Pan Pizza Process

Hi Guys,
Its been awhile since i’ve posted on TT. I have been playing around with adding a Pan pizza to my menu. I currently offer Hand-Tossed and Thin & Crispy. The Hand-Tossed dough works great for pan. I am wonder how you guys proof the dough. How long do you let it proof and any other tips for adding it as an option.

We do pan pizzas we sheet them into the pans then let them proof at room temperature. Once they reach the desired fluffiness we put them in the fridge. The amount of time depends on the temperature of the kitchen. During the summer it’s quick about an hour. During the winter it takes about double the time sometimes longer. You are going to have to experiment with that one. What you don’t want to do is stretch them then put the pans in the fridge right away. They will not proof and also will not cook properly they will be flat and stale. If you let them sit out to long they will blow and then stick to the bottom of the pan above it.

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Also they need to proof enough before you put them away. If you put them in the fridge before they have properly proofed again they will not cook properly.

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Do you then use them straight out of the walkin? Or let them warm up a bit before using them? I assume you dock your pizzas since they are a large proofed dough at that point?

We use them straight out of the walk in and no we don’t dock them I like the fluffy crust. The end product is light and crispy.

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Keep in mind they are only good for the shift. So we sheet for the morning shift and then also for the night shift. Whatever is left over at the end of the night we throw in the next batch of dough. We used to throw them away but then I read on a post here a while ago that you can put a certain % back into the dough.

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You can also put a very light application of cheese on any unsold proofed dough at the end of the day and bake it off as a focaccia, remove from the pan immediately after baking to cool, then wrap in stretch wrap and use the following day for bread sticks by cutting the focaccia in half and then each half into 1" wide strips, serve with a cup of balsamic vinegar+olive oil and maybe just a touch of rosemary as a dipping oil. Don’t sell bread sticks? Not to worry, just just give them out for free to your first customers of the day, it is some of the best and cheapest advertising you could ever hope to generate.
If you want to add any “old” dough/un used proofed dough back to your new/fresh dough it should be controlled to not more than 15% of the new dough weight, for example if you make your new dough using 50# of flour the dough weight will be about 83-pounds so you can add up to 15% of 83 or 12.75-pounds of scrap dough. Just make sure it doesn’t over load your mixer.
Additionally try using something like Butter Flavored Crisco rather than oil in the pans, it makes fitting the dough to the pan much easier than when using oil, BUT there is a difference in the finished crust texture between BFC and oil so be sure to try both to see what works best for you and which you think your customers will like the most. Yep, ya just don’t need to or want to dock deep-dish/thick crust pizza skins, it ruins a great product. The amount of toppings used on a deep-dish/thick crust pizza is essentially the same as for your thin crust pizzas.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

For my current Hand-Tossed dough. We mix, weigh and ball, put on trays and proof over night. For the test pan pizza I have been doing, I take out one of the dough balls that has been cold fermented overnight. I then place it in a pan with olive oil and wrap with plastic. I let it sit out for about 30 minutes on top of the oven. Then I stretch it out to fit better in the pan, add cheese and toppings and bake. I then put some dollops of sauce on top and throw it back in the oven for a few minutes. It is great, I think if I do it I would only offer one size. If I proofed a bunch and put them back in the cooler in pans, would it effect the bake and quality of the crust? Would a proofer help any (I dont really have alot of extra room for it though) ? How long are the good at room temp?

Making a deep-dish pizza without proofing it, In my opinion is cutting your pizza really short on the quality scale as it won’t have the desired “lightness” of a proofed crust. It is quite common to partial proof, refrigerate (where the dough continues to proof to full amount) and then taken from the cooler directly to the make/prep table for dressing and then baked. Pizzas made in this manner are just fine (many Detroit style pizzas are made in a similar manner). If your kitchen is warm (80F or more, you can proof the dough in a wire tree rack covered with a plastic bag right at room temperature. A wheeled catering cabinet also works well for this application and because it has a door you don’t need the plastic bag.
If you opt for a proofer look at the Belshaw Brothers Econo-Proofer with both temperature and humidity controls. It also has a unique door system that works well to retain humidity in the cabinet while taking product out or putting product in. The average foot print of a proofer or cabinet will be about 24" X 32" (more or less). A wire tree rack has an even smaller foot print and it can be placed on just about any flat surface. My advice if you opt to proceed is to introduce them on Monday night (your slowest night?) to help bring up sales. State that the number of pizzas will be limited so come early (dine in availability only). This will allow you to get familiar with the routine and work out any issues at a more leisurely pace while also testing the waters. If it proves to be a popular item you can always put it on your main menu at any time (BY POPULAR DEMAND) of course.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

We use a bigger dough ball, then pan them, par bake and then dress and fully cook they come out great
my dough is a 3-4 poof so it looks great and taste awesome

What type of pans do you use for these pan pizzas?

Any black or dark colored anodized pan will work well.
Well seasoned pans will also work well but they will require special handling to protect the seasoning.
Try to get pans that are either 1.5 or 2-inches deep for best results.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor