Dough Press......any thoughts?

I am thinking of buying a dough press. Looking at the Doughpro 1100m. Seems like a great tool to speed the process and help maintain consistency in the product. Anyone using them. I watched a video of a guy using one in a California Pizza Kitchen and that thing was amazing. He was putting the dough ball in the press and about 5 seconds later…pulled out a perfectly shaped skin. Just seems very efficient and consistent. Especially if I ever get one of those 100 pie orders like someone reported. Give me your thoughts.

Gone are the days where everyone slapped out pizzas by hand. I remember Two-Tray Competitions: Slapping and Saucing 6 larges and 8 mediums in under 4 minutes.

A Dough Press??? Hmmm! The only reason California Pizza Kitchen uses one is cause they treat there employees like cattle, and they have a huge turn over. Yes its about consistency, cause its hard to keep retraining cooks, when you keep loosing them. Do you want to take a McDonald’s approach to this business? COSTCO uses a Pizza Press too. Its in plain view in most of there kitchens. I guess its become to difficult to train people how to hand-toss a ball of dough. “These truly the end times!”

I am old skool I have managed several stores that averaged 200 to 300 pier per hour on a Friday or Saturday Night during rush. I have been a part of a 2500 pie hour in Mrytle Beach! It was all about Man/Women Power! Pure Gusto! There were no pizza presses in those stores.

Domino’s Pizza a few years back sent out a Memo to suggest that they we should stop cleaning up the edges, that a little sauce and cheese slopped on the edges gave the pizza a “home-made” look. And with that the days of perfectly round pizza, and perfectly sauced, and perfectly cheese, and so on were gone.

If what you are looking to create is a perfect pizza every time, they get the press. But if you recognize the suggestion that no pizza is perfect, and you acknowledge the idea of appealing to those who enjoy the “home-made” version, then I would reconsider this, before purchasing such and expensive piece of equipment.

I believe in the homemade pizza…I will strive for a quality product. I am mainly looking at the time factor and consistency. I believe the quality will come from the ingredients, recipes, etc… but I want my customers to feel that when they order from me, they know that it is not a crap shoot. They can be assured of getting a great pie everytime. I thought that is why most people use conveyor ovens? Also, I am taking into consideration that good help is hard to find and that mediocre help is even harder to keep.

amen to tommie!!!

I started w/a sheeter, tried a Dough Pro (hated it), learned how to hand toss, then worked 4 CiCi’s 4 a short while & used a Somerset Press…

I prefer the Somerset to the Dough Pro, but prefer hand-toss over all…

You may not save time using a press…you will have to tweak your dough formula to function in a press to be as fast as a CPK…

You can prob keep your original dough recipe, but make sure the dough is proofed, then you can use the press, but be prepared to “fiddle” with it to get it to your specs…

CPK I believe doesn’t sell 16/18" pies…lotta dough 2 press

I too and am consistency freak. P.S.I. was driven into my head so hard, I think I should have it tattoo’d there.

Product, Service, and Image are so vital to our business, yet people seem to neglect these three areas and always seem to focus on price.

The biggest problem I see with a press…is that it gases out the dough so there is very little rise, and you get a pizza that chews like cardboard.

I understand the Conveyor analogy, but honestly to my knowledge the the real pizza guys, the ones who are down in the trenches in New York City, the real east coaster all use deck ovens. When I started with Domino’s back in the 80’s all the stores I worked in had Bakers Pride Deck Ovens, most stores had double stacks of y600’s and could just barely handle about 120 pies per hour, a few of the stores I worked in had 4 double stacks of Bakers, those store were fun and precise, and they cranked out some pizza.

Anyhow, conveyors are unfortunately a necessary evil for those of us in the west, with lower population densities, and lower unemployment figures, its hard to find good longterm help, and train them properly to run a deck oven at a minimum wage of almost $8.00, its just not worth it either. So I have opted to run conveyors.

I don’t think a pizza press will really save you any time in a rush ~ immediately. Maybe after you have trained a person for several months will they actually be as fast as the person you saw on the video. And what you do save in time, you will lose in flavor, and product quality as you serve a gassed out pizza that has the consistency of cardboard.


I have a doughpro and I love it! I think it really depends on your dough formula. One person’s pizza might taste awesome when using a dough press while another’s might taste like garbage. With my dough I’ve had no problem with it rising in the oven (I use a lincoln impinger conveyor oven) and it doesn’t taste like cardboard.

At the same time, I once had a booth at a concert, didn’t have my dough press and was only able to rent a deck oven and had very different results with my dough. I hand tossed the pizzas, baked them in the deck oven and they came out like cardboard. They were horrible. The pizza tasted like something you would get from a gas station. So like I said, I really think it comes down to your dough formula. Different dough formulas produce different results for hand tossed/pressed, deck ovens/conveyors, etc.


So what are the rest of us.? Was Henry Ford not a “real” car maker because his products came from any assembly line? Just trying to find a way to simplify the process and better expedite my product to my customer. I can see your take on tradition. Some people still throw it in the air. Good if your putting on a show. I’m just here to make money. Your accountants don’t still use an abacus do they? Just thinking that if some technology can make it faster and easier…then why not?

the meaning of that quote: was I am in small towns where I am the only guy around.

In New York City, you might have two or three competitors in the same block. and another 50 within a 1/4 mile. Granted the population density is greater, but so is an available workforce.

Most of my shops are run by One Manager, and 3 or 4 Drivers, little or no labor, cause quite frankly there isn’t a huge available labor force. So I use conveyors, cause I can’t find an extra employee willing to work for $7.00 to help in the kitchen. I think Deck ovens put out a better product.

So what are the rest of us.?
just choice and go with it. this forum can’t make all your choices

A while back they had an offer to try their product for 30 days. I did that but only tried it for about 2 days and sent it back. It was frustrating and I wasn’t happy with the results.

I use a sheeter for my pan pizzas because I allow the pans to proof for 2-3 hours so the gas effect comes right back. Awesome production with the Acme sheeter. I don’t use it for regular pies because the dough is too degassed for the Rotoflex oven. Conveyor might be better for sheeter. There must be a thread about this already.

My suggestion, try it before you buy it. I too believe in technology and have no problem investing in something that makes your life as an operator more efficient. Just be careful when you ‘think’ it will work as opposed to it ‘actually’ working. Good luck! :slight_smile:

But it can give me some sage advice from people who have been there and done that. This is what I am seeking. I am not asking for someone to make my decision. I am asking people who have more experience to share their thoughts on the subject. I am asking for anyone who has used this product or a similar product to share their opinion. Maybe I took him wrong, but I felt as though I was sorta getting bashed for even thinking about it. Sorry, if I took it wrong. No hard feelings about your two cents.


Have you considered a way to pre-prep skins before your rushes? That could save labor and equipment costs.

That’s the route we’ve recently taken, because the guy on our sheeter can’t keep up with the cooks during busy rushes. So we found a way to pre-prep our skins and keep them stored. Now we just have to take one off the top and put it on a cornmealed peel. Saves a ton of time during the rush and actually lets us run with less labor.

They will only hold well for about 3 hours, but that’s usually all we need them for. We keep sheeting on demand until the sheeter falls behind. Then we grab a stack of skins and play catch up, then go back to sheeting on demand.

This has also helped our consistency, which seems to only go out the window when we get busy and stressed. When the tickets are piling up, we’re using doughs that were nicely formed before the rush by somebody that was able to take their time. Before, my sheeter would look back at 14 tickets hanging up and an empty rack of dough and start taking shortcuts.

This method came about because of one of those 100 pizza orders you mentioned. I couldn’t get enough staff to do it, and we had to find a way to complete the order. Necessity is the mother of invention.

That’s a great idea. Do you keep them in some kind of proofer? Cooler? Rack?..My idea with the press is so that someone doesn’t have to “take their time.” If business is slow, they could make up some skins and then go sweep the parking lot…or clean a bathroom…or mix some more dough…or fold some boxes. You get what I am saying? I am looking to simplify one of the processes that can prove to be most time consuming for someone who isn’t seasoned. Or even the seasoned for that matter. I don’t know of anyone that could go from a ball to a skin in 5 to 7 seconds. It just seemed like a good thing to me. As far as degassing the dough goes…I have read that a roller is worse for that.

Our dough is completely unproofed. It’s a very thin-crust, maybe only 1/4 inch thick or so. We take the cold dough ball straight from the cooler, sheet it and make the pizza. Plus, we cook directly on the deck, so prepping into pans or screens was never an option. That’s always been the problem for us with prepping them.

We now sheet it out and put it on a sheet pan. We flour the top to stop sticking and put a piece of parchment paper over it. We cornmeal the top of the parchment paper and put another one down. We stack them 10 high. Then we take a 24" food wrap and seal them up tight. Then they go back into the cooler. When we need them, we pull an entire sheet pan out and go from there.

This eliminates having to have an “unseasoned” guy on the sheeter during the rush. Everybody talks about experienced oven tenders on a deck oven, but I feel the sheeter position is just as complicated. This will allow you to have one of your best formers hammer them out when it’s slow and have the time to do a good job with them.

You’re right that a roller is worse for degassing. That’s the exact reason we sheet… we WANT it to degass to get our thin-crust style.

Your dough is different, of course, so you may need to find an alternate storage method. Maybe you want to put them in a proofer, or just leave them out at room temperature and let them rise. Either way, it could be a stop-gap solution for you before spending money on more equipment.

Even with a dough press, it would be beneficial to pre-prep some skins if your dough allows for it. You always have a net time savings when somebody can stand in one place and do a task repetitively, instead of navigating through a busy kitchen during a rush and getting sidetracked with other things.

Check out the video.

Ya I dont know why people get on here and tell others how they should do things when they havent tried it them selves. I think it is better to say “this is what I do this is how I do it this is what works for me and this is what hasnt worked for me”

So here goes I use a dough pro dough press and love it I have had it for 8 years and it has only broken once I had to replace the gears in it (took me about an hour) We pan our dough and then let it rise and then form it into a crust when we get an order.and I can tell you the 2 days while we were waiting for our parts to come was not fun. To press out all that dough by hand took us much longer then if we had our dough press. we have always had our dough panned before hand so I have never had to take a ball and slap it out to form a crust to me it seems like more work when I can just make a crust around the edge and I am done and ready to sauce. I find the dough press makes a nice crust as it distributes the air molocules evenly throuout the dough. There ya go thats my experiance but maybe try to see if you can get a demo machine and try it out. Good luck!