You cooked your pizza with the toppings nicely browned, but when you slice it up and bite into it, the pizza dough is not cooked in the middle. Extra cooking only seems to burns the toppings! How do you fix undercooked pizza dough?
You’re toppings are cooked but your dough is still raw indicates that there has been enough heat coming from the top but not from the bottom. Cooking your pizza on a pre heated pizza stone or steel ensures a good 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 Now
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 one rack. Cook your pizza for 3 more minutes and check on it again.
Definitely check out my article, 26 tips and tricks for making better pizza if you want to learn all the useful secrets for making better pizza at home.
Here are some tips on fixing your undercooked pizza dough for the future:
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 taking 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 which will produce even better results. The steel conducts heat more efficiently, so the searing hot surface will cook your base in no time. They also don’t shatter like a stone does. I have this pizza steel and can fully recommend it (click to see on Amazon). If you’d rather get something a bit cheaper, then at least get a pizza stone made of cordierite like this one from Amazon. It is less likely to crack like other pizza stones.
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. Pre heat your oven with your pizza stone or steel inside. The longer the better really – an hour is enough to ensure its 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 loose its heat. If you put two stones in your oven and heat sufficiently, then you can move your pizza to the second stone half way through cooking. This really will give you the brownest, crispiest crust on the bottom.
I’ve written a complete 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 – and 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 judgement to adjust accordingly.
3. Don’t Use Cold Dough
If your dough is cold when you put it in the oven then its going to take longer cook, and so might come out undercooked compared to the rest of the pizza. By ensuring your dough is at room temperature before you put it in the oven, then this should eliminate this issue.
There are a few ways to proof dough. Check out my article on proofing pizza dough for some 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 to adjust to room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. But don’t over do 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.
A 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 article 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 water proof barrier.
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 wet ingredients and have them all at room temperature, including the dough. Make sure you check out my page on troubleshooting pizza dough problems if you are struggling to make pizza at home.
Get to know your cooking equipment better will help, and make sure you follow a good recipe which proofs the dough well and you should avoid having a pizza which is not cooked in the middle. I hope this article has helped you!