Making good use of scrap pizza dough
Follow these tips from Tom “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann to get your money’s worth from your leftover dough.
Q: What is the best way to handle leftover pizza dough?
A: You can incorporate scrap dough into your fresh dough at a rate not to exceed 15% of the new dough weight. Just cut the scrap dough into pieces and add it to the dough mixer about halfway through the normal mixing procedure. Just make sure the added dough doesn’t push your mixer beyond its mixing capacity. If in doubt, try this: Mix your regular dough in the usual way, then add the scrap dough about three minutes before the mixing process is complete. Put the mixer on low speed and continue mixing for another five minutes to incorporate the scrap dough.
Q: Are there other uses for scrap dough?
A: Yes! You can use it to make side items such as breadsticks or garlic knots. Start by scaling your scrap dough into 2-oz. pieces. Form each piece into a ball, then place the balls on a lightly floured sheet pan. Cover the pan with plastic to prevent drying and set aside to proof/relax for about an hour or until the dough balls can be easily rolled under your hands on a bench top. At this point, you should be able to roll the balls into strips (or strings) of dough about 6” to 8” long.
To make breadsticks, place the dough strings on a lightly oiled pan and set aside again to proof/rise for about 40 minutes. Then bake them lightly, just until they begin to develop some color. Remove them from the oven and let them cool on the pan. Once they’ve cooled off, the breadsticks can be stored in any suitable container at room temperature for up to three days.
To finish the breadsticks later, place them onto a screen or tray and pass it quickly through the oven, just long enough to thoroughly warm the breadsticks. Brush them with melted butter and finish with a sprinkling of a powdered Parmesan-Romano cheese blend with a little dried oregano, basil and garlic salt.
Making garlic knots is just as easy. Form a simple overhand knot with the dough strings immediately after they’re formed. Proof for 40 minutes and bake until they just begin to show crust color. Brush them liberally with a 50-50 blend of butter and olive oil and a generous amount of diced garlic. Finish with a light sprinkle of powdered Parmesan cheese and serve hot!