Who oils their dough trays? And Who does not?

We have always oiled our dough trays. We just use a little non-stick spray. It makes the dough easy to remove and their is little to no residual dough bits left in the tray. The only problem I have with it is the dough balls will spread out over the fermentation process and start bumping into each other and the sides of the tray. Making less that " round " dough balls.

This week I’m doing a test run with 1 location. They will not have any non stick on the trays.

We are at the point here in California where we are going to need to eliminate unneeded procedures. We are going to see if this is one of them.

All opinions welcome.


We do oil them with non-stick spray. It seems it might make it take longer to remove the dough from the trays without spray. I for sure notice it if a new worker sprays the trays with just a tiny bit of spray. Have to use a dough cutter to scrape them off the bottom of the tray. Have you considered lowering the temp of the walk in a hair to keep the dough from rising too much? Although this would be an added cost. Not sure what you are looking for - cost or time saving measures - or both!


Mostly a time savings and a perfectly round dough ball. We spend about 1k a month in spray labor and spray.

Here is a pic of perfectly proofed medium dough. You can see some crashing

I must add, we are using aluminum sheet pans - not dough trays. I am not sure the size difference, but we fit (11) 14oz medium dough balls on a full sheet pan, saran wrapped in the walkin. I have never used plastic dough trays so it may be easier to remove the dough balls from those w/o spray as opposed to the aluminum pans.
Are you also spraying the top of the dough balls? That will allow them to separate easier once they have risen together. Although this is counter point to your $$ saving.
What about only spraying the top so that they can easily be pried apart once risen?

We do not and our dough balls are also on sheet pans. Although our dough doesn’t rise much and has only 35% water but 9% oil

No we don’t spray the top. But I bet that would work.

No oil in the tray. We do brush the doughball with oil to reduce drying during cross stack. We used to oil the trays (15 years ago). Made them a pain to wash for one thing. We have no trouble getting the dough out of the trays without the oil.

No oil, and i have no problem getting the dough balls out. We do use a dough scrapper (think a putty knife). Training new people doesn’t take long to keep the trays clean when done, then washing is no time at all.

I like the sound of all this.

Here is us washing our trays now. 2 guys can do 150 trays an hour.

We don’t spray the dough boxes at all as the oil will promote the dough balls skating around in the box if it’s tipped in any manner, and the dough balls tend to spread more with oil in the box. Instead of oiling the box we just oil the top of the dough balls to prevent any drying during the cross-stack period (normally 2 to 3-hours), then we use either a soft plastic bowl scraper (not a bowl spatula) or one of the plastic tools/scrapers made specifically for removing the dough balls from the box. They work great, and if you buy them from the same manufacturer as the dough box the corners will be radiused to fit the inside corners of the boxes making cleaning a snap.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

we oil the trays with olive oil using a brush, great thread ! Will try no oil, we don’t oil the top or cross stack.

A lot of operators experience dough sweating (wet dough) due to condensation forming on the dough balls as well as inconsistency in dough performance, especially when opening the dough balls into skins when the boxes are not cross-stacked. I’ve also found that when the boxes are not cross-stacked the dough wants to “blow” so the yeast level is significantly reduced to eliminate the dough blowing but the down side to the low yeast level is that there is not enough leavening present to carry the weight of the ingredients and a dense, heavy dough can result accompanied by the presence of a gum line under the sauce.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

We used to oil our balls and the dough boxes, We no longer oil anything.

The balls would slide around when stacking, they used to spread out too rapidly, and because my dough recipe requires a percentage of old acidic blown out dough, it was throwing off my oil percentage on each new batch too.
We use a steel-blade dough knife to remove dough from the boxes, And they are much easier to clean now without sticky vegetable glycerin building up in the boxes now .
I do use 40% ice when mixing our dough and a 72 hour CF, so that keeps our balls smaller too.

Pizza Pirate, what make machine is that? How much space does it require? Can you wash smaller items on racks? Thank you in advance!

and most importantly…how much?

I dont use trays either…perforated sheet pans that are stored on rolling bun pan racks with a heavy duty cover with zipper…no oil either

Trays would take up way too much space in my operation

Its a 44 inch CMA machine with high temp booster. With the 60 inch dirty and clean tables on each side it stretches out 14 feet. We have a 6 foot hood over it. The thing is your standard dish rack track is 20" and the dough trays are 18. So of you try to run them through they fall into the machine. What CMA did for us was install an additional track that will feed the dough trays. The track is removable so we can also run standard dish rack thru. We run everything thru this. Dough trays, sauce and cheese tubs, wing trays, and any all utensils. We have reduce over 100 hours of labor per week with the machine and the dishes are sparkling clean.

As for cost:
The machine with tables and install 17K
Hood system 12K
Plumbing 8K

Soap runs about 400 a month but we wash but we wash about 12000 trays a month plus a multitude of other items.

I worked at an independant in vegas that did they also oiled the top of doughball and put plastic wrap over it. We then stucknit straight intibthe walk in. At dominos we did not oil it at all. If it got a little dried out just a light coating of water would soften it up in a few minutes. Also ee had much better luck with plastic dough scrapers the metal ones would scratch the dough tray and those scratches were harder to clean.

12,000 at one location?? Or all?

Beautiful machine… Looked into renting but the prices are just too high.