0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

#### IlliniPizza

• Registered User
• Posts: 52
• I Love Pizza!
« on: July 24, 2005, 06:46:25 PM »
Lately, I have found myself doing more and more pizza experimentation.  For someone like me, who cooks only for themselves or 1 other person, I am constantly resizing recipes down to 6inches in most cases.

I am very analytical, and understand the concept of bakers precentages, that Pete-zza has touched on.  I would like to create a spreadsheet where I could input the baker precentages and the size of the pizza it is intended to make, and then a diameter in inches I would like to scale for and it would output the weights.

My stumbling block is the thickness factor.  If you are converting a deep dish to a smaller deep dish of the same thickness then the thickness in the formula is mute.  Am I correct in this analysis?  Or am I missing something.  I have heard people talk about factors, but is their a way to quantity factors say in centimeters?

Is their an accurate way to measure thickness when rolling out dough short of using a sheeter.  I have seen bakers use box frames of varying thickness to guide rolling pins, but have heard alot of bad reviews of them.

I know I have hit on quite a few topics here.  So I will summarize for anyone who could help me answer them.

Questions:

1.  If you have a recipe that makes a 16inch pizza, and you half the recipe will it yield a 8inch pizza or a 12inch?  Is it a linear or exponential equation?

2.  Does a thickness factor matter if your scaling say a deep dish  to a smaller deep dish?

3.  Is there an accurate way of measuring thickness?

4.  Is there a cheap way to roll down to a consistent thickness, short of a sheeter?

I have seen posts where pete-zza has delved into baker precentages, formulas, and thickness factors.  But I would like to combine this info into one topic, so that I don't have to jump from topic to topic.

#### Pete-zza

• Global Moderator
• Posts: 22435
• Location: Texas
• Always learning
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2005, 09:06:32 PM »
IlliniPizza,

The starting point for any analysis along the lines you are considering begins with this simple expression:

DW = Pi (3.14) x R x R x TF,

Where DW is the desired finished dough weight, Pi is the Greek letter equal to 3.14, R is the radius of the pizza to be made using the weight of dough DW, and TF is the thickness factor. If you have any two of the variables in the expression, you can solve for the third variable. It’s a bit difficult to explain but the thickness factor TF is somewhat of a fiction. The part of the expression represented by 3.14 x R x R gives you the surface area of a circle with a radius R. Multiplying that surface area by the thickness factor TF arguably gives you a volume. But knowing the volume of a pizza dough isn’t particularly useful. The thickness factor TF is better viewed in the context of a particular pizza crust thickness, from thin to thick. Undoubtedly through experimentation, early pizza makers made doughs of different thicknesses and came up with a set of thickness factors TF that corresponded to the different thicknesses and could be used, along with the desired pizza sizes (diameters), to calculate the dough weights corresponding to those sizes.

In this vein, the value of 0.10 was assigned to a thin-crust pizza thickness, the value of 0.11 was assigned to an average (medium) pizza crust thickness, and a value of 0.12-0.13 was assigned to a thick-crust pizza. These values are not fixed in stone. If you make a thin-crust pizza having, say, the thickness factor 0.10 and find that the crust is too thin for your taste, you can increase the thickness factor to 0.105 and use that value the next time to determine the amount of dough to make the same size (diameter) pizza (but with the slightly thicker crust).

Baker’s percents come into play once the dough weight DW in the above expression is determined. Sometimes a dough formulation will come with baker’s percents, as (gratefully) was the case with the basic Lehmann NY style pizza dough recipe. Knowing the value for DW and using the baker’s percents, one can calculate the amount, by weight, of every ingredient in the recipe. The baker’s percents are valuable because they enable one to scale the recipe up or down pretty much at will. At other times, recipes are specified entirely in volume measurements, such as cups, tablespoons, etc. To make effective use of the above expression, one must first convert the volume measurements to weight measurements since baker’s percents only work with weights. Doing volume to weight conversions is not always easy to do (volume measurements are prone to substantial variation) and it can take several iterations of a recipe, and substantial use of a digital scale to weigh volumes of ingredients, to get results that are good enough to give confidence in the baker’s percents you calculate. I have done these types of conversions several times so I know it can be done. It’s just a lot more work.

Turning to your first question, the relationship between dough weight and pizza size is not linear in the sense I think you have in mind. To give you an example, assume that a piece of dough weighing 20 ounces can make a thin-style 16-inch pizza with a thickness factor of 0.10. Taking half of that amount of dough, 10 ounces (DW), and assuming the same thickness factor 0.10 (TF), solving for R in the above expression gives you a value for R of 5.6 inches (R is equal to the square root of 10/(3.14 x 0.10). Doubling that value gives you a pizza size (diameter) of 11.28, or a bit over 11 inches. Not 8 inches. To carry the analysis a bit further, if you decided you wanted to make a 12-inch pizza (R = 6) with the 0.10 thickness factor, the amount of dough you would need (DW) would be equal to 3.14 x 6 x 6 x 0.10, or 11.3 ounces. So, if you wanted, you could carve out 11.3 ounces from the original 20-ounce dough ball to make that 12-inch pizza. The remaining dough, 8.7 ounces, would be sufficient to make a roughly 10-inch pizza. So, as you can see, the above expression for DW is a versatile one and guarantees that the thicknesses of different sized pizzas will be constant for any given value for TF. I sometimes joke that I can scale down the Lehmann dough recipe to make canapes.

The thickness factor does come into play with deep-dish crusts, in a manner similar to that described above but quite a bit more complex. That is because a deep-dish pan has a side that also is covered with dough, along, of course, with the bottom of the pan. So the calculation of DW for a particular crust thickness has to be done in two steps with the results being added together. The first step is to calculate the amount of dough needed to cover the bottom of the pan (3.14 x R x R x TF). The second step is to calculate the amount of dough needed to cover the side of the pan (3.14 x D x PD x TF), where D is the diameter of the pan and PD is the depth of the pan. When I do the second calculation, I usually subtract a fraction of an inch from the number PD because the bottom crust uses up part of the side of the pan.

I don’t have good answers for your last two questions. I usually don’t have to worry about the actual dough thickness (whether in fractions of an inch or in centimeters) because I know that if I correctly calculated the dough weight for a particular size of pizza and made the dough properly I should get the desired thickness automatically so long as I shape and stretch the dough out to that size. The only doughs I have made that require rolling out are for thin-crust pizzas. It would be nice to have a sheeter to do this, but I have learned to live without one.

If you wish to read more on the above subject, you might take a look at Reply # 29 at page 2 of the Lehmann thread, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.20.html. That post is a tutorial on the use of the expression DW and baker’s percents, and how to handle the small quantity lightweight ingredients like salt, yeast and sugar that can’t be weighed on most digital scales. If you’d like, I can also track down some of the baker’s percents work I did on the deep-dish case.

Peter

#### IlliniPizza

• Registered User
• Posts: 52
• I Love Pizza!
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2005, 05:42:26 AM »
Pete-zza,

Thanks for all the Formula's.  I have assembled a working spreadsheet.  It's not finished but the formula's work.  It calculates for any of the 3 variables.   Dough Weight, Pizza Diameter, and Thickness.  It also has a function for calculating Deep Dish Pizzas.

I have a few more questions I hope you can answer.

I would like to add plenty of examples in the spreadsheet so that people can accurately choose the proper thickness for any pizza.

Since .10, .11, and .12 seem vague and open for interpretation.  I hope you could comment on the following examples and correct me if I am wrong.

Examples of pizzas with .10 thickness:

DKM's thin & crispy, Jack's frozen pizza, Domino's Crunchy thin crust, Pizza Hut's Thin n' Crispy

Examples of pizzas with .11 thickness:

Hand Tossed Pizza, Little Caesar's Pizza, Papa John's Pizza, Pizza Hut Pan Pizza, Chicago Deep Dish?

Examples of pizzas with .12 thickness:

New York Pizza?, Sbarro Pizza

The problem with New York Pizza it's thin in the center, and thicker around the edges.  What thickness would you use for that.

#### IlliniPizza

• Registered User
• Posts: 52
• I Love Pizza!
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2005, 05:56:49 AM »

I used DKM's thin & crispy to test my calculations.

I calculated DKM's total dough weight as 23.0 oz.  I calculated that the flour accounted for roughly 69.6% of the total weight of the dough.  Scaling down DKM's thin crust to a 9inch Pie, I came up with a total dough weight of 6.36oz.  69.6% of that would be 4.4oz.

Now using the baker's precentages the new starting flour weight for a 9inch pie would be 4.4oz. and would be 100% in the new calculation.

Original Weights

Flour      16.0   100.0%
Water      5.8   36.3%
Oil      0.6   3.8%
Sugar      0.2   1.3%
Salt      0.2   1.3%

Scaled for 9in. Weights

Flour         4.4
Water         1.6
Oil         0.2
Sugar         0.1
Salt         0.06

Are these Correct?

#### Pete-zza

• Global Moderator
• Posts: 22435
• Location: Texas
• Always learning
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2005, 12:01:26 PM »
IlliniPizza,

I applaud your efforts to organize things but I think you will have a difficult time trying to categorize pizzas as you are attempting to do. The terms "thin", "medium" and "thick" are all relative terms and you are unlikely to get any two people to agree on what they mean. Even within particular styles, the thicknesses of pizza crusts can differ, in many cases quite significantly. For example, I calculated a thickness factor of over 0.13 for DKM's deep-dish pizza crust. But Buzz's Giordano deep-dish crust version is around 0.10, which is a number more commonly associated with a NY style thin crust like the Lehmann crust (for which I usually specify thickness factors of 0.10 and 0.105 in all the Lehmann recipes I have posted). Randy has two versions of his American style pizza, a 16-inch version and a 12-inch version. I calculated the thickness factor of the 16-inch to be 0.141; for the 12-inch, I calculated a thickness factor of 0.125. I have made his recipe using 0.105 and 0.11. Randy's versions would be considered "thick"--thicker than even deep-dish for his 16-inch--and my versions would be "thin" and "medium", respectively, if the original nomenclatures were to be used. For various "super thin" crusts, I have used and calculated thickness factors ranging from 0.032 to 0.096. Unless you create another category, where would you plug these into your system? You already noted a difference between a thin crust without a big rim and other crusts with bigger rims, which adds to the complexity of what you are trying to do.

My experience is that people learn fairly quickly what thicknesses they prefer for the different styles of pizza. In many respects, what is more important than trying to fit different pizzas into thickness categories is to be able to learn how to use baker's percents. I know that many people's eyes glaze over at the mention or sight of the term, but baker's percents are the only surefire way I know to be able to experiment with different crust thicknesses and pizza sizes without throwing everything out of balance. For those willing and able to use spreadsheets to do this, so much the better. But I think you will go batty trying to categorize every known pizza into a system that in my opinion is suspect to begin with because there are no uniform and consistent standards for crust thicknesses, within the industry or at this forum. As helpful as you would like to be, I don't think you want to end up in the role of gatekeeper or arbiter as to which category any pizza should be assigned.

As to your DKM thin & crispy dough calculations, it appears that your numbers are correct but I am not sure of your underlying assumptions for the 23 oz. dough ball weight. Calculating thickness factors for a dough that is rolled out to a diameter greater than the pan into which it is to be fitted is trickier than for most other types of crusts and can only be done by using the larger diameter, not the pan diameter (unless the 23 oz. represents the weight of only the dough as perfectly fitted within the pan). You gave a size (9 inches) for the smaller pizza, as well as the dough weight (6.36 oz.), but you didn't indicate either the thickness factor or the size (diameter) for the 23 oz. example. Working backwards from the 9-inch example you gave, I calculated a thickness factor of 0.10. That sounds very high for a thin crust pizza. Using that number in your 23 oz. example would yield a pizza size (diameter) of around 17 inches (two times the square root of 23/(3.14 x 0.10). My recollection is that the DKM recipe talks about rolling out the dough to beyond 24 inches, so that suggests that the numbers are wrong or incomplete somewhere.

Once you resolve the disconnect, I would be happy to look at the new numbers.

Peter

#### IlliniPizza

• Registered User
• Posts: 52
• I Love Pizza!
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2005, 05:02:47 PM »
Thanks Pete-zza,

I got the 23.0oz. dough weight for DKM's thin & crispy from adding up all the ingredient weights.

Flour      16.0
Water     5.8
Oil           0.6
Sugar      0.2
Salt         0.2
Total Weights - 23.0 oz.

When I did DKM's calculations I did come up with a 17.1inch Diameter as well using a .10 thickness.

Being unfamiliar with thickness factors, I used .10 as a starting point for thin crust, because you had mentioned in a previous post that a common thin-crust as having a .10 thickness factor.  My error was the difference between a thin-crust and a cracker crust.

My spreadsheet will calculate for any variable including thickness.  I agree with you, thickness factor isn't that important and up for interpretation.  When I scaled DKM's thin & crispy the thickness factor never came into play because I was scaling one pizza down to another of the same thickness.

The thickness factors aren't set in stone in my spreadsheet, and can easily be changed by plugging in your own thickness factor.  The examples I had were for a notes section that would run along side the calculations, to give people a good starting point for what to plug in.  I would still like to add thickness examples in a notes section, but I am thinking about using ranges say  .03 - .08 for a cracker thin crust.  .09 - .11 for a hand tossed.  And then add a disclaimer, that thickness factors are subjective and that only personal experience thru trial and error will get you to the proper thickness factor.

All my calculations were done using the actual pan diameter i.e. 16in. pan, 9in. pan.  I know in real life you would want a little extra like in DKM's case using a cutter pan for his thin a crispy.  I used actual pan diameters, so that they had a consistent starting point for all calculations.  As in my case, if I wanted to make a hand-tossed pizza for a 16in. pan, I would calculate for a slightly larger diameter say 17in. If I were scaling down to a 9in. I would probably calculate for a 10in.

I agree some people won't get the whole concept of baker's precentages, and that is partly the reason for the spreadsheet.  If someone posted a recipe on the site using baker's precentages and weights, and said that the recipe made 1 -  12in. pizza, then all you would have to do is plug in the ingredients weights in oz and the pizza diameter.  The baker's precentages, total dough weight, flour precentage would automatically be calculated for you.  From their you would enter a new size smaller or larger and the spreadsheet would automatically scale the ingredients to the new proper weight using the precentages it previously calculated.

« Last Edit: August 07, 2005, 05:04:53 PM by IlliniPizza »

#### IlliniPizza

• Registered User
• Posts: 52
• I Love Pizza!
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2005, 09:33:24 AM »
I just finished my first draft of the pizza scaling spreadsheet.  I am pretty good with formula's but design is not my strong point.  If anyone has any suggestions or would like to take a crack at editing or redesigning the spreadsheet.  Feel Free.

All white boxes are for inputing data.  All Blue boxes are Formula boxes and are locked.  If you want to edit the spreadsheet, you need to unprotect the page.  The password I used is    pizzamaking, all lowercase.

If anyone updates the spreadsheet please email it too me at The_Great_Pumpkin@insightbb.com  I would love to see it.

Thanks Pete-zza for all the great formulas.