Author Topic: NY Pizza...dough weight vs. diameter of pie  (Read 23373 times)

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Offline Westcoastoffense

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NY Pizza...dough weight vs. diameter of pie
« on: October 31, 2011, 11:19:41 AM »

I'm somewhat new to these boards, but have lurked for a long time and gleaned lots of great info from pm.com over the years. I'm getting a little more serious about my pizza now, and had a question for the NY pizza afficionados here.

I'm wondering if there is a standard pie size that most prefer to make? I usually start with a 16 ounce dough ball and hand toss it to about 14-15". It seems to me that the dough is a little thicker than I like, especially 1-2" away from the crust. My tossing (stretching, really) technique is ok and I do get a good taper, but am wondering if I should reduce the weight of the dough ball while still stretching the dough skin to 15 inches...maybe a 12 ounce dough ball?

Offline RoadPizza

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Re: NY Pizza...dough weight vs. diameter of pie
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2011, 12:06:12 AM »
Your dough is thick near the edge because you're still new to stretching the dough - your hands are still too close to the center of the dough while stretching it out.  Before laying your stretched out dough onto your pizza peel or screen, lay your dough out on a lightly floured table and you'll see the spots that are still a little thick.  All you have to do is press down on the thick parts of your dough before transferring it to your peel or screen.

I think your dough ball size is fine (and it might actually be a little on the low side for me).  If you use a 12 oz. ball and stretch it to 15", it might be a little thin for NY style.  But since you're making it for yourself, it wouldn't hurt you to try it.


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Re: NY Pizza...dough weight vs. diameter of pie
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2011, 02:31:15 AM »
Phil, in this forum, we use a term called 'thickness factor.'  Thickness factor is the weight of the dough, in ounces, per square inch.  If you use the Pizza Dough Calculating Tool found here:


you can plug in the desired thickness factor and ratios of each ingredient and it does all the math for you.

Your inclination to use less dough for NY style is on the money. 16 oz. of dough stretched to 14" gives a thickness factor of .10, while a stretching it to 15" gives a factor of .09.  Authentic NY style pizza should be between .07 and .08, with .075 being a good target to shoot for. .075 for a 15" pizza requires 13.5 oz. of dough.

One thing to bear in mind regarding thickness factor is that, if your pizza doesn't have good oven spring, the values I'm giving you will seem way too thin.  In order to achieve good oven spring, you need to have quite a few ducks in a row- good flour, the right amount of water, proper fermentation, good stretching techniques, etc.... but the biggest player in the oven spring equation is bake time.  Many home pizza bakers have oven configurations that produce oven spring deprived long bake times.  This is why you see a lot of recipes denoting much larger dough balls for a given diameter- weak home ovens and inferior baking stones. If you want a real slice, though, you've got to go the extra mile and setup your oven correctly.

I noticed in your profile that you like NY and California styles.  In my opinion, California is just NY with crazy toppings, so this thickness factor should work for both.  I also noticed your favorite pizza is Cheeseboard. I pulled up some photos, and, to be honest, I don't think Cheeseboard is either pure NY or pure California. The thickness factor is definitely a little thick and, from what I can tell, the oil content is kind of high, making this more of an American/NY hybrid with California toppings.  If that's what you're shooting for, then your present thickness of .09 may not be that far off. You can try .085, but, for cloning one of their pies, I wouldn't go much lower than that.

One of the hardest parts of forming pizza dough, as Roadpizza alludes to, is getting that pre-crust usually sauce only area thin enough. It takes some to time to master, but the easiest method for thinning out this area properly can be found in this video here:

Specifically watch from 1:32 to 1:56 where he talks about 'turning it.'  Press out the dough ball, turn it, then knuckle stretch, being careful to knuckle stretch the edges and not the middle. For the longest time, I just pressed the dough, then knuckle stretched, and, it wasn't until I mastered turning that I was able to get the right thickness on the outermost part of the sauce area.