Dough Ball Procedures

Hi everyone,

I lurk here every day and look forward to when I can provide more help sent than received. However, I’m still mostly in the receive mode. What I am trying to do right now is to figure a way to transiton to using dough balls for my crusts vice using the current sheeted frozen crusts I buy )think Presto if you are familiar with them in the Midwest). I know mixing my own dough would save me money, but right now the cost of a mixer for my low volume business doesn’t justify the purchase. However, based on my research, I have figured almost a $1 savings per pie if I buy frozen dough balls and form them out. I am interested in hearing from people who do this (dough balls to pizza). I believe Nick does that and I am sure several others do. I plan on using a dough press vice the handtossing (i know some will object). I have read several articles from Big Dave on procedures for the dough press and understand the basics. I am wondering how you similiar operators prep the balls and store them prior to running through the oven. Here’s my game plan:

  1. thaw the projected dough balls needed for the next 2 days

  2. press the dough into the apppropriate size–here’s what I figured is correct
    a) 13 oz dough for 12"
    b) 19 oz for 14"
    c) 24 oz for 16"

These are regular, not thin or pan crust

  1. Store in cooler for up to 48 hours–after that par bake for garlic knots

This is just some of the basics as I am not listing all the details–my biggest challenge is the unpredictable numbers from night to night and how to keep my crusts usable after presssing.

Sorry for the long winded post==any comment/input is greatly appreciated.



I think you have steps 2 and 3 reversed.

You don’t want to store pressed balls in the cooler. After you press them, they should remain out of the cooler to proof for 30 minutes and up to a few hours (depending on the dough forlumation and the temp of your place).

Hey Pizza Bob,
No objection from me on the pizza press. I use it and won’t be trading it in any time soon. We have been using a press for 6 months and it works well for us. We make our own dough, but I’m sure premade dough will work the same with the press. As registered guest said, you probably don’t want to press the skins out prior to refrigerating. There’s no need. I think you’ll also find that the balls will keep much better and longer than pressed out skins.

You indicated that you’re a low volume shop. In that case, just press them out per order. Use the heat of the press to warm up the dough and press out to the desired size. Try not to pull and stretch too much as it will make the center of the crust very thin. It takes practice, but you’ll get it down in no time.

Good luck,

a dough press is fine…used 'em a few times…hand tossing is just as fast tho…try to press “proofed” dough rather than cold dough from the cooler, as you’ll have much better success…

Bob,You have it all wrong here buddy.Pull your dough balls while frozen and oil them up,put them in a dough tray cover well and leave out at rm. temp. to thaw about 3 hrs…Then put them in cooler still covered and use them to order.If you are going to use a lot like on a Friday night or something,just leave them out at rm. temp and they will stretch even easier.Do not press them then store in cooler for they will skin up right away and taste like chit.As far as 24 oz.for a 16’’ pie is way to heavy in my opinion.I use 20 oz. for an 18’’ and it is perfect but I do not and would never use a press though.You are squeezing all the air out of the dough when you use that horrible press and it will definitely make your crust a chewy one. Hope this helps you.