Please critique our procedure.

We are about to open our place and we want some feedback or critique regarding our procedure.

  1. Our process begins around 10am.

  2. Mix all dry ingredients for five minutes.

  3. Start the mixer and slowly add water at correct temperature. After the water add, slowly, the oil.

  4. Mix the dough until just about desired temperature and consistency (this usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes).

  5. Put the dough in a table and start weighting and balling. Each ball is then oiled and put in an aluminum tray in groups of about six. This tray is then covered tightly with plastic film. We dont have cross-stackable dough trays.

  6. Just after the balling the trays are put in the cooler (around 40F).

  7. The next day, around 11am, the trays with the balls are put in a rack where they will sit for about two hours.

  8. Around 1pm we can make the first pizza. The dough balls are covered slightly with flour and then are opened up with a rolling pin and finished by hand. While on the table, the dough is then docked.

  9. Immediately after stretching and docking, the sauce, cheese and toppings are put in place.

  10. Then, without waiting, it goes directly to the oven.

  11. After its out of the oven we let it rest for two minutes and then its cut and served.

We let the dough tray in the cooler for 24hrs because we want it to have more flavour. Ocassionally our pizzas come out of the oven with bubbles.

This is, in general terms, our procedure.

I’m interested in your feedback because I want to improve whatever things we might be doing wrong. I have heard that is good to let the dough rest a bit in the mixer midway througout mixing.

Thanks for any tips/ideas.

Does your dough really require that much time in the retardation stage?
I simply measure, mix, cut my dough into ball, shape and store in dough trays. I can mix in the morning and use by the afternoon.
What do you do if you run out of dough do you have a backup plan?

add h20 1st, then flour, then goodies, the after 2 min, add oil…24 hrs is good, but it will last another day or so…another day may decrease bubbles…don’t be afraid to dock more…make sure dough is proofed b4 stretching…another 24 hrs is my choice…your method is alot like CiCi’s Pizza

Rather than a “critique,” I have a couple questions:
1_ Mix dry ingredients for 5 minutes - Is that really what it sounds like? Mixing in the mixer, with no water? I don’t think that step is necessary!

2_I don’t wait AT ALL to cut a pizza - if I do, the bottom “steams” itself soft and I lose the highly valued crisp I get from my deck ovens - don’t you get a soft bottom leaving a pizza uncut?

MM

i feel letting the pizza sit for 2 minutes is a little weird… the only time i ever do that is with extra cheese pies… i also find hat if the pie isnt cut right away it does lose some crispiness the deck provides

First, thanks for your answers thus far.

Now, to your comments:

PizzaLady4

Does your dough really require that much time in the retardation stage?

I was under the impression that more time in the cooler, the more the fermentation, the more flavor the dough gets.

I read somewhere in the forum that around 2 days is a good time for this.

PizzaLady4, do you store your trays in the cooler ?

What do you do if you run out of dough do you have a backup plan?

Emergency dough :slight_smile:

BigDaddy

Let me see if I understood you. You suggest a couple of days in the cooler and then proofing (at room temperature?) ?

MM

Mix dry ingredients for 5 minutes - Is that really what it sounds like? Mixing in the mixer, with no water? I don’t think that step is necessary!

That was a suggestion someone made me. He said that by mixin all the dry ingredients for a couple of minutes one can guarantee they will be evenly mixed when adding water. Don’t know if its true but it doesnt hurt and its a couple of minutes.

PizzaLady4-ever, It depends on what kind of do he is making.

I have a sourdough crust, and I could make it fresh like you do and let it rise all day, and then use it while its still sweet, before it blows and becomes sour. But I prefer to make my dough, portion it, and retard it so that I can use it on day 2, 3, and 4. I find that my dough which use about 1.5%yeast has a lifecycle of 6 hours at room temp when I use water that is 65 degrees. Everyday in the walkin is equal to about 1.5 hours outside the walkin.

Could someone explain to me, why they baste the dough balls with oil. I have heard of this procedure. But I have never seen it done, or had it explained to me. Does it lock in the moisture, or protect the out skin of the dough, what does it do?

I am going to jump on board with a question as well - working in my recipe development kitchen I currently remove my bubbling pie from the oven an place it on a screen for 1-1.5 minutes - this allows the bottom to “vent” so when I put it on a round tray to cut for service the bottom has an amazing crunch. This is one of the issues I am trying to work out for volume production - is this an uncommon practice?

I have my round hand tossed DOWN, its an amazingly simple, yet flavorful texturally perfect (to me) pie - I am now trying to work out the kinks of mass producing the product as some of the steps I take now to achieve perfection may be compromised in a mass volume commercial setting for practicality sake.

BTW my dough is a quite lean, 60% hydration dough, that uses very little yeast and can easily retard for 2-3 days before being used. Simply bring up to room temp, stretch, top and bake.

Now I understand your dough better…yes I store my dough in the cooler but not for more than 3 days if I haven’t used it in 3 days I would toss it.

When mixing my dough I put all dry ingredients in the mixing bowl then I add my water let it set maybe 1-2 minutes then I add my flour, I then mix for no more than 5 minutes. When I went to baking school they taught us never to overmix your dough. They said the more you mix it the faster it ages.

I’ve been using the same recipe for 30 years. I’ve tried others but nothing seems to tickle my palete or accompany my pizza ingredients as I like. Please don’t get me wrong there are LOTS of great dough recipes out there just nothing that suits me.

PIZZANEO,

We hand toss our pies as well. In the midst of high Friday night rsh, it gets hopping, and we have to roll them on out. What we do is stretch a few of each size out and put on racks. We use them way before we have to worry about overproofing. that way we ahve a stach of pies stretched out for when the rush comes rolling in. It takes us about 35 seconds to do a 16" dough . . . we can get it down to 20 seconds, if we have to, but get a few tears here and there :shock:

Once you have the feel of your traffic, you will know how much dough to stretch ahead. Just like everything else in the business mis en place is your life saver. What you can do ahead before you HAVE TO HAVE it will make your life simpler. I can’t stretch at 2pm for my 6pm ruch, but you get the idea. Also, make sure you have two or three or four people who kow how yo want your dough stretched, and are practiced at it. They will save your life when the “smack-down” comes through.

tommieknowspizza writes:

Could someone explain to me, why they baste the dough balls with oil. I have heard of this procedure. But I have never seen it done, or had it explained to me. Does it lock in the moisture, or protect the out skin of the dough, what does it do?

I don’t baste mine with oil but I do use a pan coating spray (kinda like Pam) on the tops of my dough patties. The reasoning behind this is so the dough patties don’t dry out. It also helps with the outer gluten layer of the dough ball.

PizzaLady4-Ever writes:

When I went to baking school they taught us never to overmix your dough. They said the more you mix it the faster it ages.

This is absolutely correct. You do NOT want to overmix your dough. A good watermark for you should be no more than 6 minutes.

PIZZANEO writes:

I am now trying to work out the kinks of mass producing the product as some of the steps I take now to achieve perfection may be compromised in a mass volume commercial setting for practicality sake.

It’s quite simple, depending on your volume, of course. Let’s say you’re going through 60 pie hours. You’ll have one person on slap, one on sauce (who controls the tempo of the makeline, calling out orders to the slapper while saucing, portioning, and calling out orders to the guy at the end of the makeline), and one on makeline/cheese. You’ll have an oventender who pulls the pizzas, cuts them, and calls out times as well as product grades. Common rule of thumb: 1 person for every 15 products/hour.

PIZZANEO also writes:

BTW my dough is a quite lean, 60% hydration dough, that uses very little yeast and can easily retard for 2-3 days before being used.

My dough is the same (60% water)… In the mixer I pour 90 degree water, add oil, add salt, add sugar, add yeast, then mix with a wisk until everything’s disolved. Then I add the flour. And yes, after it’s mixed, I patty the dough, date it, and stick it in the walk in to be used 2-4 days later. When I pull it out, I let it proof a little because ideal temps for my dough is 45 - 55 degrees.

PizzaManMike writes

feel letting the pizza sit for 2 minutes is a little weird… the only time i ever do that is with extra cheese pies… i also find hat if the pie isnt cut right away it does lose some crispiness the deck provides

Mike, you’re absolutely right. The longer the dough sits the softer and soggier it gets, especially if it’s sitting on a flat metal surface. You lift the pizza up after a few seconds and you’ll see the condensation. Not a good idea. Also, you lose temp quite rapidly as it comes out of the oven (about a degree every couple seconds for the first minute).

Hope this helps guys. -J_r0kk

Edwardo;
No need to dry blend the ingredients. Try it this way:
Put the water into the mixing bowl, add the flour, add the salt and sugar (if used), and add the yeast. Mix for 2-minutes at low speed, then add the oil and mix for one more minute at low speed. Now, change to medium speed and mix for 10-minutes. The dough should be smooth and satiny in appearance. You’re done mixing. Check the dough temperature, it shoiuld be 80 to 85F. Now you can continue processing the dough just as you have it outlined.
The reason for adding the oil later is to achieve better dough consistency/uniformity.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tom, I’m confused…I was always taught you had to disolve your yeast & sugar before adding your flour. Does his recipe work better doing it just the opposite? Does it depend on the type of yeast he is using such as instant vs. regular? I agree with adding the oil last it defnitely gives it a smoother texture.

oh ok