?_Lehmann:

i have a pizzeria. we are getting more thin spots in our crusts than i would like. i tend to blame the prep guy and think he is not rolling the dough balls right but i can’t seem to figure out what he’s doing wrong. could you explain the proper technique for rolling dough balls/ do you think something else might be casueing the air bubbles to get into the dough and thus create large thing spots when it is stretched?
thanks for any advice

see http://www.correllconcepts.com/Encyclop … c533730473

thin spots in dough makin me crazy

i saw this before i posted. there are a lot of variables here to try… i have had the same recipe for years and not had these problems. i only see thin spots in 15 % of the dough, but that’s too much! seems like i could live with 3%. seems to me that changing my dough recipe is drastic… i have a busy place. i would like to know if there is some written decription or drawing of the proper way to roll a ball of pizza dough. i believe the probelm is air pockets in the dough. that isn’t even an option on that “encyclopedia.” forgive me but if you roll a sloppy dough ball you’re going to see thin spots… anybody with me here?

Re: thin spots in dough makin me crazy

At my store the proper technique to ball the dough tight is to cut it to weight and drop it in the A and M MFG Dough Rounder. Makes it a pretty idiot proof process.

Re: thin spots in dough makin me crazy

thanks for the tip. i didn’t know there was such a thing. i just looked at some online and fgound a nice one for 7 grand. probably a good investment in the longrun, only i wish i could teach my guy how to roll it right.

Re: thin spots in dough makin me crazy

Watch ebay, you’ll find them from time time to time. I bought my current one just about brand new for just over 3K. have seen them sell between 2500 and 4500 regularly.

Re: thin spots in dough makin me crazy

i wish i had space for the damn thing. i would buy one just because i think it could pay for itself in time saved and headache with thin spots… but my kitchen and prep room are jam packed. the thing looks pretty large. thanks for the info paul

Re: thin spots in dough makin me crazy

If you are thinking about a dough rounder to get better and more uniformly rounded dough balls I’d suggest that you take a look at the A-M Dough rounder Model # R-900-RT. The cost is about $7,800 ann it has a pretty small foot print (about 30" X 30") and only about 4 feet high. The rounder will round dough balls as fast as you can toss scaled dough pieces at it. I consider myself pretty good at dough rounding and I perfer to round two dough pieces at a time (hey, I’ve got two hands…why not use both of them) and this rounder will easily keep up with me, heck! It will keep up with three of me on my best day! Cleaning the rounder is a snap too. It just takes a couple of minutes and you can actually do it blindfolded…really.
One of the more important aspects of dough management is getting the dough processed from the mixer into the cooler as quickly as possible. If this operation takes much more than about 20 minutes there is a good probability that the dough will begin to ferment creating a gassy, bubbly dough. This dough will be difficult to cool efficiently and it will tend to produce dough sking that have gas bubbles in them. It is these bubbles that can create thin spots in the dough, or they can enlarge in the oven to create bubbles requiring the use of a bubble popper to control. Another thing to keep in mind is the temperature of the dough as it comes from the mixer. We normally recommend a finished dough temperature of 80 to 85 F.If the dough remperature is above this there is a probability that the yeast wil activate to fast, and that fermentation will progress at a more rapid rate than desired, resulting in a gassy dough or large gas bubbles in the dough.
tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Re: thin spots in dough makin me crazy

bingo. i think you just solved my problem.
the dough rounder sounds awesome and it seems like in one year (or two) it might have paid for itself in the sense that my prep guy would work less hours, but i do like to pay employees…
i didn’t realize the footprint was so small. i don’t have even that much footprint anywhere, unless it could sit on a counter, and at 4’ high it can’t. but i think with your answer i don’t need to buy the thing yet, and i get to keep paying my prep guy a good wage to come in 40 hours a week.
it’s the time from mix to cool that i think is our problem. my guys spend 20 minutes cutting, rolling and traying it up, but then let it sit out an hour to proof… if they put it away right away, we could proof it on the other end, and maybe avoid the thin spots, and lately overproofed larges that go on all day…

part of this comes from the change of seasons here in florida. during the winter i am always telling them to warm the water and leave it out a while, but now the weather is getting warmer and they should cool the water and put it away. around here the weather goes from to cold to hot in a week, and i haven’t reminded them to change their technique. and this is because i stopped making the dough 3 years ago and got into running a giant crazy pizzeria that has the people waiting an hour and a half for a table on the weekends… but the fact that i sought out this forum shows that i am commited to the world’s best pizza.

thank you tom. my prep guy is going to be so glad you solved this problem because i have been sweating him about his sloppy dough balls for 2 weeks.

Re: thin spots in dough makin me crazy

Ever seen a rounder that can handle my THREE POUND doughballs?
That’s kept me from getting one…
If you know of one that could handle those, I’d appreciate it!

Re: thin spots in dough makin me crazy

the specs for A and M rounders say they can only do up to 32oz, but i would feel they could do larger. Probably not 48oz though. What percentage of your doughballs are made to 3 lbs anyhow?

Re: thin spots in dough makin me crazy

I know, it’s an unusual pie that calls for a 3-pounder…but we do use a lot of those to be of concern. If a rounder COULD do it, that would make getting one a higher priority - if it can’t, it’s a luxury I’ll probably wait on…

Re: thin spots in dough makin me crazy

well. i spoke too soon. we tried getting the dough to the cooler faster and the thin spots have remained. tonight 2 large pies got huge gashes from the thin spots so we made slices to make up the trouble.
i’m back to thinking it is the way the dough is being rounded. i guess i will have to round all the dough myself for a couple days to see for sure. i’m a busy guy so it won’t be easy but i’m determined now to solve this. if i’m going to keep this prep guy, i need to resolve if it’s his rolling that is at issue, or the dough.
anyway, maybe i’ll remember to report back in a couple weeks if i get it solved.

Re: thin spots in dough makin me crazy

sounds like your thin spots are not from rounding, but from the forming/tossing process

Re: thin spots in dough makin me crazy

anythings possible at this point.
today we had 12 large pies with thin spots, and 3 medium. tonight we had 1 large with thin spots and no mediums. we were also much busier tonight. which could mean the guys stretching the dough in the day was doing it wrong, which i doubt because they are top notch pizza makers, the batches of dough we used tonight were different the day batches somehow, or the prep guys rolled some dough better than others (meaning yesterdays dough was rolled sloppy and todays dough was rolled right).
anyway, i spent 2 hours with the prep guy today, hashing it all out. we’re both losing our mind over it. which has now led me to break down the percentages of my recipe to look for some major error or question. the only thing i see that it out of the ordinary is we use less yeast than we probably should. we use cake yeast. seems like more of it would make my thin spots worse not better, and the crusts rise up nice like i like, so more yeast doesn’t seem necessary.

i’m going to roll dough next week, keep count of dough with thin spots, and take notes.

so many variables, so few experts around. each situation is unique so there are no easy answers. thank God we’re closed 2 days a week.

Re: thin spots in dough makin me crazy

I repeat, your thin spots are not from rounding the dough, but from stretching/tossing…

if you use too much yeast and round poorly/not tightly, you will develop air pockets, but those will flatten when tossing…that will lead to thinner spots, but ultimately, its the guy forming the skin

Re: thin spots in dough makin me crazy…mixing time ?

I seem to get more thinner spots when I knead my dough by hand, which I tend to under mix.
Could it be that the dough needs to be mixed longer ?
I have a barrel mixer and I vary my times a lot.
I notice thin spots sometimes and have not bothered over thm much.
Sometimes, a customer would comment that the slice they bought was thinner than usual, and I figured to the hand tossing.
Less comments when I sell whole pizzas, becuase where one slice is thinner, another is thicker, and vis versa.
I consider the differentation a plus, from the homogenous pizzas out there.
Anyway, I am discontinuing slices so I hope that will fix that.

BTW, are you getting customer feedback on the thin spots ?

Otis

Re: thin spots in dough makin me crazy…mixing time ?

no, the customers are not complaining. it is us making the pies… i know what you mean about homogeneous pizzas. ours are far from that… the reason it is a problem is because when we make a 6 topping pie on a skin with a thin spot, lots of times the thin spots turn into a tear and then a huge gash, and then we make it up with extra slices… not a big deal. i should just get over it, but i guess it’s in my head that it’s a rolling problem, and if the dough wa rolled properly, we could get a more uniform crust and thus a better finished product.
i will not consider more the stretcher of the skin, and maybe they do not work the dough properly and therefore create the thin spot. when i’m talking about it i’m talking about thin spots the size of a baseball, big enough to compromise the integrity of the pie.
my new plan is to get colored dot stickers tomorrow and issue each of 3 dough rollers a color. each prep guy places his colored dot on the tray he rolled out. the if we find thin spots, we can see if one person has more than another or if it is about an average between dough rollers. since we’ve had dough rollers int he past who have produced bals without any thin spots whatsoever, i am asuuming the recipe is sound.

i know i am a freak. i like to think my pies are the best in the world, and that my pizzeria is the busiest in the world, and that my goal is to make every pie a work of art and an experience to be reckoned with… this obsession has brought me to this forum… i need advice and thoughts from other operators… it helps me realize i am not in a vacuum. 15 pies with thin spots bigger than a half dollar, on a day shift (11 - 5) is a lot… enough to make me stay up late trying to solve the issue.

i appreciate the feedback i get, and the willingness of other pizza people to help. oh, if i could just rest on my laurels, and not worry about the thin spots… maybe it’s the oven guy, trying to move the pies too soon, ripping the thin spot open, and making me crazy. i’m going to try and track it down this week. i still believe it is the dough rounding that is the issue, not the recipe or the guy stretching the dough. i will kepp you posted. give me 7 days.

Re: thin spots in dough makin me crazy…mixing time ?

i cannot edit me entry but i meant to say that i will consider the dough stretcher into the equation. my business is booming, we open the doors and they mob us, so i should be counting my blessings…
i’ve been in this business on and off for 20 years and seeing these thin spots so prevalent is new to me. i am trying to be an expert. these thin spots have been a problem for us for over a year. we’ve been open 4 years. this forum is helping me undergo my final attempt at a solution.

Re: thin spots in dough makin me crazy…mixing time ?

My best advice is to come to a pizza covention, the Pizza Expo is the next one, next week in Las Vegas, and get your questions answered,
Otis