Edit ModuleShow Tags

Creating a lighter deep-dish pizza crust

Tom “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann offers a solution to tough, chewy deep-dish pizzas.



 

QUESTION: 

Our deep-dish pizzas are too tough and chewy. What’s the secret to a light, tender deep-dish crust?

 

ANSWER:

This problem can be addressed in a number of ways. One way would be to add enough reducing agent—such as L-cysteine, glutathione or protease enzyme—to the dough to sufficiently weaken the flour protein. This will yield a more tender crust, but the dough will have a very short shelf life, both refrigerated and at room temperature, and it will be more prone to inconsistent performance due to temperature differences of the finished (mixed) dough. You may also have flavor problems, and dough stickiness will likely be a major complaint.

You could also use fermentation to mellow the flour proteins for a more tender finished crust. This will require paying careful attention to the finished dough temperature and fermentation time; we usually see some combination of both room temperature and refrigerated fermentation temperature employed, although a longer refrigerated fermentation time—five or more days—will sometimes do the trick. However, such a long storage time in the cooler can be problematic.

In my experience, it’s better to use flour with a lower protein content, such as an all-purpose flour or H&R, a winter wheat bread flour. My preferred strategy is to create a blend of your regular pizza flour with an all-purpose flour. Thus, you can create a flour blend that works well for your specific application and shop conditions. 

I was recently in a pizzeria where we were developing a deep-dish pizza crust. Using their regular flour (12.6% protein), the finished crust was unacceptably tough and chewy. But when we made it from a blend of 50% regular pizza flour and 50% all-purpose flour, the resulting crust had exactly the eating properties we were looking for. The crust was light and very tender, and it retained these properties even after the pizza had cooled down through a simulated delivery or carryout!

When using a blended flour, you can usually follow your regular dough management procedure. You just need to make sure that you proof the dough to the desired height before dressing it as a pizza for baking or par-baking or before storing it in the cooler for later use. To determine the right mix of your regular flour and the substitute flour, you’ll probably have to experiment a little bit. It will depend on a number of factors, such as the strength of your regular flour, the strength of the substitute flour and your dough management procedure.  

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Eight Ways to Jump-Start Spring Sales

From Easter through Mother’s Day, here are 8 ways to ring in the spring with seasonal flings and give your sales a jump start.

Tips from the Team: Serving Up the Suds

Sean Dempsey explains how to pour on the profits by adding craft beers to your operation.

Preventing the Pita Effect in Par-Baked Pizzas

Par-baked crusts offer some time-saving advantages, but keep these tips in mind to prevent the formation of pockets.

Old-School vs. Online Marketing: Getting the Best Out of Both

From flyers to Google Ads, Think Tankers share tips and tricks for marketing your pizzeria.

2019: Already a Year to Remember

The U.S. Pizza Team shines on ESPN3

Product Spotlight-March 2019

Maintain a Good Relationship With Your Oven to Avoid Later Heartache

Buying an oven is like getting married—weigh the pros and cons carefully before rushing into a long-term commitment.

Milwaukee-Style Pizza Offers Up Great Options for Pizza & Beer Pairing

You can’t go to Milwaukee and not drink beer. Fortunately, Milwaukee-style pizza was designed with beer drinkers in mind.

Paying Your Pizzeria's Employees Well Can Yield Big Dividends

Derrick Tung, owner of Paulie Gee’s Logan Square in Chicago, details his innovative approach to paying and incentivizing employees—and why his opening night was such a stinker.

Adding Deli Sandwiches Can Kick Up Your Pizzeria's Sales

Thinking of adding a deli component to your pizzeria? These two creative operators explain how sandwich success has kept their pizza businesses booming.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags