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

Zeak's Tweaks

Grit, par-baking and bread loaves

QUESTION: I use cornmeal to keep my dough from sticking to the peel, but some of my customers have complained about its grit. What other meal or flour could I use as a similar substitute? ANSWER: The nice thing about cornmeal and other gritty dusting-flour mediums is their ability to act like a lot of little … More