Author Topic: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"  (Read 3748 times)

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Offline dmcavanagh

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I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« on: February 18, 2012, 04:19:57 PM »
I see reference to "thickness factor" in many recipes, a fractional number such as  0.15. Exactly what does it mean? Are you saying the dough is less than 2 tenths of an inch thick? Also, doughs thickness is very dependent on fermentation and the point at which the pie is cooked. A pizzas "thickness", not only depends on the amount of dough, but also on the rise of the dough and the results of oven spring while cooking. So, what does "thickness factor" mean, and wouldn't dough ball weight be a more meaningfull measurement?
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Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 04:36:30 PM »
Also, how you shape/form your pie would make an impact on final thickness. Everyone has their own shaping and resulting cornicione when the pie is finished.
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Online Tscarborough

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2012, 05:04:00 PM »
I assume it means the thickness of the final pizza skin in relation to it's size and is used as a method to determine the weight of the required doughball.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 05:06:10 PM by Tscarborough »

parallei

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2012, 05:19:23 PM »
Here is a recipe in Baker's Percentages:


Flour - 100% (KABF)
Water - 64%
IDY - 0.5%
Salt - 2.0%
Olive Oil - 2.5%
Sugar - 1.5%

If you wanted to use it, you'd need to know what total weight you wanted.  So:


The TF is the weight of the pie dough (oz) divided by the area of the pie (sq in).  If you know the TF and the size of the pie you want, you can calculate the weight of dough you need.

An Example

Say you want to make calzone and you wanted four (4) @ 10-inch diameter dough balls:

A good TF for a NY style pie is 0.08 – 0.09.  So for a Calzone lets use TF = 0.09.  So for four (4) balls you’d want:

                Area per 10-inch diameter ball = (10/2)^2 * pi = 75.54 in2
                Area * TF = 75.54 * 0.09 = 7.07 oz per pie (200g)
                Total weight = 4 * 200g = 800g

So for the dough above:

Total Baker’s Percentages = 100% + 64% + 0.5% + 2.0% + 2.5% + 1.5% = 170.5% = 1.705
The weight of flour = 100% or 1.0 or “x”

So:

800g = 1.705x

Weight of Flour = x = 469.2g
Weight of Water = 0.64 * 469.2 = 300.3g
Weight of IDY = 0.005 * 469.2 = 2.35g
Weight of Salt = 0.02 * 469.2 = 9.38g
Weight of Olive Oil = 0.025 * 469.2 = 11.73g
Weight of Sugar  = 0.015 * 469.2 = 7.04g

Or:

You can go to the Expanded Dough Calculator .......but you still need to know the total weight, or  TF first
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 05:35:02 PM by parallei »

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 07:13:58 PM »
I understand baker's percentages well, I not only make pizzas but also breads of all types. I don't understand the meaning of the numbers 0.08 or 0.09 as a thickness. 0.08what? And who determined that was the correct number for a certain pie. How's does it account for the amount of aeration that might have occurred in a dough ball while fermenting. How does it account for the rise the dough will undergo while cooking. Is it a measurement of the dough as it is spread out before cooking and topping? If so, is 0.08 8 onehundredths of an inch. What if I like my crust twice as thick as someone else's. Doesn't that change the usefullness of the numbers? Can anyone possibly tell the difference between 0.08 and 0.09 when spreading a pizza dough??? For that matter, can that small a differece even be mrasured? I'm still puzzled! ???
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parallei

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 07:45:42 PM »
TF is just a ratio or weight to surface area.  It just gives you an idea of how much dough to use for a certain size pie.  It is NOT a thickness, like 0.09 inches.  It is a RATIO.  In this case the ratio is weight per square inch.  Weight over area.....oz/in2.   Its units would be oz/in2;  like miles/hour.  Knowing that ratio you can determine the weight of dough you need for area of pie.  How where they determined?  By peoples experiences.

It doesn't account for the expansion what occurs during fermentation, it is just weight to area. It doesn't account for expansion during cooking.  It is just:  This weight of dough for this size pie.....I can tell the difference between 0.08 and 0.10.

The number is very useful as a starting point.  If you like your pies twice as thick for a given size of pie, just double the weight of dough used.  Then instead of a a TF of say 0.09, you would have a thickness factor or 0.18.  If you sent the recipe in Barker's Percentages and the TF to someone else, they could  reproduce you "style" in as many or as few pies as they wanted.

I'm sure you understand what a ratio is.  However, I'll post a few more example later.   Time for dinner........

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 08:27:50 PM »
parellei

I get you now, just couldn't quite grasp the number in relation to thickness, ratio makes more sense. I guess I just don't get quite that particular about numbers when I make pizza. I know from experience how much dough to make for whatever pizza I'm making. When the day arrives that I have to break out a calculator and perform math equations to make a good pie, is the day I stop making pies. I can see the need for a commercial operation trying to coordinate a product for widespread reproduction, but it's really not critical for a home cook. I make basically to same dough to make the same pie time after time without needing to perform a math exam. I prefer it that way. ;)
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Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2012, 08:52:06 PM »
Thanks for the links Pete, I'll read up a little. I have never used the dough calculator, but I can see the usefullness of it for someone unsure of how much dough to make. Still not sure who came up with the numbers, was it more or less a trial and error thing?
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Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2012, 09:00:11 PM »
Pete

Is there a chart somewhere with the TF factor which is common for different styles of pie. If 0.08-0.09 is typical for NY style, what would be the factors for Sicilian for example? Thanks in advance, I'm sure it's around here somewhere, but I don't remember ever seeing it.
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parallei

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2012, 09:02:14 PM »
Quote
I make basically to same dough to make the same pie time after time without needing to perform a math exam. I prefer it that way.

Well, O.K......  I understand where you're coming from, but it does have some utility for the home pizza guy or gal.

For instance, if I wanted to make 3 @ 12-in pies using my usual recipe for 1 @ 14-inch, using TF's it is a breeze.  Of course there are other ways to do it, but they include math also.  For example:  

Para's normal 14-inch pie weighs 12.3 oz.  The area of a 14-inch pie = 153.9 in2.  TF = 12.3/153.9 = 0.08.

Area of 3 @ 12-inch pies = 3 x 113.1 = 339.3 in2

so I need 0.08 x 339.3 = 27.1 oz dough.

But then, I like doing math. ;D

Best,

Paul





« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 09:08:31 PM by parallei »

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2012, 09:13:53 PM »
parellei

I have a "dough calculator" in my head. That's what making pizza for 45 or so years will do for you! :-D
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2012, 09:14:09 PM »
Still not sure who came up with the numbers, was it more or less a trial and error thing?

Dave,

I never did learn how the thickness factor came into being. I think it was a trial and error sort of thing. Tom Lehmann used the thickness factor (density loading factor) mainly to show people how to transfer crust (or sauce or cheese) characteristics from one pizza size to another. When I did the basic design of the first dough calculating tool, I embedded the thickness factor into that tool so that it could be tied to dough formulations on a standalone basis, not just to change from one pizza size to another. For those who prefer to work with dough ball weights, the dough calculating tools have a Dough Weight option. The thickness factor is just a tool. It is not obigatory that one use it.

Peter
          

parallei

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2012, 09:19:16 PM »
Quote
Is there a chart somewhere with the TF factor which is common for different styles of pie.

Out of the mouth of Pete.......


http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12243.msg115759.html#msg115759

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2012, 09:45:33 PM »
parellei

thanks, just added that to my "favorites" for future reference.
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2012, 12:06:34 AM »
Wow, awesome thread and awesome posts guys.  I'll need to sit down and read this again.

Offline JHutchins

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2013, 11:04:54 AM »
There is one question that Dave asked that wasn't answered. I search the forum a bit didn't find an answer. Do you use the radius of the cooked or uncooked pizza?

For example, 13.9 oz stretched to 14" would give a TF of 0.090. If the baked pizza is 13.5", the thickness factor is 0.097.

Offline parallei

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2013, 11:58:06 AM »
There is one question that Dave asked that wasn't answered. I search the forum a bit didn't find an answer. Do you use the radius of the cooked or uncooked pizza?

For example, 13.9 oz stretched to 14" would give a TF of 0.090. If the baked pizza is 13.5", the thickness factor is 0.097.

Pre-bake.  It is just the ratio of the weight of dough divided by the area of pie (oz/in2) that one uses to calculate the total weight of dough you need and how much per dough ball.  If you baked an un-topped pie, then measured the finished area and weight, I'm are you'd get a real different value (shrinkage and loss of water).

 

Online TXCraig1

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2013, 12:36:02 PM »
It also gives you an average across the entire pie. Different thicknesses and widths of the cornicione could result in pies with the same thickness factor having  very different crust thickness across the majority of the pie.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline parallei

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Re: I Have Questions about "Thickness Factor"
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2013, 01:05:23 PM »
It also gives you an average across the entire pie. Different thicknesses and widths of the cornicione could result in pies with the same thickness factor having  very different crust thickness across the majority of the pie.

Yep.  It just gives you a weight of dough for a given skin/pan size.  After that, you're on your own!


 

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