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

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

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

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

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