Try this can’t-miss formula to create the perfect dough for your coal-fired pizza recipe

Tom “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann shares a formula that he’s tested in various coal-burning ovens.


Q We’re opening a new location in four weeks, and I’m in need of help. I’m looking for a really good dough formula for coal-fired pizza. I would like to use 50-pound bags of flour per batch. Please help me out!


A Here is a dough formula that I’ve used a number of times in coal-fired ovens:

Flour: 100%

Salt: 1.75%

Instant dry yeast: 0.4%

Water: 58% at 65°F (amount can be varied)

Oil: 1.5%

Put the water in a bowl and add salt, flour and instant dry yeast. Mix the ingredients until you don’t see any dry flour remaining in the bowl. Add your oil and continue mixing until the dough has taken on a smooth appearance. Your target finished dough temperature should be 75° to 80°F.

Immediately scale and ball the dough and place your dough balls into plastic dough boxes. Wipe the top of the dough balls with salad oil, then put them immediately into the cooler, cross-stacked, for three hours. Down-stack your dough balls and kiss ’em good night!

This dough can be stored in the cooler for up to 96 hours. It’s ready to use after 24 hours in the cooler, but it’s best after 48 hours. Once you’re ready to use the dough, allow it to warm at room temperature until the dough balls reach 50°F. Then you can start opening the dough into skins for immediate use.


Q In your last column, you talked about the many advantages of instant dry yeast. Is there any advantage to using fresh yeast? I have access to both and want to choose the better option.


A From my years of research in dough making and dough management, I would say, without hesitation, that instant dry yeast is the best way to go. Just add it dry to your flour. Once you’ve opened the bag, simply roll it down tightly against the remaining yeast and secure it with a rubber band. If you think you’ll use the entire bag within several days, you don’t even have to refrigerate it after opening.


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