Pizza dough storage

For the last many yrs, I have been weighing & balling up my dough & putting them on full sheet pans inside a 33 gl clear bag, then pulling as needed, well as the saying goes you learn somehting new everyday is true to fact, I now realize this is hard on my walkin cooler opening the door every time I need dough, so I have cleared out my prep table below & am going to utilize what space I have for the dough, the only problem is, it will not fit a full size sheet pan, so for the last week I have been wrapping my dough balls in plastic wrap, well as you know plastic wrap only strecthes so far before it bursts, also it takes about 20 minutes longer to do dough, I want to get plastic bags, but not sure what size bags or what type any help please

The simple solution is to order in some inexpensive bread bags. Then just lightly oil (canola oil) the dough balls and drop into the plastic bags. Twist the open end of each bag to form a pony tail and tuck the pony tail under the dough ball as you place it into the cooler. As you remove the dough ball from the bag, just place into a container for reuse. By closing the bags this way you will allow for some expansion without breaking the bags, and it is fast too.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tom, should I just get one size?? my dough balls weigh 6oz-9oz-11oz-15oz-20oz, think I should get 2 sizes?? I was looking at a website that has poly bags in different sizes for only .01 cent each, I figured that if I get bread bags my dough will end up formed oblonged & not round

We use bags that measure 14 long X 8.25-inches wide. These are standard size bread bags for 1-pound size loaves of bread. Just use one size. When one size fits all you don’t need to sort them by size when you go to reuse them. Yes, they will retain their round shape. What I normally do is to invert the bag so the bag strips inside out as the dough ball falls from the bag into a bussing tray filled with dusting flour.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor


I notice that you mention five sizes of dough balls. A couple thoughts unrelated to the subject of your post:

  1. 2 or 3 sizes of pizza should really be enough unless you have really high volume and I think from other posts you have made that this is not the case. Having more sizes just increases the complexity of your storage issues. It also adds to the number of box sizes etc you have to stock and store. Many sizes also leads to waste when you have to throw out spent dough. (yes I know a certain amount can be blended into new batches and we end up doing that sometimes even with three sizes)

In my experience, when a store drops a size they actually gain a bit in sales as the people that bought that size choose to go up or down in size and a few more than half choose to go up.

  1. Even if you choose to keep offering a bunch of sizes, you may find that only prepping 3 or 4 rather than 5 and cutting them down will save you money and complexity. For example, we use a 10oz ball for our 12" pizza and could use an 8oz for calzones and strombolli but we toss the 10oz out to a bit oversize and cut it down for the calzones and strobolli. Yes, we waste an ounce or two each time but even if we do perhaps 50-100 of those items in a busy week the dough wasted only costs a couple of dollars; well worth it compared to having to stock the extra size! If we made 100 8oz balls and only used 80 the waste would be the same. Dough is cheap!

For example, you could cut your 11oz down to 9oz or your 9oz down to 6oz depending on what you use the least of.

Ask your newspaper delivery person for a few bags to see if that size would work.
I know they are not food approved but they are cheap.


My thought process behind my dough sizes are as follows:
6oz I use for ind pizzas & strombolis, this size is extremely popular during lunch hrs as well as I use for selling pizzas to the VFW & local ice cream shop, I go thru about 4 trays of 24 each week.

9oz I use for 1/2 orders of my bread sticks, small strombolis & grinders, which are also popular at lunch, I go thru about 5 trays of 12 a week

11oz are for my small pizzas & medium strombolis & grinders I go thru about 5-6 trays of 12 a week

15oz are my medium pizzzas & large stombolis & grinders I go thru about 6-7 trays of 8 a week

20oz are my large pizzas, extra large strombolis & full dozen of bread sticks, I go thru 7-8 trays of 8 a week

I do dough every other day, so I feel my turn around is pretty high volume

I have never had to throw any dough away except for the power outage last week, and there have been times that I have to put 2 doughs together to make up a size if I run out of something

All good reasoning… allthough I have never heard of doing three sizes of strombolli… but whatever works. My guess is that your sales would not go down if you offered fewer choices in sizes.

I am a fan of simplicity. It would make me nuts to stock five sizes of dough. When we are busy we have about 70-80 trays prepped in the walk-in. I do not know where I would put two more sizes as each stack of 15-20 trays is already 5 feet tall on the rollers.

In any case, it is not what you asked about. I will butt out now.

I make much more since dropping largest sizes and ended up selling more higher margin sizes and reducing inventory of boxes. Average ticket price went up, too.

I am with the limit your sizes. One size for breadsticks…cut in half for half orders. 3 pizza sizes. Then the strombollis. Steve she listed FIVE sizes!!! I know your volume is not extreme and I agree that limiting your sizes will make life easier and probably increase sales.

We have dough sizes of 8, 16, 20, and 60, and use just one size bag. It is a 8 x 4 x 18 poly bag. Works great.

To save time of bagging each of your dough balls, you could try using either 1/2 sheet pans or platic food trays (like the ones fast food places serve you on) and keep a couple in your prep table and the rest in the walk in cooler.