How Big a Dough Mixer?

I am doing the business plan for a place with inside seating for 40 and outside seating for 50. I’m trying to figure out how big of a dough mixer I need to get. My guess is I’ll average 150 12-inch pies a day for 6 months of the year and have a peak production requirement of 300/day.

I’m looking for the smallest possible that will get the job done since Health Dept says the bowl has to fit in the existing triple sink - which I think is 19"x19". I’d really like to avoid making dough more than once per day, but if I have to in summer to service the patio customer increase I’d rather do that than have twice the mixer I need for the rest of the year.

I’m also interested in recommendations on brands of fork dough mixers - and whether to go new or used. I’m inclined to go new for warranty as without dough I’m not going to make any dough. :smiley:



Get a 40 qt VCM the bowl is not removable.


you have a lot of options…
at peak, I estimate you would need to do 3 45 pound flour mixes per day…
that would require at least a 60 Quart planetary mixer, 80 would be better…recheck my math, I did it quickly once…
besides planetary, which are big and heavy, there is the cuttermixer, spiral, barrel mixer, maybe others…
I have a planetary and barrel…each and all have there + and -,

hope this helps,

I’m brand new to this commercially and have only made small dough quantities at home, so I’m kinda tapping the cane…

I was figuring 1/2 lb of dough for a 12 inch, thin Neapolitan style pizza base. That means a quart of dough should make four 12 in pies and a 40 quart mixer Jackaloo suggested should be able to mix dough for 150-160 1/2 lb pie bases at one go? This would mean I would only have to do a second batch to restock the proof larder when I get orders for more than 150.

Am I missing something? Please recalibrate me - don’t want to mess this up.



You’re spinning my head in circles jumping from weights to volumes and back again. You’re gonna drop something somewhere in the translation.

I just use “Pint is a pound the world around.” So i’m basically guessing one 12 in thin pie is 1/2 pint or 1/2 pound of dough - same difference.

Unfortunately the mixers don’t specify dough weight - only volume. 'course once I get this figured out I’ll be measuring everything in metric grams/kgs anyway!! :lol:


yes you are missing something here. The 40 qt VCM has a 40 qt capacity to hold a liquid, but you will absolutly not be able to mix dough if this mixer is filled to capacity. The 40 qt VCM will be able to mix 25 Lbs of flour which translates to aprox 40-44 Lbs of finished dough. Your first step should not be about size of mixer, but about style of mixer. Research the advantages and disadvantages of spiral, planetary, vertical and barrell mixers. Also, I would double check the “Health Dept says the bowl has to fit in the existing triple sink”. I have never heard this and I would hate to see the size of the triple sink I would need for my 140QT Hobart bowl. Wquipment can be cleaned and sanitized out of the triple sink.

Paul is right, big dough bowls don’t count, eventhough they have that “rule” many places, here in AZ too…big bowls like that excluded…
are you doing around 8 oz dough ball for your 12" pizza, that is super thin,
actually .07 oz per aq. in… .1 is thin, mine are .1 and thin…
30% less…maybe you are using a brick or coal oven…
anyway, that does not affect the size mixer you need very much,
hope you are not too confused, now you know you have options,

1/2 lb of dough for even a neapolitan 12" is a little light. That is like 225g and most people do from 250-300. More realistic is probably 10oz of dough, not 8. So with 50lb bag of flour (unless you are using caputo which is going to come in 55lb bags) and assuming about 60-ish% hydration you are looking at around 85-90lbs of dough which should net you about 135-145 dough balls… Should be able to do that with a 60qt and if you are looking at 300 per day you’d have to mix two batches.

  • aba

Great Aba - thanks for demystifying all the math. I’ll go with the 60. I guess Hobart is the best but it sure is pricey at $6K. Do you have any other brand recommendations that would be easier on my “dough?”

Thanks again,


Try making a perfect ganache with 8 oz of chocolate and 8 oz of cream. The fluid and weight measures won’t work out, and you’ll get three gallons of finished chocolate after trying to fix consistency :lol: Plus aeration affects you . . . baking needs weights or at least masses.

Yeah my head hurts - it reminds me of when I guy asked me to convert fathoms to furlongs. Can’t understand why the mixers aren’t lb/kg weight-rated as that is what stresses the components and what bakers care about. Who cares how many quarts of liquid it holds - unless of course you’re mixing margaritas in there… :stuck_out_tongue:


You need to work backwards. If you’re set in stone on your requirements, find out what size the bowls are. You might even consider buying a larger mixer and getting a smaller bowl and reducing ring so you don’t have to upgrade the mixer later.

I believe Tom or George recently stated the opinion that VCMs produce tough dough.

If the health dept will approve a VCM, then why oh why would they not approve a larger bowl for the mixer?

“I believe Tom or George recently stated the opinion that VCMs produce tough dough.”

snowman made a good point about the VCM, the dough can be overmixed if you go over the 45 seconds or so mixing time by even 15 seconds, the mix gets hotter, over fermenting, making sticky and that is a bad problem…
overmix in the others by 10 minutes and your probably OK…
VCM is fast and less forgiving…
let us know what you get after all this input, I’d be interested,

yeah - bowl in the sink is news to me too.
Lots of us love our hobart. I’m sold on 80 Qt. being a good standard as you can dump in a 50lb sack of flour to make a batch of dough.
Then go buy a bowl that fits in the sink to show the inspector :P: :wink:


Great plan! Can a 50 lb sack of flour plus wet ingredients not fit in a 60qt Hobart?


It’ll fit, but a bit of flour may spill. The other problem is that some of the 60’s do not have the horsepower to mix 50Lbs of flour. I think Hobart only reccomends this much flour in their pz660, but many operators mix this much in an H600 as well.