Today, another dough calculating tool—the Deep-Dish Dough Calculating Tool—has been added to the tools page of the forum. The tool can be accessed at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_tools.html
. As with the recently updated Lehmann tool, the Deep-Dish tool was developed by Boy Hits Car (Mike). It was designed specifically to work with deep-dish dough formulations, using ingredients that are commonly found in doughs for the deep-dish style, and particularly the Chicago style of deep-dish pizzas. Many of the features of the new tool are similar to those used in the Lehmann calculator but there are several features that are unique to the new tool.
The Deep-Dish tool is intended to be used with proven dough formulations--of which there are several on the forum--where there is a known set of workable baker’s percents. Beyond that, one is free to experiment and create new dough formulations, but with the caution that entering a given set of data into the tool does not guarantee a workable dough formulation. But, within the parameters of the tool, there should be many opportunities to devise new and creative dough formulations.
The following is a summary of the features and attributes of the new tool:Thickness Factor and Dough Weight Options
. As with the recently updated Lehmann calculator, the new tool gives users two options by which the ingredients and their quantities can be specified—the Thickness Factor option and the Dough Weight option. To use the Thickness Factor option, the user enters a known thickness factor (TF), a set of workable baker’s percents, the desired number of pizzas (up to 999), and data related to the type and size of pan used (described more fully in the following section “Pan Shapes and Sizes”). When this option is selected, the user can choose the desired shape of the pizza, either round or rectangular.
To use the Dough Weight option, the user enters a starting dough weight, a set of baker’s percents, and the desired number of dough balls (up to 999). The dough ball weight can be specified in either grams or ounces. There is no need with this option to use a thickness factor.
In each of the above scenarios, the Deep-Dish tool will produce a set of data (ingredients and quantities) corresponding to the data entered into the tool.Pan Shapes and Sizes
. The Deep-Dish tool can accommodate deep-dish pans of different shapes and sizes, including cast-iron pans/skillets that are sometimes used to make deep-dish pizzas. In particular, the tool can handle round pans with straight or sloping sides, and it can handle rectangular pans. The user is prompted for pan-related information (style, size and dimensions) only when using the Thickness Factor approach. As a precautionary measure, if a user enters the top and bottom diameters of a sloping-sided pan in the wrong sequence, the tool will note the error and prompt correction.
At this juncture, the rectangular pan option is considered to be largely experimental and untested inasmuch as there is little evidence of commercial adoption of rectangular shaped deep-dish pizzas that are simply rectangular versions of the classic Chicago round deep-dish style. For this reason, the tool as currently constituted works only with straight-sided rectangular pans. However, as a practical matter, the amount of dough required for either pan of the same general dimensions will be similar, with the possibility of a small amount of dough being left over when using the sloping-sided rectangular pan. Stuffed Pizza Option
. Because of the popularity of stuffed deep-dish pizzas among some of our members, the Deep-Dish tool gives users the option of requesting a quantity of dough to be allocated to the separate layer of dough as is characteristic of that style of deep-dish pizza. Since that layer can be of a thickness different than that of the rest of the crust, the user is prompted to specify a part of the total dough batch, by percent, to be used for the separate dough layer. The percentage figure in any given situation will usually be determined through experience and testing different values. The tool currently states a recommended percentage range of 25-33%. Bowl Residue Feature
. As with the Lehmann tool, the Deep-Dish tool allows users to increase the quantities of the dough ingredients to compensate for minor losses of dough that can occur during preparation (due to flour, water and dough sticking to bowls, implements, fingers, work surfaces, etc.). This is done by specifying a particular percent increase. That percent will vary from case to case, but unless one is making a very wet or sticky dough it will usually be less than 4%. It is anticipated that users will determine the best percent to use in any given situation based on experience. If the finished dough exceeds the desired final dough weight, those with scales can always trim the final finished dough of the excess.
It will be noted that when the Thickness Factor method is used, the “final” thickness factor reflecting the bowl residue amount will appear in the data section, and also in a printout of the results produced by the Deep-Dish tool. To preserve all of the data, including the initial thickness factor before compensation, it is strongly recommended that users print out a copy of the completed page, using the “Print” button provided for this purpose.Expanded Data Fields
. Also as with the Lehmann tool, the Deep-Dish tool has expanded data fields for several of the boxes into which values are entered so that users can enter numbers with several decimal places. This should allow for increased precision and fine-tuning of the results produced by the tool, particularly for those who convert existing recipes to baker’s percents and calculate thickness factors and the like and end up with numbers with several decimal places. It will be noted that if a user fails to enter a number into a box as required, that is, the entry box is left completely blank, the failure to enter a number (even a 0) will cause the error expression “NaN” to appear in the data section. Copy Feature
. A Copy “button” is included in the Deep-Dish tool to allow users to copy information from the textual data section into posts or some other document, such as a Word document that might be used to compose replies to be posted on the forum. The information copied can be entered directly into the posts or other documents, by using a menu “paste” command or a “Control + V” keyboard command. Using the Copy button ensures that all of the data line up, thereby eliminating the need to do corrective “realignment” work when previewing replies to be posted on the forum.Ingredients
. To accommodate the many variations of deep-dish doughs, the tool offers an extensive selection of ingredients in addition to the usual flour, water, yeast and salt. For example, there are four different oil choices: corn oil, olive oil, canola oil, and vegetable (soybean) oil. As a practical matter, the weight-to-volume conversions are quite similar for the four oils, but they are treated separately in the list of ingredients so that users of more than one oil can keep track of which oils were used and their percents, all of which will show up in the results produced by the tool, and be conveniently available if the final page is printed out.
There are also four solid-fat choices: butter/margarine (which may be salted or unsalted), shortening, and lard. And three other grain ingredients sometimes found--or preferred by some--in deep-dish doughs: cornmeal, corn flour, and semolina. A potato flour option is also provided for those who may wish to use that flour in their deep-dish pizzas. There are several salt choices, including the option of selecting no salt, as is common in some Chicago-style deep-dish doughs (e.g., Malnati’s).
For those who are interested in the Gino’s East style of deep-dish pizza, the ingredients list also includes cream of tartar (1% recommended) and yellow food coloring. Gino’s East currently uses FD&C #5 and #6 yellow food coloring in its doughs. The food coloring used in the ingredients list of the Deep-Dish tool is based on McCormick’s FD&C #5 yellow food coloring, as found in most major supermarkets. Because the quantities of the coloring needed are small--no more than 0.62% by weight of flour (a maximum of 1/2 teaspoon per pound of flour)--the tool specifies quantities below 1/4 teaspoon by drops and by the fraction of teaspoon. Above 1/4 teaspoon, where the number of drops becomes very high and difficult to accurately dispense, the tool specifies only the actual volume measurement. Baker's Percents Usage.
This tool is intended to work with normal baker's percents, and entries should be made as such in the tool. There should be no leading 0s. For example, if the hydration percent is 52%, it should be entered into the applicable field in the tool as the number 52, not 052. Otherwise, the results will be incorrect.
I hope the tool proves useful and, as usual, I welcome feedback and comments from our members.