Author Topic: What do you mean when you use the term 'Lehmann dough'?  (Read 859 times)

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Offline Aimless Ryan

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What do you mean when you use the term 'Lehmann dough'?
« on: September 06, 2012, 11:56:14 AM »
When people talk about using a 'Lehmann dough,' what exactly is 'Lehmann dough' supposed to mean? I see this term used by both pizzamaking.com veterans as well as new members all the time, but it means nothing to me. Obviously it has something to do with Tom Lehmann, but that's about all I can figure out.

So does it refer to a specific formula? Are they talking about procedures? Seriously, what does it mean? If you ever use the term, what do you mean when you say 'Lehmann dough'?

Even though I've seen this term used on these boards countless times by many different people, it never really occurred to me until the last week that I have no idea what it's supposed to mean.

Thanks,
Ryan


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: What do you mean when you use the term 'Lehmann dough'?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 12:07:29 PM »
You're going to get a ton of input from other members, I'm sure, but here is a good place to start:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/lehmann_nystyle.php

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: What do you mean when you use the term 'Lehmann dough'?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 12:25:56 PM »
So basically you're saying that people generally use the term 'Lehmann dough' to indicate that their dough is based on information they received from that page, right?

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: What do you mean when you use the term 'Lehmann dough'?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 01:09:34 PM »
So basically you're saying that people generally use the term 'Lehmann dough' to indicate that their dough is based on information they received from that page, right?


Ryan,

Before Tom Lehmann consented to allow Steve to post the dough formulation that Bill referenced, Tom's NY style dough formulation was the one now given at the PMQ Recipe Bank at http://www.pmq.com/Recipe-Bank/index.php/name/New-York-Style-Pizza/record/57724/. According to Evelyne Slomon, she was involved in coming up with that formulation. That formulation is a commercial formulation. If you try to put that formulation into the historical timeline and evolution of the NY style, it fits into that timeline when commercial refrigeration became readily available and allowed pizza operators to make pizza dough using "pizza flour" (with about 13.5-14% protein), a small amount of yeast, and fairly long periods (e.g., up to about 3 days) of cold fermentation. It was also a time where deck ovens became readily available, and a time where oil and sugar (optional) could be used in the dough.

What put the Lehmann dough formulation on the forum's map was my volunteering to try to adapt it to a home setting. That was in September, 2004, with the origination of the Lehmann NY style thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.0.html. That thread has gone on to become the forum's top thread in terms of page views, currently at 347,551 page views.

I should add that there are many, many variations of the Lehmann NY style dough formulation as members have adapted it to their particular situations, including available flours and other ingredients, equipment, ovens and personal preferences. The creation of the dough calculating tools enabled members to adapt the Lehmann formulation to meet their particular needs. In fact, the Lehmann dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_calculator.html was developed to feature Tom's NY style dough formulation, while at the same time honoring him for all of his many contributions to the art and science of pizza making.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 08:10:17 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Ev

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Re: What do you mean when you use the term 'Lehmann dough'?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 01:34:48 PM »
To me, and just because I learned it here, a "Lehmann" dough is what I make using the ingredients in, and with the amounts suggested in the "Lehmann dough" calculator. That said, Tom Lehmann didn't invent pizza dough, and you can call it whatever you want, I guess.

Offline atom

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Re: What do you mean when you use the term 'Lehmann dough'?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 11:20:13 PM »
I agree with EV. Most people's Lehmann does fall into a range of values, not making it a formula at all really. Its just a range to help you fall into the NY style. People on this forum have really fallen into the habit of giving him credit for any dough they made falling into this range of suggestions on the calculator. Are these his ranges or did the person who created the calculator come up with the variations on his basic formula? Surely credit is due, but after all, nobody on the forum started calling Papa John's a Pete-zza style dough.

Tom is the man though, there be no doubt.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: What do you mean when you use the term 'Lehmann dough'?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2012, 08:01:17 AM »
I did the underlying design of the Lehmann dough calculating tool. All of the ranges and recommended values were either based on the Lehmann NY style dough formulations referenced in my last post or articles that Tom Lehmann wrote or posts that he entered at the PMQ Think Tank. I later discovered that the thickness factor I recommended in the Lehmann dough calculating tool, which I arrived at from reading materials outside of the Lehmann articles and other writings by Tom, was too high for a NY style. Tom has always been aware of the thickness factor (he refers to it as density loading) but I cannot recall his ever tying a particular dough formulation to a thickness factor. Rather, he leaves it to end users to determine how much dough should be used to make a particular size pizza. When I designed the Lehmann dough calculating tool, I decided to combine the Lehmann dough formulation and thickness factor in one place so that users could make any desired size of pizza and with any desired crust thickness (plus many other options).

Originally, the Lehmann dough calculating tool was in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. It was not until Boy Hits Car (Mike) volunteered to program the Lehmann dough calculating tool in Flash so that it could be hosted on the forum. At the time, I had not planned to have any more dough calculating tools but I had a lot of ideas bouncing around my head for other dough calculating tools and somehow I was able to convince Mike to work with me to design the other dough calculating tools that are identified at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_tools.html. Without Mike's help, those tools would never had seen the light of day.

For those who are interested, I eventually had an email exchange with Tom in which he suggested some dough ball weights and corresponding pizza sizes from which I was able to calculate thickness factors. The details of this exchange are set forth in Reply 7 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12029.msg112601/topicseen.html#msg112601. It would have been nice to correct the Lehmann dough calculating tool to reflect those thickness factors but, by that time, Mike had left his job where he used his employer's resources to do the programming of the dough calculating tools. Once he left, he no longer had access to those resources.

It is important to keep in mind that the Lehmann NY style dough calculating tool is what I would consider a "species" of the NY style--one that is like a snapshot in the evolution of the NY style where both refrigeration and deck ovens coexisted. Also, there are many possible variations of the Lehmann NY style dough formulation. In my own writing, when I talk about such changes, I refer to them as "variations" or "versions" of the basic Lehmann NY style dough formulation. I decided to call the basic formulation "Tom Lehmann's NY style dough formulation" because it was his dough formulation and I needed a handle to refer to that formulation.

As for Tom Lehmann himself, I would not have ever joined this forum were it not for all of his many writings. I read such writings for maybe 2-3 years before I ever joined the forum and is where I gained much of my knowledge about pizza making. He was just about the only person I could find through my research who wrote about the technical aspects of pizza making on a regular basis, and always with a generosity that persists to this day. When Tom hangs it up, as he sometimes says he plans to do, and unless Jeff Zeak, his associate at the American Institute of Baking, picks up where Tom leaves off, there will be a big hole in the technical side of pizza making that will be hard to fill.

Peter