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.