Equipment Recs - Sheeters or Presses

Discussion in 'The Think Tank' started by hotsawce, May 15, 2017.

  1. hotsawce

    hotsawce Member

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    I am looking to roll out thin, consistent, round skins and wanted to know if anyone could recommend a reasonably priced sheeter or press. I am not looking to define an edge on the crust. My dough bakes up similarly to pita at high temperatures (largely due to the thinness.)

    Two stage sheeters look nice but I've seen some where the doughs don't always come out round.

    Presses seem to be more pricey, and it looks like only the more expensive ones can be used without oil.

    Doesn't have to be a brand name or a Doyon; if it's an off brand that works well I'm fine with that.
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Active Member

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    We use Somerset in our two shops. Haven't had any issues with them *Knock on wood* in 7 years for the one and 2.5 years for the other. Very consistent. Last saw them priced for about $3400


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  3. George Mills

    George Mills Well-Known Member

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    Sheeters are not designed to produce round product Usually the dough is run through the first roller then turned 90 degrees and run through the second roller. Then the final forming is done by hand.
    Somerset is an excellent sheeter. we have hundreds of pizza shops that use them.
    George Mills
     
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  4. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Well-Known Member

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    George is "spot-on", all of the dough sheeters that I've ever used required a minimum of three passed to get something even close to resembling round, like George said, as the dough is removed from the sheeter after the last pass it is manually stretched into a circle. Dough presses, especially those with a heated head or both heated head and platen will press a dough ball out to a reasonably round circle IF the dough is properly formulated for the hot press. When making your decision keep in mind that presses do not perform very well with low absorption doughs, they like a soft and extensible dough (think high absorption and reducing agents) where as sheeters perform best with lower absorption doughs. Due to their very low absorption, doughs for cracker and thin crispy type crusts are best made using a dough sheeter, most will agree that for these types of doughs a sheeter is the only practical method for opening the dough into a skin. Some time ago I wrote an article (In Lehmann's Terms) where the different methods for opening the dough into a skin were discussed in detail including how the method used for opening the dough impacts the finished chust. This article should be available in the PMQ archives.
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
     
  5. hotsawce

    hotsawce Member

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    Up to what hydration would you use for a two-roller sheeter? I've seen Doyon recommend 50 to 60%, but I've had a person or two tell me 60% didn't work in their sheeter. Then again, I've seen some upscale places with 60 to 62% use a sheeter, but it wasn't stretching to final size. It probably got them 50% of the way there. I've also made doughs that stretch out effortlessly, and others that I could imagine I would have to run through a sheeter quite a bit.

    I'm also told presses won't do very, very thin doughs. I'd like to use a sheeter for a very thin dough, but I'm afraid the thinner I stretch it, the more the hydration will become a factor. Ideally, I'd love to run a near 60% dough through a sheeter and get it close to 12 inches and NY thin, but I don't know if it's a possibility.

    What do you think?
     
  6. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Well-Known Member

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    If you're looking to make a New York style pizza using just a sheeter, you're barking up the wrong tree, to make a great N.Y. style thin crust pizza go with 60 to 62% absorption and open the dough to not more than within 2-inches of the finished desired diameter and then finish opening the dough by hand. I've got a very short video showing this being done at a very successful local pizzeria (AJ's New York Pizzeria) here in Manhattan, Kansas.
    If you are looking to open the dough 100% using the sheeter you're probably going to be locked into using 55 to 58% absorption in your dough as the dough will be too difficult to handle if the absorption is much higher, but if you are looking to PARTIALLY OPEN the dough using a sheeter you can probably push the absorption to around 68%. I cannot give any hard numbers as the type of flour, dough ingredients, amount of dough fermentation, method of dough management will all have a significant impact upon the final dough absorption you will be able to use.
    If you want to open the dough 100% using the sheeter the dough must be strong enough and tight enough to go through the sheeting rolls without deforming excessively, this is why you will be limited to using something close to 55% in dough absorption.
    When I was teaching my pizza class at AIB (for more than 35-years) we ALWAYS used a sheeter as one of the ways to open the dough into a skin. The other methods we used were hand, cold press, hot press and rolling/pastry pin. We could make just about any type of dough/pizza that we wanted using the dough sheeter. Thin crispy and cracker type skins HAD to be opened using the sheeter as the dough absorption for these types of doughs is in the 40% bracket, the higher absorption doughs were partially opened and finished by hand to full diameter and as you can see in the video, there is no problem at all with a 60% absorption dough.
    Of all the methods used to open a dough ball into a skin the sheeter will give you the thinnest skin, and if you hand stretch it a little after sheeting you can read a newspaper through the skin (we did that as a demonstration for our students) BUT be advised, making a thin skin is not how you make a crispy pizza. If the skin is too thin it will be crispy when first coming out of the oven but within seconds or just a minute or so it will be a knife and fork proposition. For the most part, you will probably find that you will get the crispiest crust with a skin that is somewhere between 1/8 and 1/10-inch in thickness when making thin crust pizzas.
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
     
  7. hotsawce

    hotsawce Member

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    Tom,

    If you're familiar with Joe and Pat's in Staten Island, that's the look of the crust I'm going for. I figured no large cornicione with the sheeter.

    We're not trying to be lazy; just implementing technology in a way that makes the "make process" a little less labor intensive/skill intensive. We're straddling a fine line between that and sacrificing quality...just trying to get an idea for how far we might be able to push the implementation of some of these great products before it's "too much."
     
  8. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Well-Known Member

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    Can you provide any pictures of the crust you are wanting to emulate?
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
     
  9. hotsawce

    hotsawce Member

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    Tom,

    See here and here

    It's more of an "inspired by." They bake in a rotating fish, so the pies bake long and evenly. But I've always been a big fan of that crust and haven't found anything like it.
     
  10. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Well-Known Member

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    Look around at local pizzas and try to find one with the crust color characteristics that you are looking for (never mind the other characteristics), then photograph the top (straight down) as well as from an angle and do the same thing showing the bottom of the crust. If you show that to me or any of the oven manufacturers they should be able to get you pointed in the right direction, lacking any photographs this is much like a scavenger hunt where you don't know what you are looking for.
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
     
  11. Palos Verdes Pizza

    Palos Verdes Pizza New Member

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