Author Topic: Dough Storage for NY Style Street Pie  (Read 2409 times)

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Offline Crusty

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Dough Storage for NY Style Street Pie
« on: February 19, 2005, 04:27:55 PM »
Each weekend we make four -- 16 inch pies each based on Pete-zza's/Tom Lehmann's dough recipe.  When storing the dough balls,   should we store the 4 dough balls in seperate rubber maid containers for 24 hours, one container, or another suggestion?

Best regards,   


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Dough Storage for NY Style Street Pie
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2005, 05:42:26 PM »

There are basically two ways of doing it. One is to make one big dough ball, refrigerate it in a single container, and divide it into smaller balls when ready for use (either coming out of the refrigerator or after a warmup period). The second is to divide the big dough ball into separate dough balls right after mixing, and then storing the individual dough balls in separate containers for purposes of refrigeration.

For four 16-oz. pizzas, I think the second option is the far better one. It is also consistent with the original Lehmann dough recipe (the industrial size one), which calls for dividing the dough into individual dough balls after mixing, and then refrigerating separately. The purpose of doing this is to try to get the dough balls to cool off as fast as possible. Obviously, four small dough balls will cool off faster than one big dough ball equal in weight to the four dough balls because of each ball's much smaller mass. Using a refrigerator to do the cooling rather than an industrial cooler that operates at lower temperatures makes it even more important to divide the dough ball into smaller ones to facilitate cooling.  Lehmann also frequently points out that the fermentation process will be slowed down faster if the dough balls are small, again because of more rapid cooling.

As I have noted before, I prefer to use plastic storage bags or empty bread bags for storage purposes because they are lightweight, compact (they are easily stored in small spaces in the refrigerator), and cool down faster than other containers with a larger mass that impede the cooling of the dough balls because they themselves are being cooled along with the dough balls (although you can offset this somewhat by precooling the other containers). I also usually flatten the dough balls in the storage bags into disks by pressing against the dough balls from outside the bags. This is done to further facilitate more rapid cooling because a disk will cool faster than a round ball.

An additional advantage to forming separate balls is that they are much easier to handle. They are already discrete (round or flattened), you don't have to worry about how to divide a refrigerated single large dough ball into smaller balls and reshaping them to get them generally round, and you don't run the risk of deflating the dough from all the added handling, either after the big dough ball comes out of the refrigerator or after warming up the big dough ball (which will also require a longer warmup time than several smaller balls). The right way to get the individual dough balls in the right size and weight is to weigh them on a scale right after mixing and before the balls go into the refrigerator. At that point it is easy to adjust the weights to get them equal.

« Last Edit: February 19, 2005, 05:49:24 PM by Pete-zza »