Dough Tips

Many years ago, pepperoni was only sold in sticks; cheese in loaves and tomatoes whole peeled.  Over the years, the specialty food manufacturers who serve our industry have successfully marketed further-processed or value-added products.  What has been driving these innovations is the continuing decline of cheap, available and qualified labor.  This trend will continue.

As these innovations were introduced, many were dismissed as not good or not as authentic.  “My father would never have used this product”.  Fair enough, but dad never had to pay $7.25 per hour plus benefits to employees who show up when they want to.

Another innovation that has swept the chain pizza operator is pizza dough premix.  All of the dry ingredients of a dough mix are pre-measured, blended and put into a bag, like flour.  The back of the house simply measures the water temperature and weight and adds it to the mixing bowl.  Simple.  Done.  No thinking, no measuring, no mistakes.  Well-run chains have embraced this because, above all else, they value consistency.  Good chains want customers to eat the same product at all their locations.

Consistency is important whether you have 1 location or 1000.  Customers choose your restaurant because they like your product and they expect the same quality each time.

Some of you make your own dough; some of you have key employees who you can trust to do the job right.  For those of you who are frustrated with dough that doesn’t rise or tough crusts and poor consistency, premix might be your answer.

Whether you make dough from scratch or use a premix, there are several key points to creating great pizza dough every time.  Here are two:

  1. Mix Temperature – This is probably the most important issue when making dough.  Yeast raised doughs perform best between 82 – 85 Degrees F.  Measure your dough temperature by inserting a thermometer into the finished mix.  Buy a thermometer and use it every time.  If your dough is above that temperature, use colder water.  Raise the water temperature if it is below 82 Degrees F.
  2. Mix Time – Did you know that the same dough recipe mixed even two minutes longer will make your crust different?  Get an egg timer with a bell and make sure it is used. 

These two pieces of kitchen equipment will cost you under $20 and will save you hundreds in bad dough and poor performance.

Properly training your employees and having the right tools will give them confidence to do the job right.

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