Veggie pizzas are growing in popularity as more and more consumers jump on the healthy-eating bandwagon, but making these pies palatable can be a real challenge for pizzerias. That’s because the significant water content in all those veggies – everything from artichokes to zucchini – works against efforts to bring a crispy, crunchy pizza to the table.
But there are pizza crust styles that stand up to watery toppings, and simple baking methods that help ensure a perfect crust every time. Here’s how to prevent your crusts from becoming weighted down in water:
1. Use a Higher Heat
It’s important for any heavily veggie-topped pizza to be cooked at a slightly higher temperature. This helps “seal” the crust before it has a chance to absorb too much moisture. Not all crusts can take the heat, though. Alive & Kickin’s Classic Neapolitan Dough Balls are made from imported Italian flour and work great with high-heat oven applications of 600° F and up. Be sure to experiment to find the right temperature, as all ovens vary.
2. Allow Fresh Mozzarella to Dry
If you’re using fresh mozzarella (which has a 52% water content) on your veggie pizzas to give them added flavor and enhance the visual appeal, allow the cheese to dry a bit before adding it to the crust (regular mozzarella has very little water content, comparatively, and doesn’t require this step). Instead of slicing the mozzarella and immediately adding the cheese, set the slices on a paper towel to absorb excess moisture for at least 15 minutes, flipping once to make sure both sides “drain.”
3. Use Par-baked Pizza Crusts
Of all the different pizza crusts you can use, a par-baked crust is your best option. Par-baked (meaning pre-baked, but not fully baked) crusts cut some of the baking time, so the watery toppings aren’t sitting on the crust as long. You may also opt to grill the vegetables before putting them on the crust; this not only adds flavor to the toppings, but releases much of the moisture (use a slotted spoon to remove them from the pan). Alive & Kickin’s Par-Baked Hand-Tossed Style Pizza Crusts have the look and feel of a traditional hand-tossed dough and a taste that scratch-made can’t beat.
4. Consider Pizza Dough Balls
If par-baked crusts aren’t your thing, there’s a dough ball – the Low Moisture HG Dough Ball – from Alive & Kickin’ that’ll do the trick with veggie topped pizzas. This one has a lower moisture content, which offsets some of the moisture being added via veggies.
Don’t let the moisture in vegetables keep you from offering this popular option at your pizzeria – use the right dough or crust product instead! Selecting the right product for your needs and following steps designed to minimize moisture will make this menu option a real winner with your veggie-loving customers!
Want to know more about the best uses for par-baked crusts and dough balls? Here’s a handy infographic that gives you the insights you’re looking for!