Dough Protein %

Hi guys,

Im only 3 weeks off opening my first store in Queensland, Australia. I have a little concern at the moment. I have been making dough’s with flour that has about 12.5% protein. Currently the main wholesale bakers flour has only 11% protein (allied mills) and i believe nearly all the pizza shops in surrounding areas use this flour. I am curious as to what effect the lower protein percentage will have on my dough recipe?

Currently running on these calculations

Flour 100%
Water 56%
Salt 1.9%
Yeast 0.5%
Oil 3.0%
Sugar 1.5%


p.s love the Think Tank have learnt so much by just sitting and reading

lower the protein, lower the percentah=ge of water…
in your case from 56% to maybe 54%…unless you may prefer it more hydrated for a crispier crust…I do, use 60% water in a 12% protein flour
…I do not use oil or sugar, 3% salt, and .4% IDY,
hope that helps,

Thanks otis, so basically it will only really effect the water percentage i need in the dough. Im thinking i will keep it at 56% initially as i also like a crispier crust.

Appreciate the input, cheers.


I’m in Perth and we use Allied Mills flour, Superb blend with 11% protein.

You can get a higher one from Allied which we did use when I took over the shop but I find the Superb the best. The higher protein ones are also more expensive and to be honest I fund the 11% protein great for us.

As a side point to let you know that flour is going up in price on the 1st November. Anticipated increase is in the vicinity of 25% +. Also Fontara are putting up cheese prices (anticipated @ 15%) on Monday 22nd October, just after their 30% increase just 2 weeks ago. Dairy Framers will probably do the same as they increased the same time and % as Fontara last time. You may want to look at your pricing with this in mind.

Good luck with the opening. Where abouts in QLD are you?


Ah always good to know prices are going up even before we start :frowning: . Im in Hervey Bay dave.

At the moment i am trying to use a sliced leg ham that i will cut up into strips. However with further price increase it may not be possible and i will have to switch to the shredded ham which is an inferior product.

But yeah i will call suppliers and find out the new prices then work out my food percentages. Thanks for the heads up Dave. Cheers.

With a lower protein flour (in the 11% range) you wil not have quite as much tolerance to long fermentation times as you would with a higher (12 to 14%) protein flour. Also, your pizzas may not have the potential for becoming as crispy as they would with a higher protein flour, though, to a great extent you wil probably be able to correct for this through baking. Think about eliminating the sugar from your dough formula as this will allow you to bake the pizza a little longer without excessive crust color development. The longer bake time will result in a crispier crust characteristic. Lastly, your pizzas will tend to be more tender eating, not a chewy. This can be good or bad. Good for home delivery or carry-out, not so good if you are trying to make a New York style pizza which is characterized by its chewy crust characteristic. If you want to increase the protein content of your flour, you can easily accomplish this by adding vital wheat gluten. This is available from any major BAKERY INGREDIENT supplier. For every 1% vital whaet gluten that you add to your flour, you will increase the overall protein content by roughly 0.6%, so, lets say that you have 22.5 Kg of flour at 11% protein content, and you add 1% (225 grams) of vital wheat gluten to the flour, the protein content is now at 11.6%. If you want to increase the protein content to say, 13% you would need to add 3.3% (743 grams) of vital wheat gluten to the flour. Make sure that you dry blend the gluten into a small portion of the flour with a hand wisk just for a couple seconds. Actually, if you put the water into the bowl first, then add the flour, and the gluten on top of the flour, you can use a hand wisk to disperse the gluten into a little of the flour before you begin mixing. Since the gluten will require additional water, you will need to increase the amount of water you add to the dough (absorption) by 1.5% for each 1% of added gluten. So, if you were to add 3.3% vital wheat gluten, you would need to increase the water (absorption) by 4.95% (lets call it 5%) of the FLOUR weight. This means you would need to add 1.125 Kg. of additional water. No other changes to mixing or dough management would be needed.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor


We bake ours for 7 minutes at 258 - 262 celsius in our Middley Marshall Gas conveyor oven.

Our crusts are a light golden brown and are nice and crispy on the outer rim and firm but nice and chewy on the base.

Ours is 11% protein and we do our batches each night for the next night leaving it in the coolroom for about 18 hours. We also have extra batches made that we use the day after as well and have no problems with fermentation. It may be the sour dough additive we use though?


Where we see the greatest problem with lack of tolerance to fermentation is after the dough has been removed form the cooler. Typically, the dough will be good to use for at least three hours after you begin using it. With the lower protein flours this time is commonly reduced to a two to three hour window of opportunity to use the dough, aftet that it becomes excessively soft and doesn’t rise as well. We also find that unless you reduce the finished dough temperature to something below 80F you will have more problemd keeping the dough in the cooler for much beyond two days where with a higher protein flour, three days is pretty common, and some even push it to four days. The key is all in how you manage your dough.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

The longer bake time will result in a crispier crust characteristic. Lastly, your pizzas will tend to be more tender eating

It seems that the lower protein is going to actually move me closer towards the product i am trying to achieve. I will remove the sugar and give it a whirl. My lincoln 1456 get here in 5 days :smiley: i cant wait to start cooking on it and seeing how the dough turns out.

Typically, the dough will be good to use for at least three hours after you begin using it.

I follow your dough making method Tom it just works so well. I dont see the dough being out anywhere near that time before being used.

Thankyou very much Tom your an absolute legend. And Dave nice to see some aussies on the forums appreciate your help. Cheers Guys.