Author Topic: Dough Usage ::: restaurant VS home  (Read 2392 times)

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Offline snowdy

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Dough Usage ::: restaurant VS home
« on: March 01, 2005, 04:14:40 AM »
As someone who eventually wants to open a pizza joint (and this is years off since im a total freakin novice) ..... i am wondering if anyone can explain the difference in dough handling in a restaurant versus at home.

at home we mix, refridgerate overnight (24 hours usually), then break out the dough for a few hours and shape.

but in a restaurant, how does the process work? Do most use the 24 hour method? i see some famous places like Di Fara that don't do that. How do they make same day dough? Do they make it in the morning, keep it at room temperature all day? refridgerate at all?

If you had a pizza joint, made a ton of dough one day, refridgerated for 24 hours, then broke out all the dough balls... how would you store it for use throughout the day?

When you order a pizza at a restaurant, where do they take the dough from? Do they have a bunch of balls ready to go at room temperature some place? or do they shape from cooled balls?

I just dont have any understanding on how the process would work... if you were a restaurant with 30 orders an hour... where would you store the dough balls? Where do they pull them from?

any input on this issue is appreciated :D

Offline canadianbacon

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Re: Dough Usage ::: restaurant VS home
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2005, 08:49:56 AM »
Very good question Snowdy.

I don't know the answer, but I'll add this,

when in Montreal I go to a local little pizza place, when you go in to the counter and ask for a pizza, the guy reaches under his counter and pulls out a big gray tub - these  are the same tubs they use in restuarants that they put the used dishes into ... you know sometimes when you are eating somewhere you may see the guys cleaning tables, when people leave... they push a little cart and on the cart is this big gray tub they put the plates into........

well the guy pulls this big tub out, and it's FULL of dough - one HUGE piece of dough... he takes his pastry cutter ( just a steel blade with handle ) and cuts off a piece of dough, and gets the size bang on - all the time - because he's doing it a hundred times a day 7 days a week, just by eye he knows ......

btw, he just has a dish towel ( probabally moistened ) on top of the big tub of dough ....... I would say that at certain times of the day when they know pizza orders will be coming in, they know when to bring the dough out of the fridge, and know when it's perfect.... and I guess they are not worried about the yeast in the dough dieing out or whatnot as the high pizza oven temps will do the trick even with yeast that has piddled out a bit, if sitting in the tub for hours and hours, but then again, that probabally isn't even a factor.....

Btw, the other night on the World Pizza championships, they were mentioning that the American teams let their dough rise for 24-36 hours, yet the Italians make their dough basically a few hours before they bake it.

- another really interesting and bizzare comment I heard was that one of the American pizza guys said that he baked his pizza at 450 ? ..... and that the ovens in Italy were hotter, and he could tell because his pizza was burning.....

I digitized that video, maybe I can pull out that part so people can hear it for yourselves.

Btw, I liked watching this show, but to be fair to the American team, I have to say it wasn't a fair competiton.  The Italians had an advantage for sure, as they were using ovens they were used to, flour they were used to etc.... right at the beginning of the show
they said that the Americans could bring their knowledge, and years of experience, but they had no clue how the ovens even behaved ! .... 

isn't that like a professional car driver driving a new car he's never tried... in a race of his life ?  - not really that fair.

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Offline Gils

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Re: Dough Usage ::: restaurant VS home
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2005, 12:41:21 PM »
I think it all depends on where you go. Some places have batches of dough and they just cut off chuncks and spread them out, or user a roller press. Others make the dough fresh in big batches and individually cut the dough to spec and place in proffing trays in a refrigerator for anywhere from a couple to several days worth of time. Others make the dough and put in the pans to proof that way and just top. Others actually import premade pizza crusts and just thaw them out.  It varies from place to place and pizza type. 

Two different places I worked, we made our own dough fresh in batches that took a 25 lb sack of flour. We then cut the dough after mixing. In one place all the dough balls we uniform..about 5 oz I think, and we put as many needed together to create the size pizza we needed. (ie one for an 8 inch, two for 12 and so on all the way up to a 28" that took if I remember 12 pieces of dough.  We had a big clear window near the prep area so customers could see us throw pizza up or to each other back and forth.  This dough was usually made during the afternoon & placed in stackable proofing trays in a refrigerator for the next days use. Approx 24 hours or so.

At the other place we made the dough balls in individual proffing trays & cut them to size depending on the size of pizza they would make.   This was also done in a big batch for the next days use, although if you were busy you would get into them early if needed.   

Another place was more interested in uniform pizza and fast delivery. the cusomers got the same pizza everytime, as we were a model of efficiency. Premade pizza crusts frozen and shipped to us in boxes according to size. Thaw them in a walk in reefer and pull them out. Dock them & cornmeal them, put them on a screen and dress them with a scale. Put them into a conveyor driven air bake type oven and in 4:40 they were at the other end done. The place was family friendly so it made for serious pizza sales even with okay pizza.

It pretty much all depends on what type of pizza & service you want to serve and the clients you are looking to have frequent your place as to what works for you.

Just my  0.02 worth.


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Dough Usage ::: restaurant VS home
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2005, 11:25:16 AM »

As a veteran in the pizza making business, Mike has pretty much covered the territory.

While I don't have any aspirations to go into the pizza making business, I too have wondered how different pizza operators handle their dough mangement. One of the best places to get answers to your kinds of questions is to go to the PMQ Think Tank forum. If you read the daily postings religiously and even use the search feature to look at archived postings, you will learn quite a bit about how professional pizza operators run their businesses on a day to day basis since the PMQ forum is populated by mainly pizza operators and PMQ employees/contributors who cater to professional pizza operators. An example of what I am referring to is a typical post on dough management (and emergency dough) such as this one: http://www.pmq.com/cgi-bin/tt/index.cgi/read/8348.

You are correct that DiFara's does not use refrigeration of the dough. I also have wondered about Dom DeMarco's dough management. He uses a blend of 00 flour and high-gluten flour for his doughs. DiFara's business hours are 11:00AM to 10PM. With those hours, I suppose DiFara's dough makers could start a batch of dough after the close of business in the late evening (to be ready for the next business day's lunch crowd) and make one or more batches starting/staggered in the morning-to-noon period for the afternoon/dinner crowd. Maybe Mike or one of our many other members with professional experience can tell us how DiMarco is likely to manage his dough.

« Last Edit: March 02, 2005, 10:26:46 PM by Pete-zza »