Does anyone par-bake?


We are looking to suit par-baking. I like the idea of it as we will be able to knock pizzas out incredibly fast during rush periods and we are also getting a new wow2 oven with the hearth baking belt so we will be able to cook the par baked crust directly on the belt to simulate a deck cook.

We use Big Dave’s Dough recipe and use a 330g dough ball on a 13" tray. Up until now pizzas have cooked at 270º C for 6 minutes. How do you work out the breakdown for par baking? 2.5 minutes no topping 3.5 with topping - will we need to change the dough recipe?

Current dough practice is

ball up and cross stack in cooler for 1 hour and stack down and have sit for 3-5 days.
pull dough out and at room temperature fun through our dough sheeter and dock.
top pizza and cook.

Par baking works quite well for thick crust and deep-dish pizzas but thin crust pizzas can leave more than just a little to be desired. The problem is due to the twice baked pizza losing so much water during the two baking processes. The resulting pizza is so dry that it must be eaten with something to drink. On of the big box chains tried this a number of years ago and sales dropped off so much they had to revert back to the “old school” way of making pizzas. Another problem enters the picture if you do DELCO, in this application the par-baked finished pizza is typically not sufficiently hot to provide the consumer with the hot pizza they are expecting. If you really want to go with par-baked pizza an air impingement oven is most certainly the way to go, BUT the finger profile needs to be extensively modified from that which is used to bake a pizza from the raw state if you want to really make a decent product. In this case the bottom finger profile will be all but closed with only a single finger open or partially open and the top finger profile is full open, or full open as much as possible without scorching the toppings or burning the cheese.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

And watch for your competitors to use this against you…

I have been dabbling with par baking a detroit style pizza, only because the process takes a little longer

My personal feeling is that a deep-dish or Detroit style pizza is actually better when par-baked due to the more complete bake and crispier crust making it great for dine-in. Dough/crust management is also vastly improved as is baking time.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

We par-bake our deep dish pizza. Except for our busiest week of the year though, we do it in one continuous process. We roll out / toss the dough and line the pan, put it in the oven for about half the typical bake time for a regular pizza, then remove the pan, build the pizza (toppings and cheese) run the pizza all the way through the oven, add the sauce and then run the pizza all the way through again covered. During Christmas week we will par-bake some skins to speed up the process.

When you par-bake a chicago deep dish skin, what temp are you guys baking it at in an air impingement and for how many minutes? Also, when you pull out of the oven, are you letting them cool to room temp before putting a lid on them and stacking? I am par-baking mine at 475 for 7 mins and seem to have a big gum line, especially in the large skins. My dough ball is 2lbs for 14" chicago deep dish using Tom’s deep dish crust formula.

We use 26 oz doughball for a 14" deep dish. We parbake in our oven at normal settings putting the pan in about half way through so the bake time is around 3.5 minutes.

We do not let it cool. We just build the pizza right then except for the sauce and put it through the oven, then add sauce and a lid and run it through again.

Interesting Tom - I think I want to test out that theory. We have recently added a Detroit Style Square Pan pizza and it takes nearly 2:30-4:00 minutes longer to cook than our original hand tossed pizzas. Along with limited shelf life, this is a problem when trying to be on the road in 14 minutes or less from the time of order for a delivery.

Ok, so you’re not really par-baking them all ahead of time just more over you’re par-baking the crust 3.5 mins before you add toppings right? I tried this last night and it turned out better so thanks for that! Also, what are your water % and oil% in your deep dish crust?

Correct, we might sell a dozen or two deep dish on a big night so not worth the trouble of working out how to do them in advance plus, I would need a bunch more pans!

We use the same dough for deep dish that we do for hand tossed “regular” pizza.