dough table question

I’ve noticed recently that our dough table is getting beat up from docking the dough on it. I’m going to sand it with a fine sand paper but I’m wondering what kind of finish to put on it. My guess is some kind of wood oil but the finish that is on there looks like varnish or lacquer. Any idea what I should be using. Thanks.


Why not use a steel table? Or does the wood work better? Maybe Tom has some ideas. It would have to be food safe.

I was wondering how a wooden table passed a food inspector’s visit. If you are dead set on that table, you might want to think about a marble top for it. Swapping it out for a stainless table is also something I highly recommend. I can’t imagine that a customer would be happy to get a wood shard or a fleck of varnish in their pizza, and if you are noticing bits of your table going, that is where they are ending up.

Hi guys:

Pizzamancer makes a good point. Wood tables are not high on the health departments list of things they like.

Usually, if a maple table is permitted, no cutting docking or anything that could scratch or chip the wood is allowed on that surface. Rounding dough balls forming and topping pizzas is usually ok. If docking is part of the process it is best done on a plastic cutting board to avoid compromising the table surface.

George Mills

Hi Charles. I bought all the assets of the shop from a franchise store that went under. We use a true 2-door cooler with a butcher block top for our sheeter and dough prep area. The top has back- and side-stops so the dough doesn’t fall over the edges. The way our store is laid out: we have a bar-counter with the dough table on one side and the pizza prep coolers down the line. All of this is in front of the guests. We serve solo pizzas on site and take-n-bake pizzas to go.

Stainless may have been a good idea but the butcher block looks very nice.

Hi Pizzamancer & George. I am considering getting a piece of marble or simply a large cutting board to use. That’s a great idea! Thanks.

the wood can be treated with food grade mineral oil----this site gives other options also … lAbout.htm

wooden cutting boards and butcher block tables were not allowed in commercial kitchens a while back, but after further investigation, SOME places do allow these now if they are cared for and maintained properly.

How you are set up, make sure you clean your prep coolers condensors often—I made the mistake of putting the sheeter next to my prep table, and when I looked at the condensor it never really looked that dirty—but the fan was blowing all kinds of flour into the fins and blocking the air flow.

There is only one right answer to your question regarding the finish. On a wood table use “white mineral oil”. You can get it from many bakery suppliers or from any drugstore. Clean the top, wipe it dry, apply a very liberal amount of mineral oil and allow it to soak in overnight, wipe off the excess in the morning and you are good to go. To clean a wood top, use a metal dough scraper with the blade sharpened at a 90 drgree angle to the sides of the blade. This means that the blade will be sharpened square across the bottom. Pust the dough scraper across the bench while holding it at about a 40 degree angle. The square edge will cut a very fine layer of debris from the top of the table, follow this up with a fresh coat of mineral oil each day and the top will last for years, ours are over 50-years old and still look great. Now, for that docker…DITCH IT! OK to use a dockrer, but get a plastic one with the blunt points such as the Ten Wheel Casred Handle Dough Docker # DDCH7755 or DD5705 or DD5274 from American Metalcraft<> 800-333-9133. With these you won’t need to worry about Mongo tearing things up.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor