How To Fix Undercooked Pizza Dough And Avoid A Soggy Base

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You cooked your pizza with the toppings nicely browned, but when you bite into it, the pizza dough is not cooked in the middle. Here’s how to fix undercooked pizza dough.

Cooked toppings but raw dough indicate that there hasn’t been enough heat coming from the bottom. Cooking your pizza on a pre-heated pizza stone ensures a good base temperature. Otherwise, lowering the oven rack will allow you to cook longer without burning the top.

If you need a foolproof dough with detailed step-by-step instructions then check out my pizza dough recipe to give yourself the best start.

If you’re struggling with making your dough or stretching it out, check out my pizza making video course which covers dough and the other ingredients and tools in depth.

Quick Fix For Undercooked Pizza

If 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.

Next are some tips on fixing your undercooked pizza dough for the future.

How To Avoid Undercooking Your Pizza Dough

Here are 5 tips from my guide for making better pizza if you want to avoid undercooked pizza and make better pizza at home.

1. Add Bottom Heat

The oven is hottest at the top. So if your pizza is on the highest rack then it’s natural that the top of your pizza will receive the most heat.

If you put the pizza on a cold baking sheet, then this can only make things worse – as now the sheet is transferring a colder temperature to the bottom of the pizza.

In a real wood fired pizza oven, you have extreme heat from the whole oven, with the floor of the oven extremely hot to cook the base in seconds, while the surrounding temperature takes care of the toppings.

You can mimic this in your home oven by cooking your pizza on something very hot. A pizza stone is more well-known, but a pizza steel is a newer method.

My best tip for making pizza in a home oven is to use a pizza “steel”. It adds intense heat from below for amazing crusts – I have this size steel from Amazon which is lower priced than other brands but works perfectly. Steel conducts heat better than stone, they don’t shatter and are easier to clean.

If it’s out of your price range then the 2nd best option is a pizza stone made from cordierite. To see a round-up of the most important pizza equipment check out my essential pizza equipment list.

If you don’t have a stone or steel, then I recommend you invest in one. But for a temporary solution, you could try a thick baking sheet which may work.

Preheat your oven with your pizza stone or steel inside. The longer the better really – an hour is enough to ensure it’s properly hot before you put on your pizza.

A final tip if you want to go even further: use two sources of bottom heat. Once you’ve put your dough on a hot stone or steel then it will lose its heat.

If you put two stones in your oven and heat sufficiently, then you can move your pizza to the second stone halfway through cooking. This really will give you the brownest, crispiest crust on the bottom.

I’ve written a guide to using a pizza stone that you should check out if you are considering getting a pizza stone to improve your pizza making.

2. Use The Right Temperatures

Using the highest temperature might work in a proper pizza oven, but in a home oven, this might not be the best idea if you can’t heat the bottom enough.

If you can’t get sufficient heat to the bottom of your dough then the next option is to cook for longer but ensure the top doesn’t burn.

Try dropping your oven temperature slightly or lowering your pizza a level or two on your oven rack. You can then bake for longer – try 4 minutes longer. You should cook your dough through without burning the top.

Ovens can vary a lot so you have to get a feel for how your oven cooks – use your judgment to adjust accordingly.

3. Don’t Use Cold Dough

If your dough is cold when you put it in the oven then it’s going to take longer to cook, and so might come out undercooked compared to the rest of the pizza.

Ensuring your dough is at room temperature before you put it in the oven should eliminate this issue. Check out my pizza dough recipe for more details.

There are a few ways to proof dough which can be longer or shorter, see my proofing pizza dough instructions and make sure you get it right for the best results. 

If you have cold-proofed your dough, then remove it from the fridge and leave it to adjust to room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. But don’t overdo it otherwise you might over-proof your dough.

4. Limit Your Wet Ingredients

This is a soggy pizza crust remedy. 

If you are putting wet ingredients on the top, then this can make your dough soggy and produce something called a ‘gum line’ in the industry. 

One main culprit is the tomato sauce. If it is too watery or splits into a watery bit and a solid bit, then you should fix this.

My top tip is to put your sauce in a sieve and give it a stir with a wooden spoon. The watery bit will drop away and you can keep the more concentrated sauce to use on your pizza which won’t make your base soggy

Make sure that the rest of your ingredients won’t add to the moisture as well. Things such as vegetables – raw tomato or mushrooms, for example, will release water when cooked.

Using them minimally is OK but if you have lots then consider pre-cooking these ingredients before they go on top. Make sure they are at least at room temperature.

But that’s just the start of this topic. If you want to know how to get the crispiest pizzas then check out my guide on how to avoid getting soggy pizza.

5. Adding Sauce Too Early

If you add wet sauce to the pizza and let it stand for too long, then the moisture will transfer to the dough.

I suggest topping your pizza quickly and getting it in the oven so that it isn’t hanging around on the dough too long.

If this isn’t possible then you can brush a thin layer of olive oil on the dough surface to create a waterproof barrier.

Related Questions On Undercooked Pizza

How can you tell if pizza dough is cooked?

The bottom of the base is the best way. Lift it up carefully and take a look – if it looks nicely browned then you know it’s done. Too white and it indicates it needs more time.

Is it bad to eat undercooked pizza dough?

While pizza dough doesn’t have raw eggs, it still has flour and yeast which can contain bacteria and have adverse effects on your body. I’d recommend you cook it, and it won’t take long to fix it.

Can I fix undercooked pizza later?

Yes, you can. Preheat your oven to 350ºF / 175ºC and cook for 5-6 minutes checking on it for burning toppings.

Conclusion

I would recommend using a stone or steel as a good first step if you aren’t already as this will give you the best results to fix undercooked pizza dough.

If you already are, then reduce the wet ingredients and have them all at room temperature, including the dough.

Make sure you check out my guide on troubleshooting pizza dough problems if you are struggling to make pizza at home.

Getting to know your cooking equipment better will help, and make sure you follow a good recipe that proofs the dough well and you should avoid having a pizza that is not cooked in the middle. I hope this article has helped you!

Tom Hambly

Tom Hambly is the founder of Crust Kingdom. As a self-taught cook, he has been perfecting making pizzas at home for over a decade. Now he runs this site to help millions of people make pizza every year. About Tom Hambly.

3 thoughts on “How To Fix Undercooked Pizza Dough And Avoid A Soggy Base

  1. Pingback: How to Make Pizza Crust Crispy (Complete Guide) - Make Your Dinner Easy
  2. Undercooked middle
    I have an outdoor pizza oven that gets very hot.(900 degrees). I leave my dough out at room temp to rise for several hours so it is room temp.
    I roll it very thin (neopolitan style) and really keep the toppings minimal. We have even tried cooking the dough without toppings. The top and the bottom come out great with charred spots, but the middle is raw.
    Finally, we have heated up the oven for 30 minutes prior to cooking a pie.
    Any suggestions you have for us to continue troubleshooting would be welcomed!

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