I want to experiment with a thin 1/16" par-baked pizza crust, with a thickness factor of about 0.05978. I have started the experiment, by going about making a par-baked crust in a different way. By investigating, there appears to be different companies like Richâ€™s, Bonici (Tyson), US Food, and smaller companies like Tomanettiâ€™s and Alive & Kickinâ€™ Pizza Crust, that make par-baked skins a different way, than a regular pizza operator would go about producing a par-baked crust.
The companies appear to be doing a combination of things to produce a par-baked crust. It seems they might bulk-ferment the dough or do the proofing in a proofing cabinet or a combination of both. The dough is rolled, cut on dies, and after the proofing is put into molds. The molds are something like cutter pans and almost interlock. The molds have recesses. There appears to be a small gap to let the moisture and steam out. The skins looks like they are well oiled on both sides before placing them into molds. Then they are baked in a conveyor oven in the molds.
The bake time seems to be about is about 3-6 minutes. Baking temperature is around 350-370 degrees F.
These methods are all commercial, but I would like to try and see if I could get similar results, by trying to experiment with their production methods. These methods seem to keep the crust moist and crispy at the same time.
The questions I wanted to ask you is if you know of other companies that produce par-baked crusts or if you have any information on how mass produced par-baked crust are made, or might be able to tell me something you have seen before. Is there anything buried in the achieves of PMQ that could be helpful with searching for this information?
Any help with searching for this information will be greatly appreciated.
It would take a book, and then some to fully describe all of the different processing methods employed by the large wholesale crust producers. The main wholesale processing methoda are: Sheet and die cut. This is where the dough may or may not be bulk fermented, it is then taken to a sheeting line where the dough is extruded, or chunked onto a sheeting line. It is reduced it thickness and cut with a rotary die cutter, it may then go to proofing, or directly to the oven for baking.
Then we have cold pressing. This method utilizes a very soft dough, and typically a reducing agent such as L-cysteine or glutathione, the dough balls are heavily oiled, given a short rest, then proceed to a panning station where the dough balls are placed onto special pans. The pans withthe dough balls then proceed to a dough press, after which they are again given a short rest (about 2-minutes or less, and again pressed. They may then go through a proofer, or proceed directly to the oven for baking. Then we have the hot press method. Here the dough is made and allowed to bulk ferent (optional) before going to the divider where the dough is scaled and formed into balls. The dough balls are allowed to rest for a period of time (5 to 30-minutes) after which they are hot pressed (usually with a pronounced raised edge). The dough may then go to either a proofer for further rising, or directly to the oven for baking. That is a thumb nail sketch of the different commercial processes for making par-baked pizza crusts. Within each of these processes there are many different variations due to the type of equipment used, or the specific characteristics sought by the manufacturer.
You mentioned very thin, moist and crispy. Think sheeted, docked, baked (500F) cooled, then off to the freezer. The sheeted crust without any post froming proofing will not bake out as well as crusts made by some of the other processes, so it will be naturally more moist in the center.
I hope this helps,
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
I appreciate you took the time to go though the way commercial producers do make their par-baked crusts.
I had also wondering about the docking, because I had tried a formula at home and my crust rose even though I had docked it aggressively. I can see how the molds keep the crust from rising and the oil helps to make a better crust. I am always doing some kind of experiments at home to see what kind of results can be achieved, so this is just one more thing I have been investigating.
Do you know of any other commercial operations that I didnâ€™t mention, that make a par-baked crusts?
I am going to be experimenting with these ideas and will get back to this thread if I have any success.
Wish I could buy a book on all the methods used.
Your reply really did help me and maybe others, that might want to try these methods…
There is also Teeny Foods (Portland, OR); T.R. Rizzuto (Spokane, WA); Gugliani (spelling?) Los Angeles, CA; Drayton Foods, Fargo, ND; LaRosas, Cincinnati, OH; Nation Pizza Products, Schaumburg, IL; Fresca Foods, Broomfield, CO; Tomanetti’s, Oakmont, PA. These are just those that immediately come to mind.
As for your bubbling issue, that is common, and unpreventable if your oven is not specifically set-up for par-baking.
About the best you’re going to get is with a crust that has been sauced and then par-baked. Those commercial ovens are specifically zoned just to make a single type of par-baked crust. You could have a dedicated air impingement oven with special fingers installed and accomplish the same thing on a smaller scale.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
I appreciate you telling me the names of other commercial producers of par-baked crusts.
I will go about experimenting. That is something I love to do. I donâ€™t want to make this par-baked crust for use at my pizza stand at our local farmers market, but just want to see if I can do this some way in a home environment. Some of the pizzas I have experimented with are the beloved Chicago deep-dish stuffed crust, different NY styles, NJ Boardwalk style, Dessert Pizzas, Bittmanâ€™s matzo pizza, different forms of your Lehmann formula, and many more to numerous to mention. I just ready like to see how different pizzas are made and also be able to taste them. I soon will be trying out a pizza in a modified BBQ grill with firebricks. I guess I just like to play around with dough.
Will report back to this thread, if I am successful.
We do a party BBQ pizza when we have friends over to the house. Try this. Lightly oil a wide sheet of aluminum foil, form your dough into a skin and place onto the foil. Dress the pizza in the normal manner, and take to the grill (adjust heat to about 450-500F) Transfer pizza to the grill, leaving it on the foil. Allow the pizza to bake in the covered grill for about 8-minutes, or until the bottom of the pizza just begins to show signs of browning, then remove the foil from under the pizza and continue baking until the pizza is done, and the crust is well browned. We like to toss in some wet hickory chips on the side to provide a little of the desired smoky flavor.
The BBQ pizza sounds delicious. I also will give the BBQ pizza a shot. Never thought to use a piece of aluminum foil oiled and then bake the pizza there first… I tried one time before on my BBQ grill on a pizza stone and I ended up with a dark bottom crust. Also used to high of heat. Didnâ€™t know what I was doing. I can imagine how the hickory chips would give a great smoky flavor to the pizza.
I also just bought a few fire bricks and am going to try them for a hearth, place some around the hearth and use an old big rectangular heavy pan that was used for baking, placed on top. Someone told me to also put fire bricks inside the cavity of the deep heavy pan, placed over the side and back firebricks. Havenâ€™t tried that out yet, but that also should be fun to try.
Your ideas are great! I wonder how many ways you made pizza already. I bet you have tried many kinds and ways to make pizza. Have a great summer!
I just wanted to let you know, I tried a par-baked crust at market, yesterday. I used a 5.7oz. preferment Lehmann dough ball, just to see what kind of results could be with an experiment. I used two regular 16" pizza pans, oiled the bottom pan, then rolled the skin out as thin as I could, docked, placed the skin on the recessed pizza pan, oiled skin again, oiled the bottom of the top pizza pan and then put plastic wrap over the pan and skin. Next into my Hatco unit to proof. Then placed a deep-dish pan on top of the combination of pizza pans and skin and into the deck oven. The results were good and looks something like a par-baked crust. I did then add pizza sauce and cheese and made a pizza which was then baked in the oven. The par-baked skin was about 1/16". I am going to keep experimenting with this in different configurations to see what kind of results can be achieved.
my one & only suggestion would be to add/brush some oil on the base of the pie…it will aid in keeping the sauce/cheese/toppings on the pizza, as par-baked pies have a tendency to let loose/slip the toppings and will improve the over-all taste…you might try infusing the oil w/garlic/black pepper/parmesan/basil/etc.
Just be careful so as not to over do it when brushing with oil (garlic infused oil is my favorite too). Too much oil on the surface will cause the sauce, cheese and toppings all to slide off with the first bite. When I work with par-baked crusts I like to use a slightly thicker sauce as it doesn’t exhibit any of the tendencies a watery/thinned down sauce has to soak into the crust.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Thanks for your idea on brushing some oil on the base of the pie. I also do this with my Sicilian pie and breadsticks at market. It is also delicious, in my opinion. I never tried infusing oil with garlic, black pepper, paramesan and basil. The only way I tried was use fresh herbs (basil, oregano, parsley, and garlic), that I first food process, then microwave with oil, until all the herbs are wilted. I only tried par-baked pizzas in the traditional way most pizza operators do, before this experiment.
Thanks for contributing to the ideas,
Thanks for your experience in working with par-baked crusts in using thicker sauce, so it won’t soak into the crust.
I appreciate you took the time to answer my other questions about how a par-baked crust is produced commercially and the companies that produce them. Peter (Pete-zza) and I have been studying more about par-baking commercially at pizzamaking.com. We have been looking at patents and procedures, â€œdead yeastâ€, and other ideas about par-baking. After examining a real 1/16" par-baked skin and seeing what it really looks like and how it performs, we came up with a method of trying out a par-baked skin baked in a home oven. We looked at the nutritional information and found out the ingredient list. (if the ingredients list is accurately stated in the order of ingredients, we donâ€™t know). Peter set forth a formula and I tried my first attempt at it yesterday using a microwave for a proofing box, doing two proofs (with added humidity of boiled water different times, placed in the microwave)(skin was uncovered and so was rolled out skin after second proof, skin didnâ€™t appear to become dry), (I wanted to try out a home proofing box to make, but wired it wrong and must have burnt out the dimmer switch), rolling the dough out by hand, docking and placing the skin between two aluminum cutter pans, baking on the middle rack position, having the oven at 400 degrees F and using an IR thermometer, to check the temperatures of the baking skin. After studying I think they must only bake the skin until starch gelatinization is complete and pasteurization can occur, which should occur around 185 degrees F or a little higher. I baked until the skin reached 195 degrees F. When I examined the finished par-baked crust, it looked similar to a real par-baked crust and appeared to be about the right color. It was rubbery and could be folded multiple times like a real par-baked skin. The bottom par-baked skin seem to look like a real par-baked skin, but the top seemed a little drier. I left the par-baked skin on the kitchen table (covered in 3 layers of plastic wrap) for about 2 hours, before placing in my freezer that doesnâ€™t recycle to defrost. After about 4 Â½ hours I removed the par-baked skin and what I saw has me puzzled. Immediately as soon as I removed the par-baked skin from the freezer, it started turning darker around the edges and continued until the par-baked skin was completely defrosted. By that time the whole skin was darker. I then did make a pizza and the crust did turn the normal color of a crust. Since you have studied par-baked skins and crusts in-depth, I was wondering if you had any ideas on why the skin turned darker, after removing it from the freezer. Do you think I gave it too much time sitting out, before freezing, or have you ever seen this phenomenon before? Sorry to bother you again, but since you understand dough more than I ever will, I just thought I would let you know how this par-baking a skin is progressing and just ask if you know more about why the skin would turn darker. I noticed when I took the par-baked skin out of the oven the top skin was drier, but after letting it on the table and unfreezing, it appeared to become moister and the top skin wasnâ€™t dry anymore. Do you also have any ideas on how a skin could become moister after the par-baking process? Could I have added to much steam with using boiled water placed in the microwave? I did keep a thermometer in the dough while it was in the microwave, to make sure I didnâ€™t kill the yeast. The thermometer only reached about 95 degrees F. Sorry I am so curious. I am sure I donâ€™t have all the steps down right and will continue to experiment with how to make a par-baked skin.
What you were looking at on the frozen skin was the result of moisture condensation on the surface of the crust. As the skin defrosted (slacked-out) the overwrap was warmer than the skin, so the moisture within the skin was condensing upon the surface of the crust.
I just wanted to let you know how Pete-zza and I are making out in experimenting with a par-baked skin and trying to make the par-baked skin like commercial operations would do, but doing it in a home setting.
We have come a long way, but am not sure if we are there at this time.
We had ideas to proof the dough in a homemade proofing box, made out of a Styrofoam cooler, then roll out the dough, dock, bake between two aluminum cutters pans, and then only baking until the point of the starches/protein gelatinizing. It has worked out well so far.
I will include one picture of the unbaked skin and a video if you are interested in seeing how the par-baked skin turned out.
I had one other question to ask, if you have time to respond. This par-baked skin just didnâ€™t have enough flavor when baked into a pizza. I know how yeast, salt, fermentation times and other ingredients can play an important role in the taste of the crust. In making this par-baked skin and then using the skin for a baked pizza, there must be some way to come up with a better tasting crust. We did add garlic powder to the ingredients for this par-baked skin. We used baking soda as the main leavening agent, combined with a very small amount of IDY. The taste of the baking soda couldnâ€™t be detected. Do you know of any other methods to increase the taste of the par-baked crust? I know I have already asked enough questions, but am curious how a thin par-baked skin can have a better flavor in the crust when baked into a pizza. I am now thinking of others ways to try a different formula to give the crust a better taste.
This is the formula I used to make this ultra-thin par-baked skin that was 13"
Olive Oil (3.27115%):
Baking Soda (0.35%):
Garlic Powder (0.40%):
186.16 g | 6.57 oz | 0.41 lbs
76.03 g | 2.68 oz | 0.17 lbs
0.02 g | 0 oz | 0 lbs | 0.01 tsp | 0 tbsp
1.73 g | 0.06 oz | 0 lbs | 0.31 tsp | 0.1 tbsp
6.09 g | 0.21 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.35 tsp | 0.45 tbsp
0.65 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.16 tsp | 0.05 tbsp
0.74 g | 0.03 oz | 0 lbs | 0.28 tsp | 0.09 tbsp
271.42 g | 9.57 oz | 0.6 lbs | TF = 0.057978
*The Flour Blend comprises 92.5% Kyrol bleached and bromated high-gluten flour (172.20 grams/6.07 ounces) and 7.5% KA regular whole wheat flour (13.96 grams/0.49 ounces)
Note: Dough is for a 14 Â½" skin from which a 13" skin weighing 7.70 ounces is to be cut; thickness factor = 0.057978; no bowl residue compensation factor
The crust looks good, but normally when it is completely par-baked, it is not that flexible. The appearance of the crust also looks like it is somewhat under baked, but that is a moot point if it provides you with the type of finished crust when dressed and baked.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Thanks for saying the crust looks good. I had a real thin par-baked skin to compare how this par-baked skin was supposed to look. It was from a commercial manufacturer. That is what I was trying to achieve. After reading patents and how they go about making real thin par-baked skin, this is how we came to the conclusion, of baking only until gelatinization and pasteurization were achieved. I do have the videos of the real par-baked skins and they look the same.
The other question I had was how to get a par-baked skin to taste decent, when baking into a crust. The real par-baked skin was bland when baked into a pizza. So was the par-baked skin that I had made, even after adding garlic powder. Are there any ways to make a par-baked crust more flavorful or should we just try different ways of making a par-baked skin and hopefully come up with something that is more flavorful?
I appreciate all your responses to this thread. Sorry to keep asking questions, but was curious if you ever tasted a really great par-baked crust, when made into a pizza.
Many par-baked skins are made from dough with little or no fermentation, but that doesn’t need to be the case. Take your dough that has been in the cooler overnight and use it to make your par-baked crusts, and you will have a somewhat better flavored finished crust, but never as good as a single, fresh baked crust.
Try using butter rather than oil or olive oil in the dough formulation. Try brushing the still hot, par-baked crust with a flavor infused oil, as always, make sure your dough formula has at least 1.75% salt in it.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor