Dough Information Center

From the screen to the deck

QUESTION: Why are some pizzas baked right on the oven deck while others are first baked on a screen and then finished on the deck?   ANSWER: Many pizza makers prep the pizza skin on a screen, bake it in the oven for a couple of minutes on the … More

Dough Information Center

Tips for using a hot press

QUESTION: We use a hot press with a heated top and bottom to form our crusts/pizza skins. What are the best top and bottom temperatures for pressing our dough? ANSWER: The heat from the top and bottom press plates helps to relax the dough for improved pressing characteristics with … More

Dough Information Center

Tips for a faster slice

QUESTION: We have an opportunity to open a pizza shop in a mall food court. The store will be small, and we would like to sell pizza by the slice. In your opinion, what is the best way to ensure the fastest turnaround on orders when dealing with slices? ANSWER: … More

Dough Information Center

How to Freeze Pizza Dough for Later Use

Q: Can I freeze my pizza dough? Yes, pizza dough can definitely be frozen, but it cannot be frozen indefinitely. There are three very different dough freezing methods. Mechanical blast freezing employs temperatures between -20°F and -35°F, combined with an airflow of 600 to 800 linear feet per minute. Another … More

Dough Information Center

Neapolitan Pizza Dough

PMQ’s test kitchen is now open and ready for business. In addition to a recent visit from Las Vegas-based Metro Pizza’s John Arena, PMQ’s resident pizzaiolo Brian Hernandez gets things started this month with a special instructional video on making and stretching authentic Neapolitan pizza dough. Watch the video at … More

Dough Information Center

Creating a Pretzel Pizza Crust

QUESTION: What’s the secret to a good pretzel pizza crust? ANSWER: Lately, everyone’s talking about pretzel this and pretzel that. Pretzel buns for hamburgers and hot dogs are all the rage. I was recently asked how to make pretzel breadsticks, too. Since pizza dough is so similar to pretzel dough, … More

Dough Information Center

The Perils of Mexican Flour

QUESTION: I recently experimented with some flour that was imported from Mexico, but I soon realized something was dreadfully wrong. When we brought the dough out of the cooler after only 18 hours, it was very wet and almost soupy. Assuming we’d made a scaling error, we tried again, but … More

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