Old Italian Baker's Dough Recipe (Long Question)

Hello Tom:

Thirty years ago I was taught by an old Italian baker how to make par-baked pizza crusts.

I would prepare dough & bake the shells early in the AM to be baked into pizzas later.

These were tho old Italian style square & rectangular shells.

They were absolutely incredible.

The shells were so tender and light that even 8 hours after baking you could fold it into quarters and it would unfold and normally after a few seconds it returned to normal with no fold lines showing.

After adding toppings and baking, these shells turned into the most delicious pizzas, crisp & light yet with enough structural integrity to hold up under substantial toppings.

Here’s the problem.

I was taught to measure the flour and water by volume with a prticular container I had in my pizzeria way back then.

I hope you can help me duplicate this fine product if I describe the process I was taught.

I would like to be able to use the “Baker’s formula” so I can alter batch sizes.

1] I was taught to use the blocks of yeast which I “measured” by eye cut & placed in the warm water in the hobart mixer bowl. I would prefer to use the newer style yeast that needs no refrigeration & can be mixed with out proofing.

2] After the yeast began to “cook” I would measure my flour by volume into the bowl, add a little salt, again by eye, and mix.

3] After the dough was nearly done mixing I would stop mixing and cut off a piece of dough to save for the next day’s dough. This piece would be refrigerated until then, and I would take yesterday’s piece out of the cooler and cut it into smaller pieces. I would turn on the mixer & add those small pieces of yesterday’s dough one at a time.

4] I would then add olive oil by eye and mix until it was incorporated.

5] Now the dough is done mixing I would splash a small amount of oil into the bowl & roll the dough so it was completely coated. The bowl would be covered with cloth and left to rise.

That’s the process I was taught.

After rising in the bowl, the dought was weighed & balled & left to rise in pine proof boxes
on floured cloths. { I weighed & balled by hand, but the old baker did it by machine}

After rising in the proof boxes they were “slapped down”, and hand pressed into the pizza pans. { I did this by hand, but the old baker did with a “pizza press”}

[In the pizzeria I will open, I will be using a dough divder/rounder and a pizza press]

I’m at retirement age and have had five children and five grandchildren since my pizzeria was open.

But, I guess you never get the dough out of your blood.

I’m working on my business plan to open again.

If you can help me with a recipe to produce those wonderful pizza shells I would be most grateful.

rabtj (Tom)

there is a good formula and procedure by Tom Lehmann that is on the link below
it incorporates much of what you did before in a simplified way.
it even gives the conversion for using IDY, instant dry yeast, which is what most of us use now.
…get back if you have any questions,



hello sir
what i am trying to understand is are you guessing that someone here is using the same method of dough processing
as you have described?
and if that was the case, you want the baker % for this type of dough?
also what do you mean when you say when the dough done mixing ? do you remember how long the dough was mixed for, or was the dough mixed till it has a satiny smooth looks ?
anyways sorry if i could not help Tom will help you for sure