We normally make 2 racks of skins for our night crew, because we use them all rather quickly…leaving the night crew not as much work in “slapping” so they can get the pies out timely.

Lately, we’re in Oklahoma, mind you, it has been EXCESSIVELY humid, and our shop stays about 83º F, and the humidity has been running upwards of 50 to 60%.

What happens is that if we rack up the skins, it gets too moist on the bottom, resulting in sticking to the screen once the pies are made if they sit longer than 30 minutes.

What can we do to counter the “weather”? It’s very hard to have the night rush and not have enough skins ready for that first “hit”.


ETA: The skins sit longer than 30 minutes sometimes…not completely assembled pies

We have success flipping those skins over onto another screen before building the pie. the top of the skin tends to dry just the littlest bit, even in humid days. So, it is prime candidate for the flip and no stick. That’s how it works for us, anyway.

It sounds like you may need to season your screens. You should be able to leave a skin sitting overnight without it sticking to the screen (not that you would want to use the dough if you did).

I’m sorry, but I cannot see this as being remotely possible. As the dough proofs, it grows, into the holes in the screen, it expands larger than the hole in the screen and cannot be removed.

As to the original question, how about a dehumidifier. If you’re set up like a standard PJs, I’d say between the oven and make line would be optimal (under the slapping table, for instance, would be horrible due to the amount of airborne flour). Besides, the noise of the dehumidifier would be less noticable due to the noise of the oven. A decent home unit that should be able to help in a store like yours would cost probably about $200 or so. If you have a floor drain (and the health dept approves), you can have it drain into the floor drain so you don’t have to empty the sucker regularly (daily)

Hi Papa girl:

You state:

Lately, we’re in Oklahoma, mind you, it has been EXCESSIVELY humid, and our shop stays about 83º F, and the humidity has been running upwards of 50 to 60%.


Does you ventilation system include a make up air unit? If so that is where the excess humidity is probably coming from. Most make up air systems bring in un tempered air in the summer and it is often full of humidity.

Some hoods also bring in un tempered outside air and if that air is not completely captured by the hood it will also bring outside humidity into your shop.

Let me know your ventilation situation and I will try to suggest some solutions.

George Mills

Hummmm. Sumpthin’ ain’t right here. Actually, 50 to 60% R.H. really isn’t al lthat high. 80 to 90% is a totally different story. At 80F this type of humidity will actually cause the dough to lose smoe moisture. Sounds like you might be taking the dough right out of the cooler and then putting it on the screens, Cold dough, warm room = moisture condensation. If this is the case, try leaving the dough temper at room temperature, in the closed dough boxes for a longer period of time. We typically use 90 to 120-minutes, and we never have a problem with condensation. If the problem is persistent, you might want to try blending some corn starch (liike you buy from the supermarket) into your dusting flour. Try blending 1/3 to 1/2 corn starch with your dusting flour to reduce the sticking to your screens. Be sure to dust off as much of the dusting flour as possible before putting the dough skins onto the screens though.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I missed that. 60% humidity is a huge relief for us. Today we are sort of low at 71% . . . We average in the 80’s outside in summertime. Our kitchen runs a bit lower . . . thank goodness. We do get some condensation issues if we do not temper our dough like you suggested . . . maybe that could solve the sticking for papajgirl.

(our kitchen runs about 85F / 75% to 85% humidity)
Wen we let our stretched skins sit for an hour or more, we get slightly dry top, slightly damp bottom . . . and occasionally proofing into the screen like snowman mentioned. Dough on its third day is particularly vulnerable to the over-proofing on screens. Two things that work for us when that happens are: 1. flip skin over onto a new screen as I said before (sorry about redundant) and 2. reposition skin on same screen by slight lift/spin motion to get it out of grooves and into new set of impressions on screen.

We just know it is an issue and recognize what the skins look like that are at risk. Quick adjustment saves us huge hassle . . . even with our 6-pound pizza.

Just an FYI, the reason why the dough has a greater tendency to flow into the screen holes on the third day is because the dough is getting weaker, and less able to hold it’s own weight against being pushed down into the screen. You can really see this when you go to hand toss the dough on the third day as it sometimes seems to open up almost by itself with very little coaxing. This is also why we don’t like to dock the dough on a screen as the pressure of the docker tends to push the dough into the screen, or at least puts it into much closer proximity to it so the chances of the dough flowing into the holes are greatly increased. We all know what happens then. Screen and dough are wed as one.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

You are dead right on that one! We had a box of dough balls Friday that we just thought about stretching, and they spread out almost on their own. They baked up great, but it was definitely their last day of usability for customer pies. These are the skins that require the most skill to open, because thin spots are nearly impossible to avoid without experience handling them.