10 tips for adding a take-and-bake option

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. Reducethe dough absorption by 2% compared towhat you use for your regular pizza.

2. Adjust the yeast level to nomore than 1.5% compressed yeast or 0.6% instant dry yeast. (I don’t recommend active dry yeast for take-and-bake pizzas).

3. Ifyour doughwon’t brownsufficiently inthe customer’shome oven,you can try adding more sugar to the dough. But be aware that this will also boostthe sweetnessof the finished crust. A better option is to add 5%to 6% sweet dairy whey. This will increase the browning of the crust without boostingsweetness or requiringmore water forthe 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 setthem aside to proofat room temperature until theycan be opened into pizza skins.

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

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

9. To make a pizza, remove a skin from the stack, dockitwith a pizzadocker, then placeitonto a pizza circle or in a lightly oiled, ovenablebaking tray/pan. Apply a very light coating of oil to the top of the skin to preventmigration of moisture from the sauce and toppings down into the dough. Dress skin to the order.

10. Wrapyour take-and-bake pie with stretch or shrink wrap and place inside apizza box.

Be sure to providethorough baking instructions forvarious types of home ovens, a use-bydate, and,most importantly,the words “Remove wrapper before baking!”