10 tips for adding a take-and-bake option

Tom “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann walks you through the steps for modifying your dough formula and procedure.


What changes do I need to make to my dough formula and procedure for a take-and-bake pie?


To make a pretty decent take-and-bake pizza using your existing formula, you just need to make the following changes:

1. Reduce the dough absorption by 2% compared to what you use for your regular pizza.

2. Adjust the yeast level to no more than 1.5% compressed yeast or 0.6% instant dry yeast. (I don’t recommend active dry yeast for take-and-bake pizzas).

3. If your dough won’t brown sufficiently in the customer’s home oven, you can try adding more sugar to the dough. But be aware that this will also boost the sweetness of the finished crust. A better option is to add 5% to 6% sweet dairy whey. This will increase the browning of the crust without boosting sweetness or requiring more water for the dough formula.

4. Mix your dough for about two minutes longer than you usually do.

5. Take the dough directly to the bench for scaling and balling after mixing.

6. Place dough balls into dough boxes, cover and set them aside to proof at room temperature until they can be opened into pizza skins.

7. Place the skins onto disks or screens and put them in the cooler on a wire tree rack. Allow them to cool thoroughly—for about 90 minutes.

8. Stack the chilled pizza skins with a piece of parchment paper separating each skin. Do not stack them more than 10 high. Store the stacked skins in your reach-in cooler for immediate use.

9. To make a pizza, remove a skin from the stack, dock it with a pizza docker, then place it onto a pizza circle or in a lightly oiled, ovenable baking tray/pan. Apply a very light coating of oil to the top of the skin to prevent migration of moisture from the sauce and toppings down into the dough. Dress skin to the order.

10. Wrap your take-and-bake pie with stretch or shrink wrap and place inside a pizza box.

Be sure to provide thorough baking instructions for various types of home ovens, a use-by date, and, most importantly, the words “Remove wrapper before baking!”  


Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Chef's Corner | An Interview with Mario Rizzotti

Brian Hernandez goes one-on-one with famed chef Mario Rizzotti

Doubling down on delivery at Pagliacci Pizza

With 270 drivers on staff, this Seattle chain shares the keys to exceeding delivery expectations.

What’s Your Story? Il Primo Pizza & Wings, Richmond, TX

Co-owner Si Mendoza details the advantages—and the challenges—of adding a food truck to an existing brick-and-mortar business.

What you need to know about the new tax law

Some new deductions will be available, while others have been taken away.

Recipe of the Month: BBQ Pork Pizza

This recipe from T. Marzetti is sweet, bold, cheesy and guaranteed to satisfy.

Swag with swagger: Feel the brand-building power of logoed merchandising

Experts share their top tips for creating cool pizza swag that customers really want—and getting it into their hands.

The Lost Boys: Building a small-town pizza empire in the Deep South

This pair of best buddies from the Mississippi Delta made their pizza dreams come true—and no one’s more surprised than they are.

5 things pizzeria owners need to learn for Facebook success

Daily posts, boosted ads and video are essential to building an audience on the world’s largest social media platform.

Delivery: Do or Don’t? Behind the wheel at Pizza Shuttle

Delivery accounts for up to 70% of this Milwaukee pizza company’s business, but it isn’t getting any easier.

Tips from the Dough Doctor: Solving the mystery of blown dough

Mastering temperature control and proper dough management are crucial to preventing this all-too-common problem.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags