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

Food & Ingredients

In Lehmann's terms: sticky situations

Question: A major problem we have is wet and sticky dough when we take it out of the dough boxes after a night in the cooler. We have tried reducing the amount of water added to the dough, but this has not helped. What is the solution? Answer: Your description of your dough management procedure tells … More

Tom Lehmann: In Lehmann's Terms

In Lehmann's Terms: the big freeze

Question: Is it OK to freeze pizza dough? Answer: Pizza dough can be frozen, but if you’re like most of us, and don’t have access to a blast freezer (mechanical blast freezing at -20° to -35°F with 600 to 800 linear feet of airflow, or cryogenic blast freezing at -55° to -65°F), you’d be putting … More

Food & Ingredients

Flavorful focaccia

QUESTION: I’m interested in serving focaccia bread as a starter; do you have a recipe you can share? ANSWER: Focaccia is similar to pizza in that both are topped with various ingredients. As compared to pizza, focaccia is sparsely topped or accented with olive oil, herbs, coarse sea salt, and thinly sliced onions, tomatoes or olives. … More

Tom Lehmann: In Lehmann's Terms

In Lehmann's terms: counting calories, part 2

As I discussed last month in the first part of this article, there are changes coming our way in terms of nutritional declarations for pizzas and other products that you sell. Presently, Parts 11 and 101 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) are under review concerning the proposed rules of “Food Labeling; Nutrition Labeling … More

Zeak's Tweaks

Time to ferment

Yeast is a single-cell microorganism that has been serving mankind for millennia. Alcohol is probably the most widely recognized by-product of fermentation, but that which is most near and dear to our hearts is the role that yeast plays in fermentation of wheat-based dough. Working in combination with various bacteria, yeast, in one form or … More

Food & Ingredients

On a roll

QUESTION: How can I make fresh dough or rolls last longer? It seems wasteful to throw them away at the end of the day. ANSWER: I’m going to assume that when you say “rolls,” you mean breadsticks, and that you are using a typical pizza dough formula to make them. Sometimes when we speak about preservation … More

Tom Lehmann: In Lehmann's Terms

In Lehmann's Terms: Bread and Water

QUESTION: I’ve heard so many stories about how water affects dough that I don’t know what to believe. What’s your take on this? ANSWER: Water quality certainly does have an effect on dough quality, but not as much as many believe it to have. The main effect of water quality on the dough comes from the hardness … More

Zeak's Tweaks

Changing of the crust

Pizza is an ancient food, born of the need to find a simple way of enriching bread to make it more substantial and tastier. Pizza dough and the resulting baked crust is a member of the flatbread family. However, the most interesting aspect of pizza is its variety. The universal success of pizza is contained within a fairly … More

Tom Lehmann: In Lehmann's Terms

Acting poolish

QUESTION: How can I incorporate some type of poolish/biga or ferment into my regular pizza dough for improved flavor? ANSWER: There are two pretty easy ways to accomplish this. I’ll explain the first here; the second can be found at PMQ.com/dough. Make your dough by what is called the “sponge and dough” process. This process requires … More