemade pizza on your own. So here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Measure ingredients precisely and use an accurate kitchen scale.
  • Mix dough thoroughly for well-developed gluten and easier rolling.
  • Give cold fermentation time because it tenderizes crusts and improves flavor.
  • Handle dough delicately because punching down air pockets will result in less rise.
  • Use 00 flour on your work surface if sticking occurs (a little goes a long way).
  • Preheat pizza steel or steel baking sheet for at least one hour; they take forever to heat up but retain temperature well.

Wrapping Up

Follow those tips along with my listed instructions above, and soon enough you’ll be serving up pizzas with a crust people beg you for the recipe to! Let me know how your pizzas turn out in the comments below and get ready to have a new go-to pizza crust recipe on your hands. Happy pizza making!

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