• #1 by Pete-zza on 04 Feb 2009
  • Last year, after one of our forum members registered at the PMQ Think Tank and requested a simple dough recipe for new pizza makers to use at home with volume measurements, Tom Lehmann took steps to have a basic dough recipe for newbies included in the PMQ Recipe Bank. That recipe, entitled "Home Style Pizza Crust", appears at For convenience, I have posted the recipe and instructions below, as follows:

    Pillsbury Bread Flour - 3 cups unsifted
    Salt - 2 teaspoons
    Sugar - 1 tablespoons
    Yeast (active dry) - 1 package
    Water (warm/100F) - 1 cup
    Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons

    How to Prepare:

    1) Suspend yeast in the water, add a pinch of sugar and stir well. Set aside to activate for 10 minutes.

    2) Place flour, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir the yeast suspension and add to the ingredients in the mixing bowl.

    3) Using a wooden spoon stir the mixture for 1 minute. Add the oil and continue mixing (stirring) until the dough becomes too thick to stir with the wooden spoon. (Generally 2 to 4 minutes).

    4) Cover the bowl with foil, waxed paper, or damp towel and set aside to
    Ferment for 1 to 2 hours. Punch the dough down as necessary to keep it in the bowl.

    5) Turn the dough out onto a floured bench or counter top, knead the dough by hand for about 2 minutes, oil the mixing bowl, and place the dough back into the bowl for 15 to 30 minutes.

    6) Turn the dough out again onto a lightly floured bench or counter top, using a knife or bench scraper, divide the dough into 3 equal pieces.

    7) Lightly flour each dough piece, and roll out thin. Makes a 10-11 each diameter crust. If the dough tends to shrink back after rolling, set it aside for 10 minutes on a floured surface, and roll or stretch it by hand to fit a 10 to 11 inch pizza pan or stone.

    8) Brush the edge of the crust with oil (olive), apply your favorite sauce, cheese, and other toppings, place the pan into the oven; or transfer the pizza using a pizza peel to the preheated pizza stone, and bake in a hot oven (center shelf) until the crust and cheese are lightly to golden brown in color.

    Normally, I would try to convert the above recipe to baker's percent format but have not done so this time because it is not clear how much flour is used by weight. A bread flour like a Pillsbury bread flour will normally have a rated absorption value of around 62%, but with the addition of 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the combination of 62% hydration and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil will yield a fairly wet dough. I estimate the oil to be around 6-7% by weight of flour. When I have used oil at such levels, I have reduced the hydration by several percent from the rated absorption value for the flour, typically in a range of 56-59%. If someone with a scale (digital) is willing to try the recipe and can provide a workable hydration value (i.e., workable weights of flour and water), it should then be possible to come up with a baker's percent version of the recipe for those who want it.

    As best I can tell, the recipe will produce what appears to me to be a "thin" "emergency" type American style pizza.


    EDIT (1/11/20): For an udated link to the recipe referenced above, see
  • #2 by Grilling24x7 on 14 Mar 2009
  • Does anyone have a picture of what this dough looks like when complete?  Or a finished pizza made this way?
  • #3 by bruhe on 28 Mar 2009
  • Hi Peter,
    Thanks for all of your knowledge you share here. It's almost overwhelming to a newbie like me. My question on this dough recipe is this - if I substitute KABF, should I change up the water amount or should that not matter?
  • #4 by Pete-zza on 28 Mar 2009
  • bruhe,

    You would be surprised to find out how fast newbies get up to speed and become profficient in their own right. Just take it a step at a time.

    Since the recipe is recited in volume measurements, I don't think it will matter much which bread flour you use. In your case, I would just substitute the KABF for the Pillsbury bread flour. Tom is a big fan of the Pillsbury bread flour. It is the bread flour he always recommends.

  • #5 by bruhe on 28 Mar 2009
  • Thanks for the reply - here's what I've learned so far. For me, it appears that the recipe needs a bit more water than the 1 cup. Tonight I used the KABF to start some dough - and followed the recipe exactly. I found that if I use the instructions for mixing, the dough is unmixable even after 5 - 10 seconds after adding the water/yeast suspension. There appears to be too much flour and not enough water... so I inevitably get in there with my very clean hands (had to say that for my wife's sake). Even then, and with the oil added, it feels like the dough is rough.. Like there are patches of mostly dry flour captured in the dough in parts. I wonder if I'm doing something wrong or if this is the natural way of dough?

    So in the prior pizzas I've made, I've adjusted the water and it does seem to help a bit. I know you've worked with many of the Lehmann doughs - have you tried this one? Maybe this is one of the newbie things I need to learn. I'd hate to be asking a fundamentally obvious question.
  • #6 by Pete-zza on 28 Mar 2009
  • Bob,

    Now you are seeing some of the pitfalls of working with volume measurements, particularly the measurement of flour by volume. If you go to the Mass-Volume Conversion Calculator at, you will see that three cups of the King Arthur bread flour measured out using the "Textbook" Measurement Method weighs 13.159 ounces. From the same calculator, you will see that one cup of water weighs 8.345 ounces. These values indicate a hydration of 8.345/13.159 = 63.4%. That is a perfectly good hydration value for the KABF. However, if you measure out the KABF with a "heavy" hand (see Heavy in the Measurement Method pull-down menu), three cups of the KABF weighs 18.059 ounces. This converts to a hydration of 8.345/18.059 = 46.21%. That is an unworkable hydration for the type of dough involved. From my personal observation, most people tend to measure out flour using the Medium Measurement Method. On that basis, three cups of the KABF will weigh 14.652 ounces. That translates into a hydration of 8.345/14.652 = 56.96%. That may be a workable hydration value but just barely in my opinion. I don't know what method you used to measure out the KABF, but if you did not use the Textbook method, you will most likely find that you will need to use more water. That is why most dough recipes recited volumetrically tell you to adjust the amount of flour and/or water to achieve the desired final dough condition. It would be more helpful in my opinion if the method of flour measurement were specified in recipes but it almost never is. That is also a reason why so many of our members use digital scales and weight measurements.

    What you have done is already helpful. It tells others to use the Textbook flour Measurement Method with the Lehmann recipe. I have not personally tried the Lehmann recipe but I would have gone through the above exercise before proceeding with it.


    EDIT (5/4/19): For a replacement for the inoperative foodsim link, see
  • #7 by bruhe on 29 Mar 2009
  • Pete,
    I'll throw this one out there - because it might help another newbie like me... so perhaps we're in the wrong area of the forum... but I'm realizing a few things, I think.

    I am certain that it's better to measure by weight rather than volume because of the risk of under or over measuring (heavyhandedness - etc).

    From your post I am suspecting that the newbie needs to learn immediately the difference between a liquid ounce and an ounce. This concept seems weird to me - because if I measure one cup of water in my measuring cup and then weigh it (tare of course), I get 7.8. That is because I'm thinking in liquids, right? Instead, I have to realize that 8.345 is a weight not a volume... so that I'll need more than my measuring cup's 1-cup to get the right ratio.

    The same goes, it appears, with flour - working with the numbers you gave me, I experienced a very different kind of dough - almost night and day difference. It's still doing the rise based on the Lehmann instructions, but I can tell the difference almost immediately. I weighed out the flour and the water - the rest I left the same, though I've found that the salt in the recipe was a bit much for my taste, so I trimmed back on that.

    I guess I'm trying to see if I'm understanding the concept better. I'd rather be totally exact than risk measuring with my cup and getting it all wrong - because it appears that the pizzas I've made so far have been way off in flour/water ratios.

    Please correct me where I'm wrong. But I think I might be grasping this more.
    Thanks again!
  • #8 by Pete-zza on 29 Mar 2009
  • Bob,

    There is nothing wrong with your thinking. It is also fine to carry on this discussion in this thread since it is in relation to a recipe that is recited with volume measurements.

    I spend a lot of time trying to convert volume recipes to weight and baker's percent versions. I indicated in my last post that one cup (8 fluid ounces) of water weighs 8.345 ounces. However, I know that most people just eyeball it when they measure out a cup of water. And, in many if not most cases, the marking for the one-cup level is viewed from above at an angle. If I weigh such a "cup" of water, I usually get about 8.1-8.2 ounces. If the water is viewed correctly, which is with the measuring cup on a flat surface and the lower meniscus of the water (motionless) is viewed at eyeball level at the one-cup marking, you are likely to get closer to the 8.3 ounce value. Water measurements are actually less prone to variations than volumetric flour measurements. I can think of at least 7 different ways of measuring out a cup of flour by volume. In each case, I will get a different weight if I weigh the flour measured out by each of those methods. Those variations can cause wide swings in the hydration values, just as I noted in my last post.

    With respect to the salt, when I first looked at the Lehmann recipe I concluded that the salt was very much on the high side. Using the min/max analysis of my last post, the percent of salt based on two teaspoons comes to 2.99%/2.18%. Some people prefer such high levels, but the more typical recommended value is 1.50-1.75%. Assuming that we decide that the Textbook method of flour measurement is the best one for this recipe, 1.75% salt comes to a bit over 1 1/8 teaspoons of salt.

    I tried to reserve commenting on the specifics of the Lehmann recipe because I did not want to bias members' reaction to the recipe. In that vein, I'd be interested in your observations about other aspects of the recipe, including the performance of the dough and the quality of the results you achieve. When we are done, we may be able to revise the recipe to be more useful and effective for our members, possibly including a baker's percent version.

  • #9 by bruhe on 29 Mar 2009
  • I gotcha now. The problem is that my measuring cups must be incorrect - at least the ones I used for this batch. The others were in the machine so I didn't feel like handwashing for another try. I have those oxo measuring cups - and apparently the set I have is way off. So I simply put a container on my scale, tared it, and then filled it with the proper weight of water. I did the same with the flour like I said - the dough seems light years from what I was doing before - my hydration had to be in the basement. I made two pizzas today for the family lunch and I think they were by far the best yet.  It does amaze me at how much trust I was putting in measuring cups. I will measure by weight from now on. I was being careful to measure and examine the amount - but I think the cups are off. Either they are off or I am. Or my scale is.
    But the pizzas I made today were very good - and went so fast I didn't get time to grab a photo.

    If you could think of any other important advice for a noob, I'd be very much grateful.
  • #10 by norma427 on 30 Mar 2009
  • Hi Peter,
    Do you recommend this "Emergency Dough Recipe" for me to start with?  I will be using Pillsbury high gluten flour, with compressed yeast.  I want to have a NY style pizza when I am finished.  With all the information I have read, I can become very confused.  I will really practice before I start my pizza stand, but I am worried how my dough will turn out.  I have been reading this site for 3 months and it has been very helpful to me.  I  just signed on as a newbie about a month ago. Thank you for your time and patience with me.
  • #11 by Pete-zza on 30 Mar 2009
  • If you could think of any other important advice for a noob, I'd be very much grateful.


    I went back and re-read what I posted on this matter before. One of the things I forgot is that the Lehmann recipe calls for a lot of oil. The combination of water and a lot of oil in a dough will affect its viscosity and make the dough softer. So, you will have to find the best combination of amounts of flour, water and oil for your purposes. It may well turn out the using the "Medium" Measurement Method in the Mass-Volume Conversion Calculator at is the best flour measurement method to use considering the large amount of oil called for in the Lehmann recipe. If you manage to divine that optimum combination and have weighed the ingredients, please feel free to come back and update your results.

    If you decide that you would like to move from emergency doughs to longer fermented doughs, one source that I often cite to newbies is this one, for a basic NY style dough formulation:,2223.0.html.

  • #12 by Pete-zza on 30 Mar 2009
  • Do you recommend this "Emergency Dough Recipe" for me to start with?  I will be using Pillsbury high gluten flour, with compressed yeast.  I want to have a NY style pizza when I am finished.


    From your post, it sounds like you plan to sell pizzas commercially. I don't know if an "emergency" type of dough is best for your purposes, but you should know that if you are planning to make a NY style pizza, the Lehmann emergency dough recipe posted in this thread may not be suitable for that purpose. The Lehmann dough recipe was developed for home pizza makers who apparently do not have the time or interest in making pizza dough like professionals do, with much longer fermentation times, usually a cold fermentation lasting one to three days. Moreover, the Lehmann emergency dough recipe produces a dough that much more closely resembles an American style dough, which typically includes large amounts of oil and sugar. A basic NY style dough along classical lines typically includes flour, water, yeast and salt, and perhaps a little bit of oil, but no sugar. A good example of a NY style dough formulation for commercial purposes is this one at the PMQ Recipe Bank: That is the dough formulation I adapted over time for use in a home oven setting. Your version would have to conform to the ingredients, equipment and procedures that you plan to use in your business.

    I might also mention that professional pizza operators do on occasion make emergency doughs. It is usually done when they run out of their regular dough or something goes wrong, like a cooler problem, that renders their regular dough unusable. It would be fairly straightforward to modify the PMQ Lehmann NY style dough formulation referenced above to make an emergency version, if needed for any reason.

  • #13 by bruhe on 03 Apr 2009
  • Peter
    I gave the emergency dough another shot, this time the only two differences was that I cut the salt in half and used the medium measuring method - I weighed everything instead of trusting measurements however. I wanted to be exact. That said, there seemed to be too much flour. I felt closer the last time, having fixed my water measuring fiasco. I'm surprised at how off the two cups i tested were. I found one that is reliable, but still weighed everything. I do think that maybe the better choice might be cutting the oil instead of the flour? The pizzas I made last time were greasy in the crust- it just feels like too much oil. I hoped the additional flour would offset that... and meanwhile the dough I'm working on now is fermenting. So we'll see what happens. I should have just gone and gotten some IDY yeast and followed your other recipe. But I'm not against trying to figure out an ideal recipe for a quick/newbie emergency dough. I make a good Igor.
    Thanks once again for everything you're sharing. I feel like I'm learning a lot very quickly.

    My biggest curiosity about this recipe would be changes to what was offered - i don't know that it would be disrespectful to the original author of the recipe - I would take it as inspiration. Would you be comfortable sharing any improvement ideas to the preparation of this dough/ fermentation/ etc . out side the ingredients and ratios? If not I fully understand.
    Thanks again,
  • #14 by Pete-zza on 03 Apr 2009
  • Bob,

    I think I can modify the recipe for your purposes. However, before doing so, what size pizza would you like to make, and how many? And are you after a thin, medium or thick crust? As a frame of reference, "thin" would be like a NY style pizza. "Medium" would be like a Papa John's pizza.

  • #15 by bruhe on 07 Apr 2009
  • Peter,
    My favorite pizza of all would be a deep dish Lou Malnati's - but I need to take a few baby steps before I try to pole vault. That's why I went with the Lehmann emergency dough - of course I also went with that because the bakers percentages, at first, were daunting. Now I'm getting it more and would be happily willing to try something else and finally put this Kitchen Aid to use!

    A good American pizza dough is probably the next step - my wife and love the extra crispy thin crusts but I fear I'd need a sheet roller? I'm pleased and appreciative to try any dough that you might "throw" at me!
  • #16 by Pete-zza on 07 Apr 2009
  • Bob,

    Maybe the best first step with the Lehmann emergency dough recipe is to rework it to make it more user friendly. Even if you decide not to try it out, others may wish to do so.

    What I often do with a recipe like the Lehmann emergency dough recipe is to first convert it to baker's percent format as best I can. Because the conversion of flour measured out volumetrically to a weight is problematic, for the reasons mentioned before, I usually start with the amount of water called for in the recipe, on the theory that people are more likely to measure out water with fewer variations than is the case with flour that can be measured out in so many different ways. If the recipe also calls for a fair amount of oil, I also consider that in relation to the hydration of the flour because the combination of oil and water will affect the viscosity and softness and feel of the finished dough. So, for example, if we assume that a typical "cup" of water measured out by the average person weighs around 8.2 ounces and that two tablespoons of olive oil are to be used, I will use that combination to arrive at a hydration to be used. Knowing that a bread flour like the Pillsbury bread flour can handle a hydration of around 62%, I will reduce that amount based on the amount of oil to be used. In this example, I would use a hydration of around 56.5%. So, for a water weight of 8.2 ounces and a hydration of 56.5%, the amount of flour to use is 8.2/0.565, or 14.51 ounces. The weight of two tablespoons of olive oil in relation to that amount of flour comes to 6.56213%.

    From this point forward, I adjust the values of the remaining ingredients in relation to the weight of flour. For example, because we both agree that the amount of salt called for in the recipe is too much, I will use 1.75% salt, which is within the normal range for salt. For the ADY, I will reduce it to 1.5% of the weight of flour because that amount should be sufficient to make an emergency dough, especially when used with the warm water as called for by the recipe. For the sugar, I am inclined to leave its value as is, that is, 1 1/2 tablespoons, which translates to 4.36023% of the weight of flour. If that turns out to be too much, its value can be adjusted the next time around.

    Based on the above, and using the expanded dough calculating tool at, a workable dough formulation might look like this:

    Flour (100%):
    Water (56.5%):
    ADY (1.5%):
    Salt (1.75%):
    Olive Oil (6.56213%):
    Sugar (4.36023%):
    Total (170.67236%):
    411.45 g  |  14.51 oz | 0.91 lbs
    232.47 g  |  8.2 oz | 0.51 lbs
    6.17 g | 0.22 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.63 tsp | 0.54 tbsp
    7.2 g | 0.25 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.29 tsp | 0.43 tbsp
    27 g | 0.95 oz | 0.06 lbs | 6 tsp | 2 tbsp
    17.94 g | 0.63 oz | 0.04 lbs | 4.5 tsp | 1.5 tbsp
    702.23 g | 24.77 oz | 1.55 lbs | TF = N/A

    As noted in the above table, the total dough weight comes to 24.77 ounces. According to the original Lehmann emergency dough recipe, the dough made in accordance with that recipe should be enought to make three pizzas. So, each dough ball would weight 24.77/3 = 8.26 ounces. That amount of dough will make a fairly thin crust if the pizza size is, say, 10". In fact, the thickness factor for that amount of dough and pizza size equals 8.26/(3.14159 x 5 x 5) = 0.1051278. That value is typical of a NY thin "street" style pizza. However, a crust made using the above dough formulation won't taste like a NY style pizza, because of the very high levels of oil and sugar. The pizza will taste more like a "thin" Papa John's style pizza. For some examples of what the pizza is likely to look like, see this thread:,1707.0.html.

    If you prefer to make a single pizza but bigger than 10", for example, a 14" pizza, the modified dough formulation will look like this:

    Flour (100%):
    Water (56.5%):
    ADY (1.5%):
    Salt (1.75%):
    Olive Oil (6.56213%):
    Sugar (4.36023%):
    Total (170.67236%):
    268.82 g  |  9.48 oz | 0.59 lbs
    151.88 g  |  5.36 oz | 0.33 lbs
    4.03 g | 0.14 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.07 tsp | 0.36 tbsp
    4.7 g | 0.17 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.84 tsp | 0.28 tbsp
    17.64 g | 0.62 oz | 0.04 lbs | 3.92 tsp | 1.31 tbsp
    11.72 g | 0.41 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.94 tsp | 0.98 tbsp
    458.79 g | 16.18 oz | 1.01 lbs | TF = 0.105128
    Note: For a single 14" pizza

    To come up with a formulation that more closely replicates a Papa John's pizza, I would use a thickness factor of around 0.136. If I plug that number into the expanded dough calculating tool, along with the same baker's percents as discussed above, and assuming a pizza size of 14", the dough formulation becomes:

    Flour (100%):
    Water (56.5%):
    ADY (1.5%):
    Salt (1.75%):
    Olive Oil (6.56213%):
    Sugar (4.36023%):
    Total (170.67236%):
    347.76 g  |  12.27 oz | 0.77 lbs
    196.48 g  |  6.93 oz | 0.43 lbs
    5.22 g | 0.18 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.38 tsp | 0.46 tbsp
    6.09 g | 0.21 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.09 tsp | 0.36 tbsp
    22.82 g | 0.8 oz | 0.05 lbs | 5.07 tsp | 1.69 tbsp
    15.16 g | 0.53 oz | 0.03 lbs | 3.8 tsp | 1.27 tbsp
    593.52 g | 20.94 oz | 1.31 lbs | TF = 0.136
    Note: For a single 14" Papa John's style pizza

    Using the last dough formulation, the finished pizza is likely to look like the one at Reply 52 at,6758.msg66312.html#msg66312. I used honey instead of sugar in that dough formulation but note the overall similarity of the values of ingredients used.

    As you can see, once you have the baker's percents for the recipe, along with thickness factors, it is quite easy to manipulate the recipe to produce pretty much anything you want in terms of numbers of pizzas, pizza size and crust thickness. When creating dough formulations as I have done above, I usually use a bowl residue compensation factor in the dough calculating tool to compensate for minor dough losses during preparation of the dough. For a stand mixer, I will usually use a value of 1.5%. For a hand kneaded dough, I will use a value of about 2.5-3%.

    If there is a particular size or crust thickness that you would like to experiment with that is not presented above, or if you would like to change any of the baker's percents, feel free to let me know. You might even play around with the expanded dough calculating tool to get a better feel for how it works.

    As for your wife, who prefers a thin and crispy crust, you might want to take a look at this thread:,5762.0.html. That thread is based on one of the most popular cracker-style recipe on the forum, at, and discusses measures that I and others have taken to roll out the dough without the need for a sheeter/roller. As you will see there, the key is using heat to temper the dough before rolling it out.


  • #17 by Pete-zza on 16 Oct 2009
  • For the record, one of our members, Grilling24x7 (John), recently tried one of the "emergency" dough formulations (the 14" pizza dough formulation) set forth in the last post, and posted his results at,9453.msg81835.html#msg81835. To the best of my knowledge, John is the first member to try the recipe and report back to the forum on his results.

  • #18 by Pete-zza on 23 Aug 2011
  • For a recent attempt by Mike (Essen1) using the same dough formulation as used by Grilling24x7 (John) and referenced in the last post, see Reply 657 at,8093.msg150523.html#msg150523.