Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Dough Must Go On: 5 Pizza Tips From the Dough Doctor

Tom "The Dough Doctor" Lehmann offers suggestions for achieving the right dough temperature, reducing bubbles and more.



Ever wonder how to get more consistent pizza dough and speed up the mixing process? The Dough Doctor has the answers.

We don’t call Tom Lehmann the “Dough Doctor” for nothing. He can diagnose your pizza dough problems and write out a prescription for treatment on the spot. Now if only we could get him to make house calls. Here, Lehmann offers five useful tips for managing your dough and making better pizzas:

1. Feel the heat. Finished dough temperature may be the most critical aspect of effective dough management. For most pizza makers, this means adjusting the temperature of the water that’s added to the dough until you’ve got a finished dough temperature of 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit. To accomplish this, your water needs to be at about 65 degrees.

2. Bubble trouble. If your dough bubbles during the baking process, it’s very likely because you took the dough directly from the cooler to the prep table to the oven. If you must work your dough right out of the cooler, dock it with a plastic dough docker before dressing the dough skin. This will help reduce your bubble troubles.

Related: Tom Lehmann shares the secrets of effective dough docking.

3. Insist on consistency. Are your doughs inconsistent? Try holding back the oil. Don’t add the oil until you have mixed the dough long enough to hydrate all of the white flour (typically about two to three minutes at low speed). Then add the oil and mix for one more minute at low speed to incorporate the oil. Then mix the dough in your normal manner. This approach will prevent the flour from soaking up the oil, which can interfere with the total water absorption properties of the flour.

4. Speed it up. Do you need to mix your dough a little faster? Add the water to the bowl first, then add the flour, followed by the remaining ingredients. Then mix in the normal manner. This will save about two minutes on your total mixing time.

5. Win the toss. Are you or your employees “toss-challenged”? When you hand-form the pizza dough balls into skins, do you end up with paper-thin centers on the skins? There is an easy solution. Use a dough sheeter/roller to open the dough balls up to about ¾ of the desired finished diameter. Then finish opening the dough to finished size by hand. The dough skin will look and bake just like it was opened entirely by hand, but you won’t have the overly thin center.

Related: Tom Lehmann breaks down the math involved with calculating bakers percent.

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Italian Parody Video Pokes Fun at Vegans

Because the saddest part about being vegan is that your grandma doesn't know how to cook for you anymore.

What You Need to Know About Filing for an Extension on Your Taxes

A filing extension does not give you more time to pay your taxes.

Emergency Dough: Tom Lehmann Explains How to Deal With Blown Pizza Dough

Tom “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann explains how to save yourself from blown dough.

Pizza & Ranch Dressing Are Officially Inseparable

Hidden Valley launches ranch-dipped pizza ranch dip in their new Blasted dip series.

Spinelli's Pizzeria Boosts Pies and Cocktails With CBD Oil Infusion

Tempe, Arizona pizzeria is high on the trendy extract derived from hemp.

Bone Sauce Tops off Pizza in Costa Rica

Trench Marketer Rudy Waldner visits the Culinary Trainer School in Costa Rica to share his secrets and take home one of theirs.

Papa John's Will Pay For Employees to Attend College Online

The pizza chain will cover 100 percent of tuition at Purdue University Global for 20,000 corporate employees.

Pizza Guys Pair Two Types of Pepperoni In One Pie

The Cup N' Crisp Pepperoni Duo features classic pepperoni and cup-and-char styles.

Mountain Mike's Redefines Pizza Delivery Model With New Partnerships

The West Coast pizza chain will offer delivery through DoorDash, UberEats and GrubHub.

Blaze Pizza Expands Delivery Option and Sets Sights on IPO

The fast-casual chain plans to take on larger players like Domino's and Pizza Hut.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags