David Chang's Easy Tip For Extra Crunchy Flatbread Pizza Crust

Flatbread pizza crust with a little extra crunch has never been easier to achieve now that David Chang has offered an easy tip. Chang explains that the key to a crunchy bite is all about hydration. And, the good news is that even if you already have a favorite recipe for this dough, there's no need to switch it up. Instead, you can adapt it to put Chang's method to the test. What's this chef's secret to crunchy crust?

Explaining in a recipe post for House & Home, the host of "The Next Thing You Eat" stated, "This dough should be a little more hydrated than the standard flatbread dough to give it more of that light, shattery crunch. So, ideally, make the dough with a little extra water, enough to make it a loose dough, not one that comes together into a neat ball." It may seem counter-intuitive to add moisture to create a crackling chomp for your teeth, but the baking science is there and it all goes back to those elementary school lessons about the water cycle and evaporation.

Feeling the need for steam

All that hydration actually evaporates in the hot oven as the crust bakes, and when this occurs, two things happen. First, when the moisture evaporates, it dries out the outside layer of the dough. But evaporation also creates steam that is soaked up like a sponge by the starches in your dough. This, in turn, creates a starchy gel that is needed to develop that crunchy texture. Additionally, steam is going to help produce that golden brown color that we know and love when we bake pizza crust.

A well-hydrated dough has another benefit. The loose dough tends to spread and flatten, creating a greater surface area for all of those wonderful, signature ingredients that make flatbread pizza so delicious. When it comes to baking this crust, Chang pops his flatbread pizza dough in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit before adding sauce, cheese, and toppings, and popping it back into the oven for a few minutes.