Tom Lehmann, works at of the American Institute of Baking, as a baking consultant and also is a moderator on PMQ think tank. He gives advise to pizza operators for free on PMQ.
He has worked with pizza operators and has consulted in the industry for over thirty years. Tom Lehmann has learned where most problems arise and, in general, how to solve or avoid them. That is perhaps why his advice on this subject is fairly generic. The Lehmann recipe is just one NY style dough recipe.
Some tips that Tom Lehmann advocates:
Tom Lehmann advising against placing the salt in direct physical contact with the yeast, at least for more than just a very brief period He also feels the same way about sugar. The main reason is that both salt and sugar are hygroscopic (they absorb water) and tend to extract fluids from the yeast through the cell walls by osmosis. This can degrade the performance of the yeast. The addition of 1% oil to the dough improves the flavor of the dough significantly. It isn't necessary to add the oil, but it sure helps to improve the overall appeal of the finished crust.
Oil quantity is also related to hydration because oil has its own "wetting" effect on dough.
You want to mix the dough just enough so that when you take an egg size piece of dough, and form it into a ball, then holding it in two hands, with the thumbs together (pointing away from you), and on top of the dough piece, gently pull the thumbs apart. The dough skin should not tear. If it tears, you should mix the dough a little longer. The dough will have a decidedly satiny appearance. Prior to the satiny appearance the dough will have more of a curdled appearance. Do not stretch the dough out between the fingers to form a gluten film. This test for development is for bread and roll doughs, not pizza. Pizza dough is not fully developed at the mixer, instead, it receives most of its development through biochemical gluten development (fermentation). After the dough has been in the cooler for about 24 hours, you should be able to stretch the dough in your fingers and form a very thin, translucent gluten film.
You can see Tom Lehmann and his assistant Jeff Zeak make the dough and see Tom Lehmann conduct the dough test in the videos at.
1. Determine water temperature needed to give a finished (mixed) dough temperature of 80 to 85F. With a room temperature of 70 to 75F, this will typically require a water temperature of 65F using a planetary mixer.
2. Add the water to the mixing bowl.
3. Add salt and sugar (if used) to the water. Do not stir in.
4. Add the flour and then add the yeast.
5. Mix for two minutes in low speed, add the oil and mix for one more minute in low speed.
6. Then mix for 8 to 10 minutes at second (medium) speed or first speed for approximately 15 minutes. The idea is to mix the dough just until it takes on a smooth appearance.
7, Check the finished dough temperature (it should be in the 80 to 85F range).
8. Take the dough directly to the bench for scaling and rounding/balling.
9. The dough should be cut and balled within a 20-minute time period.
10. As soon as the dough is formed into balls, place in plastic dough boxes and wipe the top of the dough balls with salad oil.
11. Immediately take the dough boxes to the cooler and cross stack them.
12. Allow the dough boxes to remain cross stacked in the cooler for 2 hours, then down stack and nest the dough boxes.
13. The dough will be ready to use after 16 hours in the cooler.
14. To use the dough, remove about a 3-hour supply of dough from the cooler, leave it in the covered dough boxes and allow it to temper AT room temperature for 60 to 90-minutes, then begin shaping the dough into pizza skins for immediate use.
15. The dough will remain good to use for up to 3 hours after you first begin using it.
16. Any dough remaining in the cooler will keep for up to 3 days.
I have been helped by Tom Lehmann many times. My hat is off to him, and all the knowledge he so freely shares. Tom Lehmann is really a great down to earth guy.
Ask Tom Lehmann a Question!
Tom Lehmann has been employed by the American Institute of Baking since 1965. In his early years with the AIB, he was responsible for directing the operations of the Experimental Baking Group. He took an interest in pizza in about 1967, when he was contracted to reverse engineer a popular pizza being produced in Chicago, Illinois. He was soon recognized as the local "pizza expert" on the AIB staff. Shortly afterward, he made his first pizza service call to John's Pizza, the first wholesale pizza manufacturer in the U.S.
In 1979, Lehmann wrote his first publication on pizza for the AIB, and has since written several more in addition to writing monthly articles for Pizza Marketing Quarterly ("In Lehmann's Terms"), Pizza Today ("The Dough Doctor"), and Bellissimo Foods News Letter ("The Doctor is In"). Additionally, he writes a number of articles for International publications and participates in Pizza Expo annually. He has provided technical assistance to most of the large wholesale pizza manufacturers, pizza chains, and a good many of the smaller independent operators. He also conducts at least three pizza seminars for the AIB every year, in addition to many special pizza seminars developed for clients on a contract basis. He is familiar with all types of pizza/pizza production, and has most recently been providing the industry with assistance on the newly popular "bake to rise" pizza concept.
Click here for articles written by Tom Lehmann.
There are so many variables that go into making a PIZZA. The hydration of the dough, flour, yeast and many more.. Amounts of any kind of yeast in a pizza can make a big difference. Most recipes posted on the web, use too much yeast in their recipes. What I have found out so far, is either bulk fermenting the dough or cold fermenting the dough will give a better flavor in the crust. I am still experimenting to find different flavors in the crust of pies. In my opinion pizza is all about the best flavor you can achieve in a crust. I still am on the journey about flavors in the crust. Even differences in temperatures in you home or times of the year can influence how much yeast to use. If you want a pizza to develop flavors in the crust, there are many ways to go about achieving this.
Adventure in Pizza Making
There are many ways to go about trying to make any kind of pizzas you want to create. PIZZA making is fun and also you get to eat your finished product. I learned to make all my pizza on http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php If you look on pizzamaking.com you can see all the beautiful creations of pizzas members make on this site. Members and moderators help members and guests achieve almost any kind of pizzas they want to create. Since joining this site, my pizza making skills have gone from non-existent to something much better. I invite you to take a look at this site.