Author Topic: Making your own dough sheeter  (Read 46316 times)

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Offline dland

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2007, 08:28:28 PM »
why not just use a pizza press and mash the heck out of the dough til you get it as thin as you want??

All of the pizza and/or tortilla presses I've seen have been extremely expensive (usually $2000 or more). Dough sheeters are also in the same neighborhood. I'm not exactly sure why the these machines are so expensive or why the makers of pasta rollers (which are about $30) can't simply make one that's 12" instead of 6" wide.

Anyway, if you know of pizza press for less than $200 I'd be all ears.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 12:22:17 AM by dland »


Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2007, 03:20:08 PM »
I am in the process of getting some prices from a friend who works at local machine shop on what it would take to produce a prototype ~16 " wide.

The best one I have seen is at www.piemaster.com under dough rollers I think. It's $1500+ tax+ shipping, but that will give you an idea of what can be involved in making one yourself. My design will be much less fancy, and far cheaper.

The issues with cost so far have been two main things:1) materials and 2) labor. Materials are expensive because you need to use a nice quality stainless steel for the rollers. Hollow or solid we haven't decided yet, but the forces it needs to take are fairly high on a 16" spread without bending or "flexing". In terms of labor, this is really a "one-off" type of unit and doesn't make sense to outsource to China or Mexico where parts are cheap. Since the demand for production just isn't high,  you'll end up getting something "made in the USA" where we have a relatively high labor cost unless you have a friend, relative, or do it yourself.

Hopefully I can get something going at a reasonable cost. I still think a tweaked slip roll is going to be the way to go on this.

Offline Mahoney

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2007, 09:12:05 PM »
That sounds great Dan and I would certainly be interested

Offline Jack

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2007, 10:56:43 AM »
I realize this topic is pretty old, but in case anyone is still interested in making their own dough sheeter, I found a place where you can purchase some instructions on making your own slip roll, which is a similar piece of equipment used for bending sheet metal. I haven't purchased the book or even used a slip roll, but I thought someone more mechanically inclined might give it a shot.

Dave

Hmmm, how about an english wheel, then you could keep the outer edges thicker for a nicer crust. <half joking>

Jack

Offline DarkFlame

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2008, 10:19:49 PM »
This topic has really gotten my creative juices flowing.  It would be easy to get two round cylinders (either a couple of large wooden rolling pins or some steel pipe) and get them axle'd so that they'd rotate on a fixed point.  Put a handle on one so that it could be manually turned, and leave the other one free-spinning.  Doing that on a fixed gap would be easy.  I'm thinking some kind of angle-iron frame would be an easy design.  And, with a larger angle-iron, it could be cut with a hack-saw or jig saw and bolted together without needing any welding.  Drilling would be good enough for the axles - since we're not talking about a very heavily used machine, one would not even need bearings.

But, enhancements would make it more complex. 

If you want to have the bottom (or top) roller (the non-handled one) adjustable so that you could adjust the gap (dough thickness), then one would have to put a screw/bolt mounting between the top & bottom rollers.  Not terribly difficult, but definitely more complex.  Maybe making the frame in two separate parts (upper & lower) and then attaching them via a screw mechanism on both sides so that the gap would be adjustable.  Part of the complexity of this would be to mount the nut on one of the frame pieces so that the screw piece would properly attach.  This would probably need to be welded to withstand the pressure of rolling thick dough.  And, there would need to be one on each side, so that the adjustment could be kept even on both sides.  Plus, a spring should be installed (on each side) so that the adjustable roller would not be completely free-floating, tho it might not matter because the dough would spread the rollers out.

But, the hardest thing would be to get the second roller to turn in an opposite direction and at the same rate as the top roller. 
  • One way would be to put a handle on the other end of the other roller so that they could be manually cranked at the same time.
  • Another way would be to attach a pair of motors going in opposite directions and at the same speed, but this would require a more complex mounting frame, multiple electrical cords, and a pair of motors that would have to spin at the same rate (more than just being "rated" at the same speed) - thus increasing the price beyond what I'd want to pay for something that we'd only use twice a month.
  • Using interlocking gears to gear one to work off the other would be fine - IF the gap were not adjustable.
  • Maybe having the "free-spinning" roller on a bearing would be all that's necessary.

I'll have to sleep on this, think about some 2" angle iron, a couple of wooden rolling pins, a handle, and try to visualize how to adjust the gap.  My FIL says he can weld bubblegum to a watermelon, so this may not be too complex of a project.  Wish I had seen this yesterday because we were out there today & it'd have been nothing for me to appropriate a couple of pieces of angle iron to use in visualizing this setup.  Well, at least it's on my mind now, and I can continue trying to visualize the assembly.

-> David

Offline dmun

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2008, 11:59:42 AM »
The world is full of wringers, even electric ones. Couldn't one be adapted for this use?

Offline DarkFlame

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2008, 09:19:41 PM »
The world is full of wringers, even electric ones. Couldn't one be adapted for this use?

THAT is EXACTLY what I'd like to find.  I'd really like one 12" wide, but anything bigger than 10" would be GREAT.  I guess the key is in knowing how to phrase your question.  I've been looking for dough sheeters and pasta rollers.  The sheeters are upwards of a couple hundred dollars to thousands, and the pasta rollers are only 6" wide - neither of which is acceptable for our needs.

But, when I searched for "clothes wringer" I came across lots of suitable things for under $200.  And, on ebay I even found the exact same picture that you posted on a seller's page!

Most of the ebay clothes wringers don't say how wide they are.  And, neither the ebay sellers nor the new ones on commercial sites provide any notes about how thin they'll roll.  However, I'm sure I can email them & get an answer to that question.  My guess is that they're spring loaded so that they'll squeeze ANY piece of cloth that's run thru them, but not "adjustable" for any set thickness.  However, even if it's spring tensioned, it would probably mean we could pass the dough through a couple of times (turning it 1/4 turn each pass) to get thinner crust.

I used to work at a pizza place in Waco where they sold a cracker crumb crust.  It's not Pizza Hut, but I liked it a LOT more than Pizza Hut.  The crust had a little more substance to it than the P.H. thin crust, but was still a cracker on the bottom.  We/they used a dough sheeter.  We'd grab a wad of dough from the food grade Rubbermaid trash can & throw it in the sheeter.  After the 1st pass we'd turn it 1/4 turn & put it through again, then one last time.  Lay it on the perferated pan & trim the edges, dock it, sauce & cheese & toppings & then into the oven.  Their oven was this huge square oven that went from the floor to the ceiling & it had doors on all 4 sides.  The shelves were round & were on a vertical axle & they rotated.  You could put the pizza into the oven from any side, & remove it from any side, and all the doors were glass so you could watch the pizzas cooking as they went around & see which ones needed to be removed.  It was a nearly fool proof way to produce lots of pizzas.  One guy worked the cutter table & he'd have someone pulling out the ready pies (during the busy rushes) so that he didn't have to do anything but cut & plate them. 

The dough, no matter WHERE I worked (except Mr. Gatti's) was made the night before the evenings when it was used.  We'd make huge batches of the dough (filled half of a 55 gallon food grade Rubbermaid trash can) & roll it into the fridge.  The next morning, during prep, I'd come in & punch down the dough.  I LOVED the smell of the alcohol as it escaped from the falling dough.  Then, that night, we'd yank a handful & run it through the sheeter.

Now, what I'm wanting to do is for my home.  It's been several life times since I worked in a restaurant.  And, if I ever did go back to a restaurant, it'd have to be something like an upscale Marriott (last restaurant where I worked) - because I could design the Daily Special & create something new every day.  But, at home, we have made pizza from scratch on several occasions.  We use a thicker rising dough & it gets made & cooked in just a couple of hours.  We've even had friends over for dinner where we made pizzas.  It's not such a big deal to have pizza.  The real treat is rolling out the dough & building the za's for ourselves.  It's a social event to put on all the toppings.  And, because everyone has their own "perfect" assortment of toppings, everyone gets to have their own.  But, rolling them out is a major pain and I really want to make that a LOT easier.  I'm not going into business or I'd spend the big bucks to get something that's industrial strength.  I just want to bring some smiles to my family (& myself) and a few close friends.

Offline dmun

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2008, 10:13:05 PM »
That picture came off of eBay, as you have figured out. I think hand wringers are about 12 inches wide, but it's been a long time since I've had one in my hand, ask the vendors. If memory serves, the electric ones off the old wringer washers are wider. The rollers are geared together, and the top one is tensioned by a spring, which is adjustable by those wing nuts on top. I think the rollers meet to touch, but it should be fairly trivial to come up with some sort of blocks so they don't. The only sheeter I ever saw was on the Lehmann video on the http://pmq.com/ website: That one had two pairs of rollers, a pre-sheeter to flatten the ball, then a second one to get it to the target thickness. Perhaps you could invent some kind of lever set thickness stop for the two passes. Easier than building the thing from scratch.

Offline DarkFlame

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2008, 11:40:03 PM »
Yes, I'm going to have to examine some things & decide how I want to make it happen.  The "clothes wringer" suggestion was really what I was looking for, but hadn't considered it.  Sometimes I get so caught up in the immediate issue that I overlook the obvious.  I've found that if I take a step back, I get a better picture & can be more effective.  I'll have to do that with this idea.  It's something that I want, without the huge expense, but I'd rather spend more money and get something that'll work than to waste any money on something that won't work.

Offline dland

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2008, 12:49:49 AM »
Please post your progress and/or ideas as you move forward. This is something I'm very interested in. As you've stated, this problem doesn't seem like it should be terribly hard to solve. We're not talking about creating a complex machine with lots of moving parts. We just need two rollers whose distance from each other can be adjusted. I've come to most of the same conclusions about design that you have. I don't know where you would buy gears or how hard they would be to mount onto rollers and I can't figure out how you could adjust the distance and still have the gears mesh. Gears with really long teeth maybe? My hunch is that only one of the rollers needs to be attached to the crank. The other will probably roll as the dough passes over it.

The clothes wringers might be an option, but the only ones I've found work based on tension, not distance between the rollers. Maybe you could find a way to use clamps to separate the rollers at a fixed distance.

There are various sites where you can buy newer clothing wringers. Here's one that has a few in the $100 area:

http://www.survivalunlimited.com/clothewringer.htm

The ones I've seen on ebay tend to be antiques and probably would break after some use.

Dave
« Last Edit: January 30, 2008, 12:53:29 AM by dland »


Offline DarkFlame

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2008, 07:54:02 AM »
I shall definitely post any progress that I make, tho I don't expect to move any faster than a glacial pace.  My FIL is about to go out of town for training, & I've already got one other thing in his queue to weld up for me.  So, I'm just thinking about it right now, but know that he's got an adequate amount of angle iron that's available & plenty of other stuff.  Maybe I'll look for something that can be used as rollers & then move forward from there.  I'll post as I progress.

-> David

Offline gawelte

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2008, 02:36:24 PM »
Hello,
 
Your idea of using a pasta roller is actually right on target, although using a manual roller is probably impractical because of the amount of cranking effort required.
 
Here is my solution. 
 
I bought a pasta machine attachment ($ 100) for my Kitchenaid mixer.  The pasta rollers will form a dough sheet as thin as yout want from a golf-ball-sized chunk of dough.  You roll a thick sheet first, then adjust the rollers to thin out that sheet, and so on. 
 
If you try this you will notice that the motor on the mixer slows considerably during rolling,, which explains my comment about the cranking effort required in doing this manually. 
 
However, since the rollers are about 6 inches wide, you only get a sheet which is 6 inches wide at most.  Nevertheless, you can patch 3 or 4 rolled sheets into a single pizza crust on the pizza peel.  (My first inclination was to spread water at the seams, to act as an adhesive, but that has proven to be unnecessary.)  You will be very surprised to find that the seams are not noticeable in the finished pizza.
 
This approach works so well that I am considering the purchase of a counter top pizza oven having a stone floor, so that I can get the needed 600 degree temperature.
 
 
--  Amateur pizza chef.

Offline DarkFlame

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2008, 04:40:43 PM »
However, since the rollers are about 6 inches wide, you only get a sheet which is 6 inches wide at most.  Nevertheless, you can patch 3 or 4 rolled sheets into a single pizza crust on the pizza peel.  (My first inclination was to spread water at the seams, to act as an adhesive, but that has proven to be unnecessary.)  You will be very surprised to find that the seams are not noticeable in the finished pizza.  ...
--  Amateur pizza chef.

The seam being evident is what has prevented me from going this route.  However, we never make pizzas more than 12" wide, so it would only have one seam down the middle.  And, we could probably position it to where we slice it, so even that should be a non-factor.  We have most of the other attachments for our KitchenAid mixer, and we use them regularly enough.  Having an easier method of sheeting pizza dough would definitely simplify the process considerably.  Making the dough is no big deal, but rolling it out has been quite the exercise in patience - not to mention cleaning up the counter! 

Great post!  Very encouraging.  I'll have to seriously consider it.

Offline ctimmer

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #33 on: October 26, 2008, 08:50:59 PM »
I have used the 'patching' method with really good success with cutter pans. Both 2 wide and 3 wide pies have turned out great. My Kitchen-Aid rolls dough to about 6 inches max.

Also, I roll the dough 1 or 2 settings thicker than desired and then seal the seams and roll to the desired thickness with my rolling pin.

Picture (reply #7):
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1965.msg17702.html#msg17702

Curt

Offline PizzaManic

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2009, 06:04:40 AM »
Hi All
I have been following this topic for some time now.

Just curious to know whether you guys have had any luck building a home made sheeter from scratch.

Regards
Cinnamos

Offline Tatoosh

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #35 on: April 28, 2012, 07:55:11 AM »
Well, this pizza sheeter thread has been dead for a few years, so time to revive it.  While a nice roller based machine would be great, what about a larger manual tortilla press.  Most are cast iron and 6 to 7 inches, but some are wooden and up to 12 inches. Too small for full on pizza, but getting closer.  Sheeting is, for all practical purposes, the same as doing puff pastry, but without the butter layer(s) and folded only a few times, not a quadrillion the way puff pastry demands.

So, what is the major drawback to putting into a tortilla press, press, fold, press again, fold again?  Do this to the required amount of lamination. Last time fold and roll into a ball shape, press and voila, you have a nice round, pretty thin cracker style crust to work with. 

Cast iron or stainless steel faces might be added, provided you find material, the design of the handle should allow you a fair amount of mechanical advantage. Built with an 1/8" gap between the plates will get you down pretty darn thin.  Now it would be for home use, no commercial outfit can do it manually, but you have both a tortilla press and pizza sheeter in one.  Or am I totally missing something about sheeting?

I've been reading Pizza-zza's thread about doing DKM's cracker style dough, but I'm only half way through.  The doughs look to be pretty low hydration, so that may prove problematic to anything that is not stainless steel and built like a Mack truck and too much for a wood or wood and steel tortilla press?     
Banana Ketchup Is Not Pizza Sauce - Weber 22.5 OTG, Smokenator 1000, Kettle Pizza Insert, White Mountain 6qt Elec, Cuisinart ICE-20 1.5qt, FMS 1500D sous vide - Mabuhay Pizza!

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #36 on: April 28, 2012, 01:03:47 PM »
I think a tortilla press is feasible, but for the money you might just want to up it a bit and get a cheaper sheeter which is actually designed for this purpose. It's an investment and if sheeting a larger pie is what you're after... well you get the point.

One major drawback I see to the fixed size press:  Sometimes on my sheeter I will make a skinny long piece and fold it lengthwise, then sheet it in the other direction to widen it into a square. With a press you'd have to fold it symmetrically each time - Like into fourths. Also I don't know that the cheaper versions of the tortilla press can offer you anything you couldn't get with a more expensive or wider pasta roller. Then you'd have a nice pasta maker to boot!

As far as the pressing action, I have no experience in how this would turn out for a laminated dough. Whatever you use, the action needs to be hard and fast. The contact between the rollers on a sheeter is a very fast action on the dough.

Offline Saturday Coffee

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #38 on: April 28, 2012, 04:15:28 PM »
I've tried using a tortilla press and I can found it won't work because of the strength of the gluten in wheat flour. It could get me only so far and then I hand stretched from there. After my experiment I went on line and discovered pizza presses use heat in the process. For example:
http://www.thefind.com/appliances/info-pizza-dough-press
Don

Offline Tatoosh

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Re: Making your own dough sheeter
« Reply #39 on: April 29, 2012, 01:51:26 AM »
http://www.piedesigns.co.za/series-2009-01-manual-dough-sheeter




Saturday, that is an interesting 3rd world sort of practical design, if it wasn't too expensive, it might be worth a go for someone doing limited amounts.  The frame looks a bit light for continuous work, but then I don't know how long the cheaper heated round presses last either in a demanding environment like a busy pizza shop with good trade.  For a dedicated home user or small shop, that might be the answer, particularly if his wife was a pie enthusiast. 

I've tried using a tortilla press and I can found it won't work because of the strength of the gluten in wheat flour. It could get me only so far and then I hand stretched from there. After my experiment I went on line and discovered pizza presses use heat in the process. For example:
http://www.thefind.com/appliances/info-pizza-dough-press
Don


buceriasdon, I figured someone had to have tried the standard tortilla press since it makes a very flat piece of dough too.  I did not realize the dough was so stiff it overcame even the mechanical advantage a homemade tortilla press offered. I suppose a very sturdily built one with a hydraulic press might suffice.  In fact look at this guy's "juicing press" built for squishing grapes and so forth, but with 5,000 lbs of force it might just do the job for sheeting dough though you may have to modify the plates.

Homemade juice press
Banana Ketchup Is Not Pizza Sauce - Weber 22.5 OTG, Smokenator 1000, Kettle Pizza Insert, White Mountain 6qt Elec, Cuisinart ICE-20 1.5qt, FMS 1500D sous vide - Mabuhay Pizza!


 

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