Sorry to pick on you DOP, but how does one determine the thickness factor they "want"?

I "have" determined my "thickness factor" by the amount of sauce/toppings I intend to add, but that has never given me a numerical digit that I could use.

Do I really need to measure the thickness of my dough to be able to use a "thickness factor"?

Or, the real question is, how do I correlate "thickness factor" to the pizzas that I make?

Just another ignorant question from an ingnorant PizzAmateur.

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Toppings are not included in thickness factor, it is based on how thick or thin the bread part of the pizza is. For NY pies you typically see slices in the range of .07 to .10 TF... That is just what the norm is around here for NY. Street slices might be closer to .10 while the "ny elite" slices are thinner in the .08 and .07 range.

To determine what you want may require some testing or checking out other threads here and finding something that appeals to you. For me I just decided I will use the Lehmann recipe and adjust the thickness factor using the dough calculator on this site. I started off using .10 TF... Next time I used .09 TF and then I played around with .08 and .07 I decided I liked the .09 and .08 thickness slices the best.

As long as you are using the dough calculator, input your bakers percentages and desired TF and desired pizza size you can use any recipe and customize the TF and size with the calculator.

to answer your last question you don't need to physically measure anything, if you want to find out what TF you are currently using on your pies, measure your usual dough ball weight and note it, also if you know how many inches your usual pies are that is important to know too. simply input the bakers percentage of your recipe in the dough calculator and input the pizza size you usually make, Now adjust the TF value until you get the total dough ball weight that you noted earlier and that will be the tf value you normally use for your pies and you will notice all the other ingredients weight being totaled up in real time as you change TF values. Now that you know the TF value you can decide if you want to go up or down for your next pies and it will automatically adjust recipe for you.

I hope I explained that right.