Why undermixing your pizza dough isn’t as bad as it sounds

Tom “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann offers a surefire way to know when you’ve achieved the best mix for balling and scaling your dough.



 

Q How do you know if your dough has been mixed long enough?

 

A Pizza dough that’s mixed at a pizzeria and refrigerated for use over the next few days is typically mixed just long enough for the dough to develop a smooth-looking skin. (Pizza dough doesn’t require nearly as much gluten development as you’d want in a bread-type dough.) So should you worry about undermixing pizza dough? No, not really. In fact, once the ingredients are well-incorporated, you could stop mixing and take the dough from there. However, if you mix the dough just until it forms a smooth skin, it’s much easier to handle during the scaling and balling process, and the dough will not require as much dusting flour on the bench.

To give you an idea of how much a pizza dough can be undermixed, there is a method for making a thin cracker type of pizza crust where the dough is mixed only until most, but not all, of the flour is hydrated. The dough is then removed from the mixing bowl and placed into a tub, where it’s covered and allowed to ferment for 12 hours at room temperature. After that, the dough can be scaled into pieces of desired weight and loosely formed into pucks. You can wrap these pucks individually or stack them two high on a sheet pan, cover them with a bag or stretch wrap, and place them in the cooler to ferment for an additional 24 to 48 hours. This dough is not unusually sticky due to low absorption (45% to 50%), but it is quite stiff, requiring the use of a dough sheeter to open the pucks into pizza skins.

Can you harm the dough by overmixing it? Not in most cases, but depending on the dough absorption, you might find that additional mixing yields a more breadlike crumb structure in your finished crusts. And since that additional mixing time takes a toll on your mixer, be sure to have your mixer repairman’s phone number handy—you’ll probably need it sooner than later! 

 

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Recipe: The Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza from DeIorio’s

If your customers love ranch dressing and buffalo sauce, you can’t go wrong with this pizza recipe from DeIorio’s.

Playing with fire: Experts offer their top tips for working with wood-fired pizza ovens

From dough preparation to finishing flourishes, a wood-fired oven demands more knowledge and expertise than a modern oven.

As PMQ celebrates its 20th anniversary, we honor the past and look forward to the future in this special oral history.

PMQ’s founders and longtime team members reflect on two decades of progress, pranks, pitfalls and pizza.

Our Town America: Now offering POS integration for ease of use for larger brands

Using a mobile app, pizzeria owners can track who redeems their offers, then follow up with a second offer.

Pizzeria operators can turn heads with signature menu items from Caputo


Leading industry cheese manufacturer Caputo offers custom cheese solutions to inspire application innovation.

Cut waste and excess fat from your pizzas with StitZii box liners

StitZii’s grease-absorbent pizza box liners let pizzeria owners deliver a healthier pizza and protect the environment.

As technology advances and communications platforms keep changing, the pizza business remains a people business

With a phone in every pocket, who would have guessed talking on those phones would become so passe?

Double your pizza production with Marra Forni

The double-mouth oven makes for twice the efficiency and twice the versatility.

Data breaches: A restaurant operator’s worst nightmare

When it comes to protecting your POS data from hackers and thieves, the IRS recommends following these 5 steps.

Boosting traffic to your pizzeria: Does it pay to advertise on Yelp?

Yelp’s a powerful influencer for restaurant customers, but Think Tank users say you can get a better return for your money with another ad strategy.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags