Tired of cross-stacking your dough boxes? Tom “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann has an alternative you might like better.

If cross-stacking creates a scheduling problem in your pizzeria kitchen, try storing your dough balls in plastic bags.



 

Q Why do I need to cross-stack boxes of dough balls in the cooler? Coming back later to down-stack the boxes is a real pain.

 

A Cross-stacking the dough boxes allows the dough balls to cool down at a consistent, uniform rate. If the dough boxes are not cross-stacked, the heat in the dough will allow moisture trapped in the box to condense on the colder box surfaces, where it will drip onto the dough. These water-spotted dough balls can exhibit sticky handling properties and a strong tendency to bubble during baking. Even worse, if the dough balls don’t cool down uniformly, the amount of fermentation the dough receives during the next 24 to 72 hours (or more) will strongly depend on the finished dough temperature; a difference of only two degrees can have a significant impact on dough quality and performance. The length of time the dough boxes remain cross-stacked is also important, as any variation can result in changes in dough performance, especially after several days of storage in the cooler.

If you have difficulty fitting the cross-stack and down-stack times into your schedule, there’s another option. Lightly oil the dough balls and place them in individual plastic bags immediately after balling; the open end of the bag should be twisted into a ponytail and tucked under the dough ball. Now the dough, placed on a metal sheet pan or into a conventional dough box, can go straight into the cooler without any additional covering. If you use dough boxes, simply cross-stack them and go home. When you return the next morning, you can down-stack them for long-term storage.

This alternative method works well because the bag is pulled firmly around the dough ball for full contact; the bag offers little insulation, so the dough cools at a predictable rate. The bag also prevents the dough balls from drying out during a longer-than-normal cross-stack period. But note that it’s important to tuck the twisted ponytail under the dough ball; this allows for some expansion of the dough ball without bursting the bag. For those of you with reach-in coolers, this is also the best way to manage your dough balls, as cross-stacking is impossible, and offset stacking is only marginally effective. 

 

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Make the most out of your pizza boxes with these tips from operators

Pizza boxes offer up prime marketing space for operators—but are you using yours to its full potential?

True Greek pizza isn't just olives and feta cheese.

PMQ explores Greek-style pizza’s characteristics and history in the United States.

The Dough Doctor tackles effective dough management strategies

If your pizzas aren’t coming out right, here’s how to put your finger on the problem.

What's Your Story? Vets2Success

An Iraq War veteran is using the culinary arts to transform the lives of fellow vets seeking a new start in life.

Recipe of the Month: Get the gluten out with DeIorio's Fresh Prosciutto Gluten-Free Pizza

Serve your customers this prime pie made with fresh prosciutto, garlic and DeIorio's gluten-free pizza shells.

Is your pizzeria geared up for National Pizza Month?

New managing editor Bill DeJournett runs down the upcoming marketing frenzy.

Let your fingers do the talking with text blasts

Think Tankers weigh in on using text blast programs with your market base.

Some Italians Jumping Ship on True Neapolitan Pizza

Italian consumers today demand a healthier product, which has pizzaioli experimenting with different kinds of flour and reviving ancient techniques.

Product Spotlight: September 2018

Pizza box knives, speedier pans and more.

Idea Zone: Custom Cheese Shakers Make for a Fun & Exciting Functional Promotional Item

Make a statement with these branded cheese shakers from CustomCheeseShakers.com
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags