Tom Lehmann I need your help

I have been working on perfecting your dough that I got off and just cant seem to get it worked out.

I used a 5qt KA mixer with a J hook and 375 wt max on motor.

I am making a batch of 3 16" balls with a 1.14 residue

I weight all my ingredients and add them to the mixer as per your video on how to make pizza dough.

when I follow the recipe I get from pizzamakers it turns out soup. ( I live in AZ so its dry most the time)

I have been adding flour (high gluten) a bit at a time but never had the smooth dough balls I am used to from the restaurant I have worked for.

I have tryed different hydratoin levels from 63% all the down to 56% but still always soup I have had many people verify that A: I have the right weights and B: the scale is correct.

once I let it sit in the fridge for 24+ hours at 38 ( I have a seperate box I can set at 38) I then let them sit for 1.5 to 2 hours. I then spin them out never getting the 16" I had hoped for. (been spining dough for 20+ years ) so I have a clue what im doing there. I then pop it into the oven at 550 on a stone preheated for 1 hour cook for about 6 mins pull it out and its all flat. no outer rim to speak of. No rise or anything.

Any help you could give would be great.

Flour (100%): 888.42 g | 31.34 oz | 1.96 lbs
Water (59%): 524.17 g | 18.49 oz | 1.16 lbs
IDY (.5%): 4.44 g | 0.16 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.47 tsp | 0.49 tbsp
Salt (2%): 17.77 g | 0.63 oz | 0.04 lbs | 3.18 tsp | 1.06 tbsp
Oil (2%): 17.77 g | 0.63 oz | 0.04 lbs | 3.95 tsp | 1.32 tbsp
Sugar (1%): 8.88 g | 0.31 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.23 tsp | 0.74 tbsp
Total (164.5%): 1461.45 g | 51.55 oz | 3.22 lbs | TF = 0.0854633
Single Ball: 487.15 g | 17.18 oz | 1.07 lbs

Thanks again for the starting spot

A 7% swing in hydration seems to be a lot to get “soup” on a consistent basis. How old is your flour? I would think that the humidity in Phoenix this time of year would be on the low side, and I assume that you are storing the flour in an air-conditioned area.

Have you thought of holding back some of the formula water and adding it back in as necessary to get a smooth and cohesive dough ball? Since you are using weights and a scale, you could weigh the leftover water, if any, and recalculate the hydration value that seems to work. What brand of high gluten flour are you using and how long are you kneading the dough and at what mixer speed?

I think you are going to be hard pressed to get a dough in your home mixer that is as robust as one made using a commercial mixer such as shown in the video.

Have you proofed your yeast to see if it is still viable?



I just bought the flour this past week not sure how long smart and final had it on there shelf. I forget the name but its like 14%. its the smart and final one. Yes flour is in my pantry and the AC gets in there. Haven’t done the hold back on the water yet but worth a try. I am following there Video that Tom made. Yes I under stand its a commercial batch and mixer.
I start on stir till its all mixed then I add the Oil and go to 2 for 6 mins and so on checking all the time. I know you supposed to set it and forget it but with my mixer I cant do that or all the dough would be up the hook lol . not sure what you mean by proofing the yeast. I did put the dough balls in the fridge and they rose about double so I think the yeast is working… I’m Thinking we have has very High humidity the past few time I have tried to make dough might be a thought.

I thank you for your response and I will keep playing.



I thought perhaps your yeast wasn’t working but if the dough rose, then it is appears the yeast is OK.

I did a quick check and the humidity in the Phoenix area is around 24% as I write this. You usually have to get above about 50-60% humidity for the moisture content of the flour to increase and, even then, it takes time for that to happen. It doesn’t happen immediately. Flour leaving the mill has a moisture content of around 14% and if the flour you bought was stored properly, there shouldn’t have been a major change in the moisture content of the flour. A flour that dries out with time might lose a few percent moisture content. Are you weighing the water as well as the flour? I understand that protein content/quality can play a role in hydration, but I don’t know if that is a factor in your case. You might try another flour to see if you still get the soupy dough. The 59% hydration value you listed should work for a wide range of flours, from all-purpose flour to high gluten flour.

Sometimes adding oil later in the dough kneading process in a home stand mixer can result in a sticky dough because the oil isn’t completely incorporated into the dough. It it possible that that happened in your case?


yes I weigh every thing I can. other stuff like salt and sugar just play it by ear. when I add the oil might be a factor. I made 4 batches yesterday all the way from 63% to 58% at 58 my mixer was bogging down. hmm might need to ditch this KA and get one of the new ones with the bigger motor and spiral dough hook. just a thought.

thanks again

DB (Mike)

It’s funny you mention this, bc I just bought a 4.5 qt KA mixer and have a similar issue (using the J hook…max 300 watts). My original recipe called for 4 cups of flour which yielded about 2 16 inch thin crust pizzas. However, when I use the KA, the amount of flour I need to keep it from being sticky (‘soupy’), climbs to about 5.5 - 6 cups. I havent changed any of the other ingredients like yeast, sugar, etc. - just the flour

I pretty much just eye balled it my first time and thought it would turn out terrible bc I was adding so much more flour than when I would hand knead it. I did notice the dough is much warmer when i take it out of the mixer and separate into balls to sit overnight. Oddly, when I made the pizza, it stayed pretty much the same as before - flavor/consistency. Although, I could stretch the balls out farther than 16 inches, but thats probably because the balls were larger - I didn’t weigh anything however.

I know the dough is being mixed differently, but I didnt expect this to happen. Fortunately, the pizza turned out awesome and using a KA is 100 times better than hand kneading dough…especially after a hard days work and you just want to relax.

As you know, the K-5-A mixer isn’t the best mixer on the block, but it certain\ly does mix the dough, to some extent. My K-5-A won’t mix much more than about 700 grams of flour when making a pizza dough. The problem is that you just don’t get good mixing action. As soon as the dough begins to develop it “glomps” (that’s a highly scientific term) onto the hook and goes around for a free ride without getting the action it needs for suitable development. But, I wouldn’t describe the dough as “soupy”, instead, it is just sticky and somewhat soft. In my experience, theis is about as good as it gets in these little mixers, but, when you scale the dough, lightly oil it, and then place it into individual bread bags (one for each dough ball), twist the open end of the bag into a pony tail, and tuck it under the dough ball, then place it into the fridge, it till develop the gluten quite nicely due to bio-chemical gluten development. When you turn the dough out of the bag into a bowl with some dusting flour, it will handle just fine, and open very easily. I was on vacation just last week up in Minnesota at my son’s cabin, and while there I made bread, calzones, and pizza using this method, and it really works well. One major difference: He didn’t have a mixer, so I just stirred the ingredients together until the flour was pretty well wet, then I divided the dough into three pieces and roughly formed into dough balls (a stretch of the imagination there). On the following day, the dough was just fine, and stretched well. The key here is to get the finished dough temperature into the 80 to 85F range, once that is done, the dough should ferment naturally for you.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thank you all for the help. Tom, I have been using one gallon ziplocks to ferment the dough. It seems to spin out ok but there are a few problems. And I think you hit it on the head with the Ka 5. Im looking into a different KA one with a spiral dough hook. Well thanks again for that time