This pizza was an almost complete failure. I say “almost,” because it actually tasted really good. The flavors mingled perfectly: tomato, mozzarella, basil, and eggplant. What could be better? The problem was that the dough would not cook all the way through and it remained so soggy, I couldn’t really pick up a piece of pizza with my hands. I ate it in forkfuls. Tasty, soggy, forkfuls.
I thought I had taken all of the necessary soggy-avoiding measures. I salted the eggplant and let it sit for 30 minutes, blotted out the moisture with a paper towel and repeated for another 30 minutes followed by more blotting.
I let the dough warm to room temperature before spreading it out on a floured surface. I even tossed it in the air like they used to at Lombardi’s when I was growing up. I put the tomato sauce on sparingly. I used organic tomato and basil tomato sauce made by Classico.
I chopped up the heirloom tomatoes and squeezed out the excess liquid. Then I added them to the pizza.
Then I added the chopped, drained eggplant.
Then I added the fresh basil.
And then, I added thick slices of fresh mozzarella.
The directions on the dough package said to pre-heat the oven to 450˚F and bake for 9-12 minutes. I thought that sounded rather short, but then I did think that the cheese might start to burn at 450˚F if I left it in much longer than that.
When I took the pizza out of the oven it looked great, but the center was not only mushy, but the dough was still raw.
I put it back in for another 5 minutes and now the outer edges were better and the middle wasn’t exactly raw, but it was still soggy. I ate a few bites and put it back in the oven for even more time. Still mushy after 5 more minutes.
What went wrong?
Is a pre-heated pizza stone a real necessity here?
Did I need to squeeze out even more excess moisture from the fresh eggplant and fresh tomatoes?
Did I need to plan on much more time in the oven? Would a lower temperature (like 400˚F) have worked?
Should I have used the convection setting on my oven?
I appreciate any comments and will continue my research and get back to you.
3 replies on “Soggy Homemade Pizza with Eggplant, Fresh Mozzarella and Fresh Basil”
Your pizza looks great! Sorry it was soggy!
Try pre-baking the pizza dough for a little while in the oven until it’s *just* starting to get brown. Take it out at that point, add your toppings (sliced really thin), and stick it back in the oven til they look done.
That’s how I make most of my pizza, and it works really well. Let me know how it turns out if you give it a whirl. 😀
a.k.a. The Hungry Mouse
You have to cook that for a good 18-22 minutes with a super hot oven. I can see from the pictures that your cheese didn’t cook very much at all. It can get a lot browner than that and still be OK. I did a post on pizza dough recently. I make my own pizza at least once a week and have been experimenting with cooking temps and different pizza doughs. If your dough is thick you can cook it for ten minutes or so before putting the toppings on. Then another ten or fifteen minutes or so with the toppings. Your toppings are great! You could even saute that eggplant in a skillet with some olive oil and garlic beforehand. I would try again on 450 for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 500. Then when you put the pizza in turn it down to 450. Let me know how it turns out! Here is my link to my pizza if you want to check it out:http://cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.blogspot.com/2008/10/pesto-chicken-tomato-pizza.html
[…] Thanks to Jessie from The Hungry Mouse and Reeni of CinnamonSpiceAndEverythingNice, I was able to solve the problems I encountered when I tried to make Homemade Eggplant Pizza the first time. See that post here. […]