Dough Question

I am having trouble formulating a dough that forms a golden brown color on the egde. The bottom is browning very well. I am cooking in a Bakers Pride GS805 that is brand new. The crust on top is very white and has small white spots in it. I personally think the spots are the olive oil. I am using Kyrol Hi Gluten flour. I have tried oven temps from 475 to 550 which has browned bottom of pie quicker but had little effect on the upper edge crust. Below is the latest dough formula I made. I increased hydration as well as oil content in an attempt to brown upper crust. No luck. I mixed dough in 20 quart hobart mixer. Added liquid first then the flour and yeast. Mixed on low until course ball was formed. Let dough rest for 5 minutes and mixed for another 2-3 minutes until it was smooth. Balled the dough in individual containers and put in fridge for 24 hours.

Hydration 67%
Sugar 1.85%
Olive Oil 4.25%
IDY .48%
Salt 1.75%

Is it too much oil? Should I use honey rather than sugar. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hi flyinfree

Perhaps you are not getting enough top heat. Are the dampers for the top heat wide open.

Also that thing called the thermostat, on a deck oven I call that a wishostat. You are just wishing the oven is at the temperature selected.

To know what the actual temperatures in your oven you need two thermometers. One should be an oven thermometer which should be hung about half way between the oven deck and the top of the oven to show how much heat is being supplied on the top of the pizza the other is a grill thermometer, its shaped like a hockey puck and sets flat on the deck so you know what your deck temperature is.

George Mills

The oven dampers are wide open. I am fairly certain the deck temp is about where it should be. I have no idea on the upper temp. What should the temp of the upper oven be?

I have tried to close one damper and move pizza to side with open damper. I think I get more year that way but still not browning how we would like.

Going to 2% sugar will not affect flavor but will help your crust brown more.
Your oil portion might be little high. Why not try a batch using 3% oil (and it can be vegetable oil), 2% sugar and see how that works?

You want to mix your dough until it’s about 80F-85F (27C-30C). Add your oil slowly after the dough has mixed for a few minutes, then you can mix for another 8 minutes or so. I’m not sure there is any advantage to letting it “rest.”

Good luck!

HI fly in:

What should the temp of the upper part of the oven be?

I have no idea. We just instruct clients to adjust the dampers until they get the bake they want then note the temperature as shown on an oven thermometer.

George Mills

If you are getting heat that crust should brown, so temp is in question. You can put an oven thermometer on the deck, raised up an inch or so (place on a pan etc… in the center of the oven) to see what the temp is. Assume this is not due to door opening and closing (rush hour) and you are testing with a single or few in the oven. A good idea also is to pick up a laser digital thermometer which can read surface temps within the oven and deck (about $50 bucks). If the oven is new and maybe just installed, one thing to keep in mind is the oven needs to be vented properly as per the installation manual (I don’t have a copy on that oven)

One other idea for a quick try. Completely dissolve that sugar and salt in a portion of the water (no oil, just sugar, salt and water), swirl it until dissolved– the water will be basically clear if the sugar is dissolved, add that to the mix as opposed to raw sugar. What you will find is the crust will brown better and move even using this method as opposed to raw because the sugar is well dispersed in the dough.

I checked oven temo as George suggested. I was surprised to find this oven to be more closely calibrated than my personal GE electric oven as well as my 36 inch Wolf gas oven. My hats off to Bakers Pride.

Hi flyin:

bake 20 or 30 pizzas as fast as you can then check your deck temperature.

George Mills

pizza garden: why do you want to add the oil slowly after it has mixed for a few minutes. We do this now, but I am not sure what the reasoning is behind it.


Dan… if you add the oil before the water has time to start bonding with the flour the oil will encapsulate the flour and not allow it to mix and set up properly. I think this leads to the little flour bubbles in the dough that you sometimes hear about. Tom or anyone else please correct me if I am off with this reasoning.

Yes, adding oil early may interfere with hydration. You want the dough to absorb as much of the water as your recipe calls for, then add your oil.

I’m always curious to see which solutions people offer to problems actually work. It helps everyone learn. I’m disappointed when original posters never return to let others know a solution that worked. That’s the whole point of this forum, in my opinion.

We have made some progress. After several sample doughs varying amount of oil and sugar we returned to the original dough recipe but substituted KA special bread flour for the Hi Gluten. It actually turned out a lot better. Now we have to attempt to replicate it without going backwards.

I’ve got a couple of additional questions.

  1. Are you baking on the deck or on a screen/pan?
  2. What is your baking time?
    If you are baking right on the deck, and if your baking time is in the 6.5 to 8-minute range, I would be thinking lack of top heat in the oven. What is the height of the baking chamber? Have you discussed this with the oven manufacturer?
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

It is a Bakers Pride GS805. I think it is 7 inch deck height. I am cooking 6-8 minutes directly on deck. I have not talked to Oven manufacturer because I assume it is something I have to figure out in dough. I can produce great pizza in home oven just feel I need to learn this oven and how to adjust. Cooking in a home oven has taught me a lot but now I have to break dome old habits and learn proper procedure for commercial oven.

I have switched to KA flour and started using honey rather than sugar. We are getting much better results.

Still, something ain’t right.
Switching to KA flour and changing over to honey isn’t the answer. Honey and sucrose are essentially the same in the presence of yeast. We make a lot of pizzas, as do others with little or no oil and no sugar, and still we get very good crust color if the temperature is correct. If the bottom color is OK but the top color is too light, then you have a top heat problem. Be sure to check with the oven manufacturer to make sure you are taking all of the steps recommended to increase the top heat of your oven.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor