In view of the many variations possible using Tom Lehmann's NY style dough recipe, I thought it might be useful to explain to readers how to design their own Tom Lehmann NY style pizzas. By "design", I mean to determine what weight of dough ball you will need to produce a Tom Lehmann NY style pizza of any desired size and thickness and to determine how much of each ingredient you will need to produce that particular weight of dough. The benefit of doing this is to produce only what you will need for the pizza you want, and not finding yourself with leftover dough or having miscalculated and produced less dough than what you really needed or wanted.

Assume, for example, that you would like to make a 14-inch New York style, thin-crust dough based on Tom L.'s recipe, and that you have elected to use a 62% hydration percentage (roughly in the middle of the range recited in the recipe) and instant yeast at the high end of the range recited in the recipe.

The first thing you will need to do is to calculate the weight of dough ball you will need to produce the 14-inch, thin, pizza. This is done using this expression, which has appeared many times at this site:

W = Pi (i.e., 3.14) x R x R x TF,

where R is the radius of the pizza (in our example, 14/2 = 7 inches) and TF is the thickness factor, having a value of 0.10 for a thin pizza. So, for the 14-inch pizza, you will need 3.14 x 7 x 7 x 0.10, or 15.386 ounces of dough. If you would prefer a thicker pizza, or because you deem a New York style pizza to be a "medium" thickness pizza rather than thin, that is not a problem. You would just use 0.11 or something approximating that as the thickness factor. I chose 0.10 for my example because Tom L. himself, in the recipe, characterizes the NY style pizza as being "thin". (All of the thickness factors I reference come from PMQ.)

The next step is to determine how much of each dough ingredient you will need to produce the dough ball weighing 15.386 ounces (don't worry about the several places after the decimal point, since we will round out later). To do this, you will need the baker's percents. In our case, Tom L. has made the task easy for us by providing the specific baker's percents for his recipe. They are as follows:

Flour (high-gluten), 100%

Water, 58-65%

Salt, 1.75%

Oil, 1.0%

Yeast, 0.50-0.75% for compressed yeast; 0.25-0.375%

for active dry yeast (ADY): and 0.17-0.25% for

instant dry yeast (IDY) (Note: the ADY and IDY

quantities are 1/2 and 1/3 of the compressed

yeast, by weight)

Using the above baker's percents, we can now start to calculate the weights of ingredients we will need for our 15.386 ounce dough ball, beginning with the flour. To do this, all that is necessary is to add up all the percentages for all of the ingredients--including the specific hydration percentage we have chosen in our example, 62%, and the specific percentage of IDY we have chosen, 0.25% (the upper limit of the IDY range). So, this summation yields: 100% (flour) + 62% (the selected hydration percentage) + 1.75% (salt) + 1.0% (oil) + 0.25% (the selected amount of IDY), or 165. We then divide this number by 100 (to simply the calculations) and divide the result, that is, 1.65. into the dough ball weight, 15.386 ounces, we calculated above. This gives us about 9.33 ounces (15.386/1.65) as the weight of flour we will need for the 15.386 ounce dough ball. This can be rounded out to 9.35 ounces.

To calculate the weights of the remaining ingredients for our hypothetical recipe, we use the 9.35 ounce number and multiply it by the individual percentages for the remaining ingredients. This is where the % key on the calculator comes in handy, although if you are careful with your entries, you don't need to have or use the % key. Multiplying 9.35 by the individual percentages yields--with appropriate rounding--the following recipe amounts:

Flour (high-gluten), 9.35 oz.

Water (at 62%), 5.80 oz.

Salt, 0.16 oz.

Oil, 0.09 oz.

Yeast (at 0.25% IDY), 0.023 oz.

Note that if you add up all the weights as noted above, the total will come to about 15.4 oz., or just about equal to the weight we calculated using the above expression (it will be exact if the weights are carried out to several decimal places.) This is a good cross check on the math, to be sure that you haven't made any errors. It's easy enough to do when you are working out to several decimal places (and I hope I haven't made any such errors here in this post

).

For those with decent scales, the flour and water usually pose no problem to weigh. However, for the salt, oil and yeast, which would require an expensive scale to weigh because of their very small quantities, it is easier in a home setting to use conversion data to convert from weight to volume. Steve and others at this forum have developed this conversion data previously for salt, oil and ADY (and other dough ingredients), by weighing cup-sized quantities and converting to teaspoons, and I recently did the same for IDY. This is basically the last step in the process of finalizing your recipe for the dough ball you "designed". These are the conversion factors you will need (I have also included the conversion factor for sugar which, as indicated in previous posts in this thread, is optional in Tom L.'s recipe):

1 t. salt = 0.196875 oz.

1 t. oil = 0.1645833 oz.

1 t. ADY = 0.133333 oz.

1 t. IDY = 0.10625 oz.

1 t. sugar = 0.140625 oz.

To use the above conversion data, all that is necessary is to divide the weight of the salt, oil and IDY in the above recipe by the respective weights listed in the conversion table. So, for example, to convert the 0.16 ounces of salt in the recipe for our hypothetical dough ball to a volume measurement, divide 0.16 by 0.196875, which comes to roughly 0.80 t., or slightly more than 3/4 t. Doing this for all the ingredients gives us the final recipe:

Flour (high-gluten), 9.35 oz. (about 2 3/8 c.)

Water (62% hydration), 5.8 oz. (about 3/4 c.)

Salt, 0. 80 t., or a little bit over 3/4 t.

Oil, 0.57 t., or about 1/2 to 5/8 t.

Yeast (0.25% IDY), 0.22 t., or slightly less than 1/4 t.

And, that's it

. With a little practice, the above exercise will become second nature and make you wish that all recipes were stated in baker's percents. And it will bring the scientist out in you. Build it and they will come

.

Note that Tom L.'s recipe can be modified in any way desired to produce any size or thickness of dough with any desired hydration percentage (within the specified range) and with any type of yeast (within the respective specified ranges). It will be necessary, of course, to add up all the percentages, as described above, to arrive at the number that will be used as the divisor to divide into the calculated dough ball weight. Since ADY is preferred by some bakers, I have included the conversion data (weight to volume) in the above conversion table. As a final example--just to show how easy it is to make changes to Tom L.'s recipe to suit individual circumstances--if one wanted to make a dough ball with a hydration percentage of 60% and use ADY at 0.30%, the summation would be 100% (flour) + 60% (water) + 1.75% (salt) + 1.0% (oil) + 0.30% (ADY) = 163.05. Dividing this number by 100 gives us 1.6305, and the amount of flour needed in this example would be 15.386/1.6305, or 9.44 ounces, or roughly 9.45 ounces. The weights of the rest of the ingredients would be determined in the same manner as described above. (Note: When using ADY, I usually proof in about 1 T. of warm water, leaving the rest of the water available for temperature adjustment in order to achieve a finished dough temperature of about 80 degrees F. I subtract the 1 T. of water from the total.)

I hope that this "tutorial", which can be used for any dough recipe specified in baker's percents, helps those who care to become pizza "designers"

.

Peter