Pizza measurement?

Good evening:

I purchased a regional franchise here in the northeast recently. They advertise one pie size only and that it is 19 inches. No smalls or mediums. Just the one size.

The question that I can’t seem to get answered is what is technically the correct way to measure pizza size? I am told by one manager that it is measured from the top of one crust, down underneath the pie, and up to the top of the opposite side crust. Others have no idea other than to say to make sure your stretch the dough to the edge of the paddle and I should be fine.

There are conflicting opinions here locally on the correct measurement technique. Thoughts?

Thank you.

di·am·e·ter /daɪˈæmɪtər/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[dahy-am-i-ter] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation

  1. Geometry.
    a. a straight line passing from side to side of any figure or body, through its center.

Yeah - that down and under stuff is nonsense.
EVERYONE measures diameter. Get a pizza screen or pan with a 19" diameter as a guide. Or get a paddle that’s 19" across…

There are two ways that seem to be pretty common. The first is: If the pizza is baked on a 12-inch diameter disk, screen, or pan, it is a 12-inch pizza (feel free to substitute any other sizes you wish). Then there is the other way. This is where the pizza is flipped upside down and the diameter measured across the bottom of the pizza. This second method is the “true” size. The first is whatcwe call the “common” size because the true diameter will probably be a little less than the size of the pan, disk, or screen that it was baked on. In cased where the pizza is baked on the hearth/deck, manu operators will use a prep-peel sized to the pizza they want to make and then they will form the dough in a circle to fit the width of the peel. Again, true diameter may be a little less than what the dough skin started out at. Others will sheet the dough and place it onto the carrier (pan, screen etc.) and trim off the excess. Again, some shrinkage may occurr during baking. Another way I’ve seen is to form the dough skin and check it against a pizza circle of the desired size. Still another uses a sheet of UHMW with circles machined into it for each of their pizza sizes, there are probably a dozen more ways to get the size you want, but do keep in mind that a pizza will generally shrink a little during baking so the finished pizza may not be the actual diameter you think it is. In wholesale pizza production, if a manufacturer says the box contains one, 11-inch pizza, it had better contain one, 11-inch pizza, not a 10.5-inch diameter pizza. They do this by making the pizzas larger than what they want the finished size to be, it then shrinks to the desired (advertised) size during baking.
If you were to measure a pizza from the top of one edge, across the bottom, to the top of the opposite edge, you might pick up two or more inches in diameter if your pizza has a high standing edge on it. Think of how it would look if you had an advertised 10-inch deep dish pizza with a high standing edge that measures 1.5 -inches high. You would be giving 3-inches of the diameter to the edge, leaving only 7-inches for the diameter (across the top) of the pizza. My advice, if you just gotta measure your pizzas, measure across the top, edge to edge. This is how your customers see the pizza, and you certainly want to be on the same wave length as they are when it comes to determining what size pizza they are buying. Otherwise, if you make it ois a 12-inch pan, and the dough completely fit the pan before baking, it is considered to be a 12-inch pizza. I think our customers realize that some (the operative word here is “some”) shrinkage wil loccurr during baking. If the shrinkage is excessive, you might need to address the issue seperately.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

He didn’t mean any offense there, Dave.

He was talking about “thumbing the scale” by wrapping around the pie and such. He didn’t mean to slight you :smiley:

I’m with everyone else. the mainstream measure is the diameter of the pie . . . actually the screen/pan used. You can use pre-baked or post-baked diameter, but that is the one to go with. I can almost see people using flared pizza pans doing the “crust edge under to crust edge” thing, but it still sounds a little cheesy to stretch credibility and keep up with the “screens-es”.

Thank you Tom for your constructive feedback. I appreciate the effort.