Food & Ingredients

Extending Mozzarella's Shelf Life

QUESTION: Can you offer any suggestions for prolonging the shelf life of fresh mozzarella cheese? ANSWER: In an earlier column, we explored several different options for storing fresh mozzarella, but there are some tricks for making it last longer, too. For starters, you should not reach into the liquid packing … More

Dough Information Center

Creating a Crispy Cracker Crust

QUESTION: I read somewhere that you developed a thin Chicago-style cracker crust that maintains a crispy texture throughout the entire bottom of the pizza, not just the corners of slices. What is the best way to achieve that level of crispiness? ANSWER: We developed this method a good number of … More

Dough Information Center

Adding a Take-and-Bake Option

QUESTION: We want to offer a take-and-bake pizza option. What changes will we need to make to our dough formula and procedure? ANSWER: You can make a pretty decent take-and-bake pizza using your existing formula with the following changes: Reduce the dough absorption by 2% compared to what you use for your … More

Food & Ingredients

Making the Most of Mozzarella

QUESTION: What’s the best way to store mozzarella, and how long will it last before it goes bad? ANSWER: Fresh mozzarella comes in a variety of ball- and loaf-shape sizes and is typically packaged in brine, whey or water/liquid packing solution, which helps retain its shape, moisture and soft, creamy, … More

Dough Information Center

How to Minimize Snap-Back

QUESTION: We have been pressing out dough skins, but they keep snapping back. What are we doing wrong? ANSWER: In order to form a pizza skin using a dough press, you must have a very soft and relaxed dough. For starters, if you are using a high-protein/high-gluten flour, you might … More

Dough Information Center

Secrets of a Great White Pizza

QUESTION: I want to add a white pizza to my menu. I know there are a lot of different cheese-blend combinations out there. What are your personal favorites? ANSWER: My all-time favorite white pizza is made with a light application of Alfredo sauce in place of the standard tomato-based sauce. … More

Dough Information Center

To Cook or Not to Cook?

QUESTION: In your opinion, is it better to cold-mix or slow-cook a pizza sauce? ANSWER: “To cook or not to cook? That is the question.” There seems to be a great deal of controversy over this subject; arguments can be made for and against producing a cooked and uncooked sauce. … More

Tom Lehmann: In Lehmann's Terms

Adding Milk to Pizza Dough

QUESTION: I recently learned about a pizza shop in Chicago that uses milk in its dough recipe. What kind of a difference can milk make in the final pizza product, and how should it be used? ANSWER: The function of milk in pizza, or in any other type of yeast-leavened … More

Dough Information Center

A Pan for All Seasonings-;Part 2

QUESTION: In your previous column, you explained how to take care of seasoned steel pans. What about aluminum pans? ANSWER: We’ll look at two types of aluminum pans in this month’s column: bright finish and dark anodized finish. Bright Finish. Bright-finish aluminum pans come in two forms: raw (untreated) aluminum, … More

Dough Information Center

A Pan for All Seasonings

Question: What are the keys to taking care of seasoned pans? Answer: Pans come in two basic colors—bright finish and dark (green, gray or black)—and in two types of metal: steel and aluminum. Today we’ll talk about seasoning steel pans, and we’ll consider aluminum pans in my next column. Bright … More

Dough Information Center

High-Absorption Dough and Sauce-Free Pies

Question: I’ve made pizzas at home using high-absorption dough, often exceeding 70%. Why don’t I see more pizzerias using them? Answer: We are seeing more pizzerias, especially the newer “artisan” pizzerias, using high-absorption dough. These doughs are quite soft and more difficult to handle than standard doughs, which are made … More

Dough Information Center

Reducing Salt Levels in Dough

QUESTION: How important is salt to the texture and taste of dough? ANSWER: Salt is very important to the texture, taste and performance of the dough and the finished crust. Without salt, the finished crust will have a bland flavor. Also, the dough will rise quickly and might even “blow,” … More