Author Topic: Frozen Commissary-Produced Dough Balls  (Read 3609 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21686
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Frozen Commissary-Produced Dough Balls
« on: September 29, 2011, 08:25:57 AM »
Tom,

As you know, there are some pizza chains, like Papa John's and Domino's, that produce dough balls in commissaries that are shipped fresh in refrigerated trucks to their stores. Other chains, like Pizza Hut, use frozen dough products. If a chain using commissaries makes the dough balls only for their stores and the dough balls are used a short period after production, is it necessary for that chain to invest in and use very expensive specialized equipment for making and flash freezing the dough balls at very low temperatures (along the lines that Rich's, Lamonica's, etc., might do) or can they just make their dough balls pretty much as normal using standard commercial commissary equipment for making fresh dough balls (with maybe a bit more yeast) and freeze them in static freezers of some sort pending shipment to their stores? In a way, it is somewhat like I might do in a home setting. For example, I might make frozen dough balls in the normal manner (maybe even without increasing the amount of yeast), freeze them in my refrigerator freezer compartment, and use them, say, a week or 10 days later (much as you have recommended in your many writings on this subject).

Peter
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 08:28:37 AM by Pete-zza »


Offline The Dough Doctor

  • Tom Lehmann
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 963
  • Location: Manhattan, KS
Re: Frozen Commissary-Produced Dough Balls
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2011, 08:47:00 AM »
Peter;
Yes, then can use static freezing rather than blast freezing, but.....the freezing time will be unacceptably long in most cases, so they employ blast freezing to get the freezing tome down to something in the 30 to 40-minute range. The now defunct, Pizza Magia used to use a static, walk in freezer to freeze all of their commissary production. The freezing time was 6-hours on wheeled racks. The only reason why they were able to use static freezing was because they were producing for only a very limited number of stores. Their production schedule was to produce the order of dough balls and get them into the freezer as quickly as possible, then they would begin clean up, followed by building the boxes for the dough balls, then they would take a break, and begin setting up to package the frozen dough. As the boxes were filled, they were labeled and sealed, and placed back into the freezer. The boxes of dough were shipped out from the commissary later that night.
Donato's, Domino's, Pizza Hut, all employ blast freezing for their dough for the efficiency it affords. You can run the dough through the blast freezer and package it as it comes out, then pallet the cases of dough and move them back into a holding freezer at -10F until you're ready to ship.

Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21686
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Frozen Commissary-Produced Dough Balls
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2011, 08:52:52 AM »
Tom,

Thank you. Is there a magic number of stores where it becomes prudent to use flash freezing? And does it take longer for a flash frozen dough ball to slack out than a static-frozen dough ball and, if so, what might be a typical time difference?

BTW, I think you might have missed the recent PMQ Think Tank post at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10174&sid=f4edbcaaaa81e7d1e125a0c7e7ee90a4&start=15#p73831 where it was reported that Domino's uses fresh dough balls in its stores, not frozen ones.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 09:02:16 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline The Dough Doctor

  • Tom Lehmann
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 963
  • Location: Manhattan, KS
Re: Frozen Commissary-Produced Dough Balls
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2011, 09:03:32 AM »
Peter;
After blast freezing, the dough balls are held at the same holding temperature as static frozen dough balls are, -5 to -10F, so the slackout time for both will be the same. As for Domino's using all in house made dough, not true. I have recently been in their Michigan commissary more than once. Granted, there might be some store out there that are too far off of the beaten path to be served by a Domino's commissary truck, and those stores might still be making their dough in house, but I'll bet the majority of their stores are served by a commissary.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21686
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Frozen Commissary-Produced Dough Balls
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2011, 09:16:07 AM »
Tom,

Not long ago, I did a Google search and, while it was not an exhaustive search, it was not a casual search and the only place I found that discussed fresh dough from Domino's was outside of the U.S. I coudn't find reference to fresh Domino's doughs in the U.S. Usually that is a selling feature and I wondered why Domino's wouldn't take advantage of it in its advertising. You would think that a customer service rep at Domino's would be able to answer the simple question of whether their dough is frozen or not. Thanks for straightening that matter out for us.

Peter

Offline nodak

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6
Re: Frozen Commissary-Produced Dough Balls
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2011, 11:11:34 AM »
I noted on a previous thread that I am a former Domino's employee from the early 1990s. At that time - and likely now as well - the dough balls arrived on a Domino's truck... frozen on sheet pans. The frozen dough balls were transferred into the walk-in for storage. I recall a set number of the sheet pans being taken out of the cooler prior to the store opening each day, oiled and then stacked in a tray stacker on the counter to proof. Dough proofed the prior day was used on that day's pizzas and the frozen dough balls were rotated through in similar fashion. Those seeking trivia on the dough might be interested to know that Domino's referred to that particular dough as "Solar II" dough and it replaced its former formula, which was called "Solar" dough.

Also, at that time, and again likely now, Domino's sauce arrived on the truck in large (looked like mylar) silverish bags with pour spouts attached. The sauce was premade, like the dough balls, and later poured into large white restaurant-storage pails for use. When in the white pails, the sauce was stored . The local Domino's crew did not make the dough or the sauce. It was more like paint-by-numbers.

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21686
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Frozen Commissary-Produced Dough Balls
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2011, 11:54:12 AM »
nodak,

I know that workers in franchisee stores (and maybe in some company stores as well) don't always abide by the instructions in the store manuals. Did it occur that workers would use the defrosted dough balls say, two or maybe even three days, after defrosting? And did it occur that defrosted dough balls would be refrozen and defrosted again prior to use? That would mean that the stores would have to have freezer capacity.

Peter


 

pizzapan