Flour is designated on a scale indicating how finely ground the flour is and how much of the bran and germ have been removed, ranging from 2 (wholemeal flour) to 00 (the most highly refined and talcum-powder soft). 00 flour can be made from Italian grains and/or blends of other grains to achieve a range of protein content of 10–13% and a maximum moisture content of 14.5%. There are many 00 flours available in the U.S. market, one of the popular Italian brands is produced by Caputo (available online Here). There are also domestic versions of the 00 flour (e.g., Gold Medal Neapolitan Pizza Flour). Click here for sources and additional information. It is important to note that unmalted 00 flours, such as Caputo Pizzeria, are most often used in the making of Neapolitan pizza in ovens capable of exceeding 800℉ and are therefore not recommended for lower temperature applications. Malted 00 flours, such as Caputo Americana, are specifically made for lower temperature applications.


A measurement established by flour producers to describe the capacity of a flour to absorb water and achieve a desired dough consistency. The value is expressed in terms of percent of water absorbed by a flour sample during the measurement test. The measurement is a laboratory measurement and, hence, is not identical to the hydration ratio actually achieved in field applications, although it is usually quite close.
A dried form of yeast that, before combining with other dough ingredients, is activated by re-hydration, or proofing, in warm water (or other liquid) at around 105–115℉ for about 10 minutes. Some brands of active dry yeast can also be combined with a portion of the flour and other dry ingredients, in which case the temperature of the liquid used (usually water) can be as high as 120–130℉ Advantages of active dry yeast include convenience of use and long storage life, especially when sealed and frozen in an airtight container. Click here for additional information on ADY, and other forms of yeast as well.
Flour with a protein level of 10–12%. Ideal for general baking purposes. Higher protein flours make firmer, stronger doughs while lower protein flours produce softer, weaker doughs. Cake flour is typically 7–9% protein; pastry, or cookie, 9–10%; all-purpose, 10–12%; bread, 12.5–13.5%; clear and high-gluten, 14–15%; and gluten "flour" (actually refined gluten), 45%. Click here for additional information on all-purpose flour, and other flours as well.
Alpha-amylase is an enzyme that develops when grain sprouts. It has a direct impact on dough and final bread quality and can adversely affect the malting process. For example, as little as 5% sprouted grain, mixed with 95% good grain, can render the entire mixture unacceptable (e.g., a wet and sticky dough). A certain amount of alpha-amylase is necessary for proper baking to occur. The alpha-amylase breaks down starches (damaged starch) in the flour to provide sugars to help feed the yeast and fuel the fermentation process. The amount of enzyme present can have a direct bearing upon the quality of the finished product. When the alpha-amylase activity is right, a high volume crumb with firm and soft texture is achieved. If the activity is too high, a sticky crumb and low volume may result. If the activity is too low, a dry crumb with large holes may result. Measured using the "falling number" method. See also falling number. In addition to cereal forms of amylase (notably barley malt), there are also fungal and bacterial forms of amylase.
An organic acid more commonly known as Vitamin C and commonly used as an additive for flour and also for instant dry yeast, and sometimes with active dry yeast. When added to flour, it acts as an oxidizing agent (by virtue of acting with atmospheric oxygen), which makes it easier to form the gluten network (by preventing the gluten bonds from breaking down) during kneading of the dough. When used with yeast, it acts as a nutrient and provides an acidic environment for the yeast so that it acts faster and longer.
A term used in relation to flour to indicate its mineral content. The higher the ash count, the more minerals are present in the flour, and vice versa. To calculate the ash count, a sample of the flour is incinerated and the remains (the "ash") are then weighed in relation to the original sample weight to calculate the ash count for that flour. The ash count can serve as an indication of the degree of refinement of the flour since a flour from which most of the bran has been removed will have a lower ash count than one from which less bran has been removed. A flour with a high ash count will also be slightly darker than one with a low ash count because of the higher amount of bran. Today, ash count has even less of a relationship to milling quality than it did a few decades ago because new wheat varieties and richer soils have made higher ash levels the norm, with typical ash values commonly being around 0.50% for domestic wheat varieties.
A rest period, typically lasting 15–45 minutes, during which flour and especially the protein in the flour fully absorb the water before the yeast and salt are added and fermentation activity begins. Full absorption allows the gluten structure to form better, more complex bonds and serves to reduce oxidation of the dough and shorten the overall mix time. Autolyse also helps increase the extensibility of the dough due to the action of protease enzymes in the flour to break down the gluten slightly during the autolyse. Over time, the term "autolyse" has come to be used to refer to almost any rest period during the mix/knead cycle even though such use is not technically an autolyse as conceived by its originator, the late Prof. Raymond Calvel, professor emeritus of baking sciences at L'ecole Francais de Meunerie and author of the classic work on European breadmaking, LeGout de Pain. The term autolyse is pronounced ah-toh-leez.


A mathematical tool and "language" used by bakers to analyze recipes and to scale or re-size recipes up or down in quantity. It is a weight-based system in which the percentage of each ingredient is stated in relation to the weight of the flour, which always has a baker's percent of 100%. In the context of pizza dough production, baker's percents can be used to determine the quantities of ingredients required to make any dough batch size or number of pizzas of any given size and crust thickness.
An Italian term that generally means preferment. A biga is made from a mixture of flour, water, a small amount of commercial yeast, but no salt, and typically uses a hydration sufficient to achieve a generally quite stiff, dough-like consistency, much like the final dough into which it is to be incorporated. It is allowed to ferment and ripen at room temperature for several hours (typically 12–24 hours or more) before incorporating into the final dough. Although bigas most often use commercial yeast, a biga can also be made using naturally occurring (wild) yeast. Such a biga is sometimes referred to as a "Biga Natural." The term "biga" is pronounced bee-gah.
The development of gluten in a dough by biochemical means during fermentation as opposed to the development of the gluten by the mixing/kneading of the dough prior to fermentation. If the fermentation of the dough becomes overextended (i.e., the dough becomes overfermented), the acid byproducts of the biochemical development of the dough, along with protease enzymes in the dough, can attack and degrade the gluten structure and cause the water in the dough to be released from its chemical bond with the flour, resulting in a dough that can be overly soft and damp or wet and difficult to handle and manage without forming weak spots or other defects at the time of opening the dough to form a skin (see SKIN). Consequently, it is important that the fermentation and biochemical gluten development be controlled to insure that the dough does not become overfermented.
Flour with a protein level of 12.5–13.5%. Ideal for breads and "hand tossed" thin crust pizza. Higher protein flours make firmer, stronger doughs while lower protein flours produce softer, weaker doughs. Cake flour is typically 7–9% protein; pastry, or cookie, 9–10%; all-purpose, 10–12%; bread, 12.5–13.5%; clear and high-gluten, 14–15%; and gluten "flour" (actually refined gluten), 45%. Click here for additional information on bread flour, and other flours as well.
A cheese made from the milk of water buffaloes (river water buffaloes). The cheese is generally considered to be of high quality because the water buffalo milk from which the cheese is made is thicker than regular milk, whiter (porcelain-white), with more butterfat, and more non-fat solids. (It also has 38% more calcium and 43% less cholesterol than cow's milk.) The cheese is a firm, stringy-textured cheese with a thin rind and delicate taste. Its principal drawback for the average home pizza maker is that the cheese has to be imported from Italy, mainly the Campania region of southern Italy (which is home to over eighty percent of Italy's water buffaloes), and, accordingly, is expensive compared with domestic cow's milk mozzarella cheeses. It also starts to deteriorate in quality fairly quickly. As of this writing, there are no known commercial sources of buffalo mozzarella cheese.


A relatively low-protein flour (typically 7–8.5%) milled from soft red winter wheat and used primarily for baking cakes and similar soft baked goods. It is often combined with other flours, including all-purpose, pastry and bread flour, to simulate imported Italian 00 flours for use in making Neapolitan-style pizzas. It has a typical absorption rate of about 53%, ± 2%. It is one of the few flours to be bleached by King Arthur, which is done to achieve greater volume.
One of the identifying characteristics of California style pizza is the toppings. California style tends to use exotic toppings and "off-the-beaten-path" combinations. While it is difficult to determine the origins of this style, some think it started in the 1970s or early 1980s. Back in the 1970s, creative culinary experts like Wolfgang Puck started experimenting with different, non-traditional toppings and later, around the mid-1980s, concepts like California Pizza Kitchen began selling the West Coast style. The dough has the same protein content as Chicago style, but the dough is mixed until it is smooth. The dough is placed in the pan and allowed to rise. In many cases these crusts are par-baked (sometimes called double baked) to order. This is done to help retain the height after baking and it also contributes to the crispy eating characteristic. The crust is light, airy and tender, which comes from the flour and proofing. Toppings tend to range from shrimp and asparagus to smoked salmon and other seafoods. Vegetarian combinations are also predominant. Source: PMQ.
CALVEL (Prof. Raymond)
Was a recognized expert on the production of quality French and other European hearth breads and the originator (in the 1970s) of the autolyse method and other aspects of dough and bread making. Was a professor of baking sciences at the L'ecole Francais de Meunerie and the author of the classic work on bread production, Le Gout du Pain (his book was translated into English as The Taste of Bread). He is considered by many to be the "father" of bread making. Calvel died in 2005 at the age of 92.
A well-known and popular natural Italian (Naples region) sourdough culture, or starter, used to make naturally leavened doughs. Users of this culture report that it is has a mild and complex flavor although results may vary depending on how the culture is managed. The Camaldoli culture can be purchased Here, along with another well-known and popular sourdough culture, the Ischia culture (see Ischia culture). The two cultures, which were first made available to Sourdoughs International by a member of the pizzamaking.com forum, Marco Parente (a.k.a. pizzanapoletana), who captured the Camaldoli culture on Naples' Camaldoli Hill, are sold together at Sourdoughs International but may be available from other sources separately. However, care should be exercised in such cases since the provenance of the cultures may be in question.
Chemical leavening systems are chemical ingredients that are use to aerate and leaven a dough. In the context of pizza dough, such chemical leavening systems are commonly used in pizza mixes and bake-to-rise doughs. They can be used alone or together with regular yeast (more below). Typical chemical leavening systems include an alkaline ingredient, most commonly baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), and an acid ingredient, most commonly sodium aluminum phosphate (SALP). Together, the baking soda and the SALP form a single-acting baking powder. The baking soda produces carbon dioxide gases when exposed to water, and the SALP becomes highly active during baking. Bake-to-rise doughs, both cold fermented and frozen, typically include a combination of baking soda and SALP as mentioned above, together with regular yeast. Sometimes the chemical ingredients are encapsulated so that they do not start to act until the doughs are baked. Most dry pizza mixes contain only a single-acting baking powder, but a few also contain regular yeast. Some frozen pizzas use a combination of only baking soda and regular yeast.
One of the identifying features of Chicago style pizza is its deep dish. In 1943, Ike Sewell created a deep-dish pizza. Ike's belief was if you made a pizza with massive amounts of ingredients (especially sausage) it would become a hearty meal choice for people. He was right, so he opened Pizzeria Uno which specialized in deep-dish pizza and started the Chicago style phenomenon. Chicago style pizza is usually eaten with a knife and fork rather than the hands because it is so thick and heavy. The dough, which contrary to many beliefs, is not really thick, but has a biscuit-like texture and has raised high on the sides of seasoned deep dish pans to hold all of the ingredients in. The cheese is placed directly on the dough and toppings added on top of that. The top is cheesed and sauced with a chunky sauce with a light sprinkling of cheese scattered on top of the sauce. Cooking times are usually longer due to the overall thickness of the pizza. The dough used for this style usually contains 10.5–11.5% protein and is under-mixed (not smooth.) Table grade margarine is used in the pans to add a slight, fried crispness, which contributes to the rich flavor and aids as a release agent in helping to get the baked pizzas out of the pan. Source: PMQ.
The fermentation of a dough under refrigeration, usually for an extended period of time, for the purpose of developing better flavors and aromas in the finished crust through increased production of fermentation byproducts.
A fresh form of yeast also commonly referred to as "fresh" or "cake" yeast. It is a "wet" form of yeast inasmuch as it has a moisture content of around 70%, which makes it faster acting than dry yeasts and, hence, attractive to bakers and pizza operators who must use yeast regularly and in high volume in their businesses. This form of yeast is also available to consumers in small packages (usually 0.6 ounces, or 17g.) sold in the refrigerated sections of many supermarkets. In use, the compressed yeast is either hydrated ("proofed") in tepid water (80–90℉) before using or crumbled and mixed into the flour and other dry ingredients. The principal drawback of this form of yeast is that it is highly perishable and has a short shelf life (refrigerated), usually around two weeks or less. For consumers (but not for bakers) it is also considerably more expensive than dry yeasts on an equivalency basis. Click here for additional information on compressed yeast, and other forms of yeast as well.
Italian term for the "lip" or the outer puffy edge of the pizza.
Pizza Hut made the cracker style crust popular back in the 1950s and they are still identified with this style. The dough is under-mixed according to Tom Lehmann, formerly with the American Institute of Baking. It is mixed until you can still see some of the white flour (only about five minutes). This dough needs to be fermented for five or six hours and must be sheeted to obtain its layered, cracker-like texture. The toppings and cheese are modestly applied and not piled up high and a thinner sauce usually works best. Source: PMQ.
A term used by bakers to define the inside of a bread or pizza crust, that is, its internal cell structure. Many factors can influence the cell structure of the crumb. For example, a high hydration dough that has not been overkneaded and has been properly proofed and shaped prior to baking, can yield a very good oven spring and a crumb that is open and airy with a lot of large, irregularly-sized and shaped holes (called alveoles). Conversely, a dough with low hydration and rolled rather than hand shaped just prior to baking can yield a crust with poorer oven spring and a crumb that has small, even-sized and tightly formed cells.
A circular solid or perforated metal pan with sloping sides and a sharp exposed outer edge for permitting a rolled out or sheeted dough that has been draped over the sharp edge of the pan to be cut to fit the pan by rolling a rolling pin over the dough and pan.


A baking ingredient derived as a byproduct of cheese production and processed into a dry form for use in doughs to promote greater crust browning. Dried dairy whey includes around 70% lactose, a milk sugar. It's the only simple sugar that is not metabolized (consumed) by yeast. But it contributes to browning of the crust. The lactose also has a low sweetness factor, so it won't be detected in the crust. So the result will be better color in the finished crust but not the accompanying sweetness. The usual rate of use of dairy whey is around 4% by weight of flour.
Starch in flour that is damaged during milling (and sometimes inherent in the wheat grain.) Damaged starch in a flour is important because enzymes in the flour, namely alpha- and beta-amylase, work on the damaged starch to produce compounds that are converted to simple sugars for feeding the yeast during fermentation and also to contribute to the residual sugars in the dough at the time of baking to promote better crust browning.
A barley malt commonly used in flours to increase the extraction of sugars from the flours for use as food for the yeast during fermentation and to increase the residual sugars in the dough at the time of baking to promote increased crust browning. The diastatic malt is produced from barley that has been sprouted, dried and ground into flour. The diastatic malt works through enzymatic activity (it provides additional alpha-amylase) to release sugar from the damaged starch molecules of flour. Diastatic malt is available in both dry and liquid form. The amount of diastatic malt to use should not be so excessive as to cause the dough after mixing to be slack or sticky inasmuch as this can result in a gummy crumb in the baked crust. There are also forms of diastatic malt, sometimes called low diastatic malt blends that, in addition to including barley malt, also include a form of sugar (usually dextrose) and wheat flour. These blends have degrees Lintner values that are considerably lower than 100 percent diastatic malts, which typically have Lintner degrees values of around 200. See, also, LINTNER VALUE.
D.O.P. (DOP)
An abbreviation for Denominazione d'Origine Protetta, or "denomination of protected origin." This mark is guaranteed by the European Community (EU) and was created to promote the authenticity and artisan characteristics of certain food and agricultural products. These products are split into the categories of cheese, fruit and vegetables, salumi (or meats), and olive oils. A DOP certification guarantees that a product and all phases of production for that product have been carried out in a strictly defined geographic area which, in some cases, can be just a small cluster of villages. Among the pizza related ingredients that are often covered under the D.O.P. mark are San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheeses, olive oils, prosciutto di Parma, grana padano, pecorino Romano, and Parmiggiano Reggiano cheeses.
The act of poking numerous holes into a pizza skin immediately prior to topping which helps prevent large air bubbles from forming in the crust during baking. Usually performed using a specialized tool called a dough docker. Can also be performed using a fork, but this technique can be slow and time consuming.
See 00 FLOUR.
Pizzamaking.com has four dough calculating tools to allow users to scale dough recipes or to create new ones. The dough calculating tools are software- and baker's percent-based. Using the tools, users can scale dough recipes to make large numbers of dough balls (up to a maximum of 99) of any desired weight and be used to make many different types of doughs and pizzas of different sizes (usually round or rectangular/square) and with different crust thicknesses. The four tools and their manner of use are featured HERE.
A general term used for additives that function to help improve the quality of the finished product by altering the way dough behaves. There are four main categories of dough conditioners: enzymes, oxidizing agents, reducing agents, and emulsifiers. Enzymes are biological catalysts that accelerate chemical reactions, such as increasing the extraction of sugar from starch. Oxidizing agents improve the dough strength by forming bonds between the protein chains. Reducing agents weaken the protein by breaking bonds between proteins during mixing, thereby reducing the mixing times and dough elasticity. Emulsifiers strengthen the dough or soften the crumb. Examples of additives falling into the above four categories include diastatic malt, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), L-cysteine (or PZ-44), and lecithin, respectively. Click here for additional information on dough conditioners.
A baking ingredient used to relax dough that is excessively elastic and prone to shrinking and snapping back. The problem is most commonly experienced with doughs made from high-gluten flours. Common examples of ingredients used to relax such doughs so that they can be shaped and stretched to the desired size (diameter) include glutathione (dead yeast cells), L-cysteine, and PZ-44 (a combination of L-cysteine and whey proteins). Since these ingredients are available primarily for use by professional pizza operators, home pizza makers usually rely on high hydration levels and longer periods of fermentation to allow the enzymes in the flour (namely the protease enzymes) to soften the gluten so that the dough becomes sufficiently extensible to shape and stretch out to the desired size. Click here for additional information on dough relaxers.
A powdered milk product commonly added to dough primarily for crust color development (browning). It includes lactose (about 50%), a simple sugar that is primarily responsible for the browning but is not consumed by the yeast. Consequently, the sugar is available during the time of baking as a residual sugar to promote browning. Because lactose has a low sweetness value, it will not be detected as sweetness in the crust. What is important is that the powdered milk be of a high-heat baker's grade form, not the type sold in supermarkets. The baker's grade form of dry milk has been heated at high temperature and otherwise processed to disable certain offending constituents of milk (either a whey protein or an enzyme) so that the dough doesn't become overly slack and soft. A typical rate of use of the baker's grade dry milk is around 3–5% by weight of flour. At higher levels of use, the dry milk can provide a measure of softness in the finished crust.


The capability of dough to return to its original shape after stretching. This effect is often referred to as "dough memory". Generally speaking, doughs made with high-protein, high-gluten flours tend most to exhibit this tendency because of their higher gluten content and their more extensive and stronger gluten network. Doughs will also exhibit high elasticity if they are reworked or re-kneaded just before shaping and stretching, which disorients and misaligns the gluten strands from their relaxed state just prior to reshaping.
The capability of dough to be shaped and stretched without breaking or springing back to its original shape. Generally speaking, doughs made with low-protein low-gluten flours, high hydration levels, and long fermentation times will tend to be more extensible than doughs made with high-protein high-gluten flours, low hydration levels, and short fermentation times.
A super-premium brand of pepperoni produced by the Ezzo Sausage Company based in Columbus, Ohio. Ezzo pepperoni is made by hand in small batches, is very lean (21% fat compared to 28% like most), and has an excellent spice profile.


A term used by millers and bakers to refer to the alpha-amylase activity in flour. The falling number (FN) value has an inverse relationship with the alpha-amylase activity, meaning the higher the alpha-amylase activity the lower the FN value, and vice-versa. For many flours, the falling number is adjusted through the addition of diastatic malt, or fungal or bacterial amylase, to increase the level of enzymatic activity for optimum dough performance under different conditions. Such adjustments are usually done at the mill, but sometimes by the baker. Malted bread flours typically have falling numbers of 250–290. Generally, a falling number value of 350 or greater indicates low enzyme activity. Values below 200 indicate high levels of enzyme activity. For comparison purposes, the King Arthur Sir Lancelot flour, which is a malted flour, has a falling number of 250 ± 30 seconds. By contrast, Caputo's 00 flour, which is unmalted, has a falling number of 340–360 seconds. Quite often, the falling number alone will indicate whether a particular flour is malted or not. Click HERE for additional information on falling numbers and other flour tests as well.
The process by which yeast metabolizes (consumes) simple sugars to produce carbon dioxide and alcohol (ethyl alcohol). The sugars come basically from three sources: a small amount of simple sugars naturally present in the flour, sugars that are converted from complex sugars to simple sugars through a series of conversion operations, and sugar that is released by enzymatic action on damaged starch in the flour (starch that is primarily damaged during milling). The carbon dioxide resulting from fermentation is trapped within the gluten structure, causing the dough to rise. The alcohol is converted to compounds that provide flavor and aroma to the finished crust.
A brand of baking (pizza) stone sold by AWMCO.
The temperature of a dough after mixing/kneading or at the time the dough is subjected to fermentation—either a fermentation at room (ambient) temperature or a cold fermentation in a commercial cooler or home refrigerator. For regular doughs, a typical desired finished dough temperature is about 80–85℉ for a commercial application using a commercial cooler or about 75–80℉ for a home application using a less efficient standard home refrigerator. The finished dough temperature can be higher for a short term or "emergency" dough that is to be made and used within a few hour or lower for a dough that is to be cold fermented for a prolonged period (many days) or for doughs that are to be frozen. Control of the finished dough temperature is through the control of the temperature of the water used to make the dough, consistent with the particular method (including hand kneading) and machine (which generates its own heat through friction) used to make the dough.
"Flower of the Milk," a fresh, soft, whole-milk mozzarella cheese made from the milk of a cow.
Focaccia style pizzas can be identified by the absence of sauce. These pizzas start with a round, flat bread (focaccia) that ranges from 3/8" to as much as 1" in thickness and starts with a medium crust dough. They are topped with oils, grilled vegetables and other toppings and can be found in many gourmet pizzerias. This style of pizza is among the oldest styles of pizzas as they were the first types made before the introduction of tomatoes by European explorers returning from Mexico and Central America. Source: PMQ.
Fresh pack tomatoes are tomatoes that are only packaged during the tomato season. They are vine-ripened and usually processed and packaged within a few hours from being picked in the field. This is in contrast to remanufactured tomatoes where they are picked, processed into a concentrate and packaged at a later date after being reconstituted with water. In the U.S., the major producers of fresh pack tomatoes are Stanislaus Food Products, Escalon Premier Brands (notably their 6 in 1 All Purpose Ground Tomatoes), and the Neil Jones Food Company.
A value, expressed as temperature, that represents the amount of frictional heat imparted to a dough by the particular machine (e.g., stand mixer, food processor, or bread machine) used to mix and knead the dough. This value is used along with other temperature measurements, namely, room temperature and flour temperature, to calculate the temperature of water required to achieve a desired finished dough temperature (usually around 80–85℉, which is considered optimal for fermentation purposes.) Water temperature is selected for adjustment since it is the easiest of all the temperatures to control. The value of FF will vary depending on the type of machine used, the machine speeds used, bowl and dough batch size, and duration of knead.


An elastic, rubbery substance that results when certain proteins in flour, namely glutenin and gliadin, are combined with a liquid (usually water) and mixed together. Prior to this combination the gluten does not exist. When the gluten in dough is properly kneaded, a strong and highly developed gluten network forms that has a honeycomb-like structure which traps gases (i.e., carbon dioxide) produced during fermentation. As the gases are produced in quantity, the gluten structure expands, causing the dough to rise.
A super-premium mozzarella cheese produced by the Grande Cheese Company based in Lomira, Wisconsin. Their signature mozzarella cheese is rich and creamy, soft and tender, with excellent taste and cooking (melting) characteristics. Used by many reputable New York pizzerias, this high-butterfat cheese is credited for leaving those yellow trails of oil running down your arm when you eat a slice of genuine New York-style pizza.


Flour with a protein level of 14–15%. Exceptional for "hand tossed" New York-style pizza and bagels. Higher protein flours make firmer, stronger doughs while lower protein flours produce softer, weaker doughs. Cake flour is typically 7–9% protein; pastry, or cookie, 9–10%; all-purpose, 10–12%; bread, 12.5–13.5%; clear and high-gluten, 14–15%; and gluten "flour" (actually refined gluten), 45%. Click here for additional information on high-gluten flour, and other flours as well.
A term that refers to the capacity of flour to absorb water. Hydration is usually stated as a baker's percent, or ratio, that is equal to the weight of water divided by the weight of flour used in a recipe. Different flours have different capacities to absorb water, with high-protein flours having higher hydration capacities than lower protein flours.
The capacity of a substance to absorb moisture from its surroundings. Flour, salt and sugar (and honey) are good examples of hygroscopic ingredients familiar to pizza makers. The term hygroscopic is sometimes spelled hydroscopic.


A very finely-divided strain of dry yeast that, because of its particular strain and its smaller particle size than active dry yeast (ADY), ordinarily needs no re-hydration, or proofing, in water or other liquid to activate it and can thus be added directly to the flour and other dry ingredients. Moreover, instant dry yeast contains more live cells than active dry yeast, further facilitating its activation. Once in the flour, the instant dry yeast can tolerate liquid temperatures of 120–130℉ Because of all these factors, the instant dry yeast will start to work faster than active dry yeast. Like active dry yeast, advantages of instant dry yeast include convenience of use and long storage life, especially when sealed and frozen in an airtight container. Tom Lehmann, now retired from the American Institute of Baking, recommends that IDY be prehydrated when used to make hand kneaded doughs or where the total mix/knead time is less than about 4–5 minutes. Click here for additional information on IDY, and other forms of yeast as well.
A well-known and popular natural Italian (Naples region) sourdough culture, or starter, used to make naturally leavened doughs. Users of this culture report that it is has a flavor on the somewhat sour side compared with other starter cultures although results may vary depending on how the culture is managed. The Ischia culture can be purchased Here, along with another well-known and popular sourdough culture, the Camaldoli culture (see Camaldoli culture). The two cultures, which were first made available to Sourdoughs International by a member of the pizzamaking.com forum, Marco Parente (a.k.a. pizzanapoletana), who provided the Ischia culture from a 200-year old bakery on the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples, are sold together at Sourdoughs International but may be available from other sources separately. However, care should be exercised in such cases since the provenance of the cultures may be in question.


A well-known source of baking ingredients and highly regarded for its high-quality, unbleached, unbromated flours with tight milling specifications and generally higher protein levels than competing brands. While King Arthur Flour Company has a retail store in White River Junction, VT, it does a substantial mail-order business through its online store.
A form of salt produced through the use of evaporation processes but having a larger particle size (and different shape) than ordinary table salt. Kosher salts usually contain no additives. Kosher salt can be substituted for table salt in recipes, but because of its larger particle size, it is often recommended that the amount of the Kosher salt substituted be about 1½ to 2 times the amount of table salt, by volume. As a matter of convenience, producers of some brands of Kosher salt suggest using the same amount of Kosher salt as table salt, by volume.


L-cysteine is an ingredient that is used in flour as a treatment agent to aid in the relaxing of gluten in doughs, such as pizza dough, that are heavily manipulated. In controlled amounts, it will break the sulfhydryl bridges between gluten proteins, producing weakened flour. See also DOUGH CONDITIONER, and click here for additional information on L-cysteine and other dough conditioners as well.
Formerly (now retired) Director of Baking Assistance at the American Institute of Baking (AIB), Manhattan, KS, and a technical advisor and consultant to the pizza industry. He is an acknowledged expert on pizza dough and its commercial production and management and is a frequent contributor on such matters at Pizza Marketing Quarterly (PMQ) and Pizza Today, including the PMQ and PizzaMaking.com online forums. He is frequently referred to as the "Dough Doctor" (see doughdoctor.com).
A French term for a natural preferment that is essentially synonymous (in the U.S.) with sourdough. It is a culture of a naturally-occurring (wild) yeast and bacteria that can leaven and flavor a bread or pizza crust. It is refreshed periodically by replacement of a part of the culture by new flour and water, and a portion of the refreshed culture is allowed to ferment and mature (ripen) before incorporating into the final dough. The remainder of the culture is used to begin the next batch of dough. A levain, or "sourdough," can be perpetuated for many years, even centuries for certain highly-stable strains.
A measure of the degree of enzymatic activity (alpha amylase enzyme) of a diastatic malt or diastatic malt blend. The measure of enzymatic activity is stated in degrees Lintner. A pure malt, in the form of a cereal barley malt flour without addition of other ingredients as are used with diastatic malt blends (more below), can have a typical degrees Lintner value of about 200–210L. Blends of diastatic malt, which typically also include a form of sugar (usually dextrose) and a wheat flour carrier, can have typical degrees Lintner values of 100L, 60L and 20L, with the 60L and 20L values being the most common among the lower degrees Lintner values. The latter two blends are often called low diastatic malts, or LDMs.


A soft, pasta filata (stretched curd) cheese made in a way resembling provolone. In the United States, milk (whole, lowfat, nonfat) is usually pasteurized, and set by warming to 95℉ and adding lactic acid-producing bacterial starters and a coagulating enzyme. The curd is separated from the whey, and when a critical acidity has been reached, the mozzarella curd is immersed in hot water (170–180℉), or heated with steam, and kneaded and stretched until smooth. Thereafter, the cheese is molded into proper forms, immersed in cold water to harden, and sometimes salted in brine. The cheese has little or no curing and may be used immediately after processing. Available forms of mozzarella cheese include part-skim mozzarella, low-moisture mozzarella, and low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella. String cheese derived from mozzarella is also popular. Source: National Dairy Council.


'a pizza Napoletana. According to the Associazione vera pizza napoletana, genuine Neapolitan pizza dough consists of wheat flour (type 0 and/or type 00), natural yeast or brewer's yeast, and water. For proper results, strong flour with high protein content (as used for breadmaking rather than cakes) must be used. The dough must be kneaded by hand or with an approved mixer. After the rising process, the dough must be formed by hand without the help of a rolling pin or any other mechanical device, and may be no more than 0.3 cm thick. Baking the pizza must take place in a wood-fired, stone oven at 485℃ (905℉) for 60–90 seconds. When cooked, it should be soft and fragrant. The classic types and their respective toppings include: Marinara/Napoletana (tomato, olive oil, oregano, and garlic), Margherita (tomato, olive oil, fresh basil leaves, fior-di-latte or mozzarella di bufala), and Formaggio e Pomodoro (tomato, olive oil, and grated parmesan cheese; basil leaves are optional).
New York-style pizza can be traced back to the 17th century when Spanish soldiers were occupying the area around Naples, Italy. One of their favorite snacks was a soft, crispy dough with toppings that the Neapolitans called sfiziosa. Like local New Yorkers who fold their slices in half and eat while walking, these Spanish soldiers folded the flat bread into a libretto (little book) and ate it with their hands. One of the main characteristics of New York-style pizza is its thin, chewy crust, but that isn't everything that defines New York-style pizza. Many might say that it's not New York-style unless it leaves those yellow trails of oil running down your elbow when you eat it. This comes from the high butter fat cheese they use. Big Dave Ostrander says most New York pizzerias use Grande mozzarella cheese to get this trait. For New York-style, fresh mozzarella isn't an option…it's a rule! Many are hearth or deck oven baked and the sauce is usually thinner than most sauces with fewer ingredients added. The dough is made with high protein, high gluten flour (usually 13.5–14.5% protein) and is slightly chewy. There is an old urban legend that you can only produce New York pizza in New York due to the hard water they have. While it's true that New York has hard water, it's debatable as to whether this is the secret ingredient. Source: PMQ.
A diastatic malt without the enzyme activity capability and commonly used for flavoring, color, and crust browning purposes. Available in liquid or dry form, it is sweet and flavorful and can be used in lieu of other sweeteners, and caramelizes well and contributes to browning. However, it isn't the same as and doesn't operate like diastatic malt and consequently shouldn't be confused with diastatic malt.


Organic flours are flours that have not been treated at all or may have limited treatment. For example, there are organic flours that are malted and enriched, or malted but not enriched, or enriched but not malted. The most common enrichments are iron and vitamins. When malt is used, it is a diastatic cereal malt in the form of barley flour, and the barley flour is also organic. All organic flours are also unbleached, unbromated, and contain no other common additives such as ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). And all types of flours can be organic, including all purpose flour, bread flour and high-gluten flour. Click here for sources of organic flour.
The rapid increase and final burst in the expansion of dough once it is loaded into the oven. The dough expansion will cease as soon as the temperature of the dough reaches about 140℉, at which point the yeast dies. There are many factors that influence the degree and quality of the oven spring when baking pizzas, including overall dough quality (it should not be stiff or overkneaded, and it should have good hydration), the degree of fermentation (it should not be underfermented or overfermented), and oven temperature. The manner in which the pizza is baked, that is, whether using a pan, stone/tiles, or pizza screen, will also be a factor.
As applied to pizza dough, the term means a chemical reaction that takes place when air is incorporated into the dough, as by mixing and kneading. The effect is to reinforce the gluten bonds and strengthen the dough and increase the hydration capacity of the dough. However, excessive oxidation, which can occur if the dough is kneaded too long, can have the adverse effect of destroying carotenoid pigments naturally present in the flour and result in a loss of color and taste in the finished crust. This is one of the reasons why an autolyse period is often used since the autolyse will have the effect of shortening the overall kneading time.


This style gets its name because it's cooked in a pan, but there is more to it than that. The pan has oil in it that fries the bottom layer of dough giving it a light crunch, and a slightly different flavor than a conventionally, baked pizza. The dough is somewhat thick as a result of the dough being allowed to proof in the pan prior to baking. Toppings and cheese usually don't identify a pan style and can be used in any amounts. Areas in the southeastern U.S. are usually identified with this style of pizza. Source: PMQ.
The partial baking of a dough, without anything on it, to prepare a partially-baked crust, or "shell", to be used to prepare a finished pizza at a later date. Until then, the par-baked crust is refrigerated or frozen (or kept at room temperature for near-term use). When a finished pizza is to be made, the partially-baked crust is dressed with sauce, cheeses and other toppings and baked until done.
A paper that has been treated with sulfuric acid and coated with silicone. The sulfuric acid makes the surface of the paper smooth so that it resists grease and moisture and tolerates high oven temperatures. The silicone coating prevents foods from sticking. Instead of using a peel, some home pizza makers use parchment paper on which to build their pizzas before loading into the oven. Parchment paper is not wax paper, which is paper coated with a paraffin wax.
Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano) is the most widely known variety of grana (which means hard grating) cheese, the most important cooking cheese in northern Italy. This salty, sharp-flavored, grating cheese is also manufactured in the United States. A mixture of whole and nonfat milk, usually pasteurized, is warmed to 95℉ and a bacterial starter is added. After ripening for 5 to 10 minutes, a coagulating enzyme is added. The resulting curd particles are cut into pieces no larger than wheat kernels and cooked, with stirring, for about 45 minutes at a relatively high temperature of 115° to 125℉ The curd is allowed to settle and drain, and is placed in circular cloth-lined hoops and pressed. The pressed curd is removed, salted in brine for 14 to 15 days, and then dried 8 to 10 days. During cooling, which takes from 10 to 24 months in a cool (50℉), ventilated room, the cheese is frequently turned. The rind may be treated with a mixture of dark earth dye and olive or other vegetable oil. Source: National Dairy Council.
A relatively low-protein flour typically milled from soft white/red winter wheat and primarily used for pastries. However, it can be combined with other flours, including all-purpose, cake flour and bread flour, to simulate an imported Italian 00 flour for use in making Neapolitan-style pizzas. The flour has a typical protein content of 8.5–9.5%.
A French term used to mean a slightly-aged prefermented dough. In one version, the pate fermente is made by combining a starter, such as a sourdough starter, and flour and water, and the combination is left to rise and then refrigerated overnight or, in some cases, for several days before incorporating it into the final dough. In another form, often referred to as a chef or "old dough", a portion of one day's dough production is taken and used in the next day's production. Consequently, the removed dough has the same ingredients as the dough batch from which it was taken, including flour, water, commercial yeast and salt. In both forms, the hydration of the pate fermente is established to be reasonably close to the hydration of the finished dough into which the pate fermente is to be incorporated.
A long-handled spade-shaped tool that is used chiefly by bakers for getting something (as bread or pizza) into or out of the oven. Peels generally come in wood and metal versions. The wood version, sometimes called a make-up board, is considered best for assembling and "peeling" a pizza into the oven, and the metal version, which has a very thin blade, is considered best for removing pizzas from the oven. In some instances, as in making a Neapolitan-style pizza that is of small size and with only modest amounts of sauce, cheese and toppings, the metal peel can be used for both purposes.
A term most commonly associated with a trained Italian pizza maker, especially one with skills in making and baking Neapolitan-style pizzas, particularly in a high-temperature wood-fired oven, with exceptional skills in managing and mastering the use of the oven for high volume production. A female counterpart to a Pizzaiolo is called a Pizzaiola. Plural form is Pizzaioli. Called "pie man" in the U.S. Northeast.
Roman leavened flatbread flavored with olive oil and salt.
Classic Neapolitan-style pizza. Topped only with tomato, mozzarella cheese, olive oil, and fresh basil.
Also known as Napoletana. A cheeseless pizza topped with tomato, olive oil, oregano, and fresh garlic. See also Neapolitan-style pizza.
A flat slab of material, such as a ceramic, clay or other refractory material, or a lead-free firebrick material (cordierite), or soapstone material, that can be preheated at high oven temperatures (in excess of 500℉) to permit a pizza to be baked on it. The pizza stone usually is rectangular or round with a typical thickness of about 1/2 to 7/8 inch.
A French term with Polish origins that is used to mean a preferment that is made with equal amounts of flour and water (which produces a pancake-like batter with a hydration of 100%), and a small amount of commercial yeast, but usually no salt. It is usually left to ferment and ripen at room temperature for several hours, although it is sometimes refrigerated for many hours (e.g., overnight) before incorporating into the final dough. The term poolish is pronounced poo-leash.
A flour improver that acts as a maturing agent. Potassium bromate is a strong oxidizer that strengthens dough and prevents it from falling when handled between proofing and baking yielding higher volume bread. Please note that potassium bromate has been classified as a carcinogen and has been banned by the World Health Organization. As a result, many nations, including Canada and those of the European Union, have banned its use. While not banned in the US, the Center for Science in the Public Interest at one time petitioned the FDA to do so. In response, the American Bakers Association, which opposed such a ban, published a statement saying that potassium bromate was converted to harmless potassium bromide during the baking process. Flours that are bromated are labeled as such on the packaging. Click here for additional information on potassium bromate.
To partially bake a dough, for a few to several minutes, without anything on the dough, for the purpose of creating a greater rise in the crust or, in some cases (as with a cracker-type crust), to allow the crust to dry out before adding sauce, cheeses and other toppings and completing the baking.
A partial preparation of flour and water and yeast (naturally-occurring or commercial), that may or may not include salt, that is left to ferment and mature before incorporating into the final dough. The ingredients and period of fermentation are controlled to achieve the desired leavening power and maturation (ripening) before incorporation into the final dough. The preferment can be fermented at room temperature or under refrigeration, or a combination of both. Depending on its final intended use, it can take a liquid form, semi-liquid form (like a batter) or it can be stiff and dough-like. The benefits from using a preferment include a strengthened gluten structure, a shortened overall production time, and superior crust flavor. See also biga and poolish.
A term often used in bread baking to describe the final rise of the bread dough while it is in the pan or bread board just prior to baking. The term is often somewhat erroneously used in the context of pizza doughs to describe the process of fermentation. It is more correctly applied to the process by which certain doughs, such as deep-dish doughs or Sicilian-style doughs, are permitted to rise, or "proof", either at room temperature or in a proofing unit (often with humidity), in advance of dressing and baking.
Protease enzymes are large-molecule proteins that are naturally found in flour, yeast and malt (or supplemented at the miller's facility) and act over time (including during autolyse rest periods) to degrade and dismantle a dough's gluten structure by breaking the peptide bonds between amino acids. This is usually accomplished together with acid byproducts that are formed during fermentation of the dough. If these actions persist long enough, the dough can overferment and result in the release of the water in the dough from its chemical bond with the flour and cause the dough to become overly soft and damp or wet and be difficult to handle and manage at the time of desired use of the dough. See, also, AUTOLYSE and BIOCHEMICAL GLUTEN DEVELOPMENT.
A St. Louis original. A blend of white cheddar, Swiss, and provolone cheese. Considered the key ingredient in St. Louis-style pizza, most notably Imo's Pizza.
Provolone, an Italian cheese, is representative of the pasta filata or stretched curd cheeses. In these stringy-textured cheeses, the curd is cooked to a relatively high temperature and is pulled and molded while hot into various shapes. The name provolone is derived from the Neapolitan word "prova," meaning ball-shaped. In the United States, provolone, except for the addition of special flavor-producing enzymes, is manufactured similarly to Cheddar up to the time of matting the curd. At this point, the curd for provolone is cut into slabs that are worked and stretched in hot (180℉) water or whey. The hot curd is kneaded and stretched either by hand or machine until it becomes shiny, smooth, and elastic. The curd is molded into various shapes, such as pear, melon, cylinder, sausage, or ball. The shaped curd is then chilled in cold (50℉) water to harden, and salted for several days in cool brine. After brining, the cheese is packaged, cured for a few months, and usually smoked. Before selling, the cheese may be covered with wax or plastic film. Source: National Dairy Council.
The dominant proteins found in wheat flour are glutenin and gliadin which, when combined, form gluten. See GLUTEN.
A blend of whey and L-cysteine, a crystalline amino acid which is a natural component of protein. PZ-44 dough conditioner is often used in pizzerias as a dough conditioner helping to produce a more workable pizza dough. Biochemical reactions of L-cysteine and flour proteins result in shorter mixing time and increased extensibility (rapid relaxation without fermentation.) See also DOUGH CONDITIONER. Click here for additional information on PZ-44, and other dough conditioners as well.




A type of instant dry yeast. Click here for additional information on this form of yeast, and for yeasts in general.
Chef on Assignment at Johnson and Wales University (a culinary institute), in Charlotte, NC. Is a consultant to the baking industry and food companies and a frequent lecturer on baking matters, and a well-known author of cookbooks on bread baking. Is the author of American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza. For a review of this book, see the book review section of the pizzamaking.com site. Since 2010, Reinhart has been the host of Pizza Quest, where he shares videos, blog entries, and recipes.
A substance which helps prevent an unbaked pizza from sticking to the make-up board (or pizza peel) so that the pizza will slide off easily into the oven. Most people use a dusting of raw white flour for this purpose; but semolina flour, cornmeal, rice flour, or combinations thereof, can also be used. Another trick-of-the-trade is lifting a section of the dough's edge, blowing an air bubble underneath, then quickly releasing it before the air can escape. This air pocket causes the pizza to "float" on the peel making its release very easy.
A term commonly applied to certain preferments to describe the maturation of the preferment, as evidenced by the preferment having achieved a fully risen state (domed) and on the verge of receding or falling back at the center. In the case of a poolish or sponge, the ripening is indicated by the presence of small carbon dioxide bubbles at the surface of the poolish with cracks and signs of collapsing. The term ripen is also sometimes used to refer to a dough that has fermented to the point where the dough has peaked and should be used before it overferments and starts to recede or collapse.
Romano cheese, an Italian, sharply piquant, grating cheese resembling Parmesan and other grana cheeses, is manufactured in a similar manner to that described for Parmesan. Some Romano cheese is made in the United States from cow's milk but most of it is imported into this country. It is cured for 5 to 12 months or longer. Source: National Dairy Council.


A famed varietal of tomatoes from the Naples region of Campania, Italy and grown on vesuvial volcanic soils. The San Marzano tomatoes (the varietal) are elongated, firm, plum-like tomatoes with fewer seed cavities than most tomatoes. They also have a naturally low-acid content. The San Marzano tomatoes sold in cans may or may not bear the D.O.P. designation. However, those that do will have a special numbered label, and will indicate the region around Naples, such as the Agro Sarnese-Nocerino region, where the San Marzano tomatoes were grown. Cans not bearing the D.O.P. label may be of questionable provenance.
A round, expanded, metal (usually aluminum) screen with a beaded outer rim. Because of the open character of the screen, air circulating beneath a pizza placed on the screen can readily permeate the screen and provide uniform baking of the pizza and browning of the bottom of the crust. Pizza screens come in a wide variety of sizes, from about 6 inches to over 20 inches. Although pizza screens are usually round, they also come in rectangular shapes.
A form of salt formed from evaporation of seawater at ordinary atmospheric temperature and pressure and then harvested. It has a larger particle size than ordinary table salt, and can come in different particle size gradations, including very coarse, which may require grinding in a mill or mortar and pestle before using for applications requiring small particle size, such as pizza dough making (although it can be used as a condiment on top of a finished pizza). Sea salts include naturally occurring beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium and are free of additives, such as anti-caking and anti-clumping chemicals and dextrose, as are commonly added, along with iodide (usually potassium iodide), to ordinary table salts. In the context of pizza dough, Sicilian sea salts are considered by some to be particularly useful because of their high hygroscopicity capacity (their capacity to absorb water).
Self-rising flour is a flour that is produced by using a fairly low-protein flour with a protein content of about 8.3–10.5% and a double acting baking powder. The double acting baking powder is a chemical leavening system and typically includes an alkaline ingredient and two acid leavening ingredients. The alkaline ingredient is usually baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and typical acids are sodium aluminum phosphate (SALP), and monocalcium phosphate (MCP). Often calcium sulfate is also added to the dough as a pH regulator and as a source of nutritional calcium. Although the intended uses of self-rising flour do not include use for making pizzas, there are pizza dough recipes that call for self-rising flour. However, because the baking soda reacts with acids produced during fermentation of the dough, there is insufficient remaining baking soda to react with the two acid ingredients during such fermentation, and particularly since the MCP is fast acting. As a result, the combination of ingredients are not particularly suitable for cold fermentations.
A coarse, granular flour product with bright yellow color produced by milling durum wheat, a high-protein, high-gluten wheat. A typical protein content for semolina flour is around 12–13%. The semolina flour is available in coarse and fine grades. It is frequently combined with other flours, at a rate of up to 25%, to produce a chewy finished crust.
The act of rolling dough into a very thin and uniform sheet. Most commonly performed using a specialized machine known as a dough sheeter or dough roller. A rolling pin may also be used, but this technique can be slow and labor-intensive.
King Arthur's Sir Lancelot (KASL) flour is a high-quality, high protein, high-gluten flour produced by the King Arthur Flour Company based in Norwich, Vermont. This flour is available in large quantities (50 pound bags) from various bakery distributors, foodservice companies and other intermediaries, some of whom will sell to individuals on a cash-and-carry basis (the KASL flour is available in small bags from the King Arthur online store.) The KASL is made from 100% hard red spring wheat, is malted to increase enzyme performance, and has a protein level of 14.2% ± 2%, an ash level of 0.52% ± 0.02%, and an absorption rate of 63% ± 2%. The KASL tolerates a long dough fermentation time and will exhibit greater browning and chewiness in the finished crust than other flours. These characteristics of the flour make it especially suitable for thin New York style pizzas. Because of its high gluten content, King Arthur does not recommend hand kneading doughs made from the KASL.
A term of art used by pizza makers to describe a dough round that has been shaped and stretched or rolled out from a dough ball into a pizza round (or other shape) in preparation for dressing and baking.
An overly wet dough with no elasticity or spring-back.
A term coined by Scott Wiener of Scott's Pizza Tours where a slice of pizza is pulled, horizontally, from the serving tray onto the plate. This prevents the slice from drooping and the hot toppings from sliding off.
A preferment similar to a poolish or biga. It can include part of the flour and yeast and all or a part of the water to be used in the final dough, and is combine with additional flour, water, yeast and salt to make the final dough. The sponge can be allowed to ferment and mature (ripen) at room temperature, under refrigeration, or a combination of both.
Steel plates are typically rectangular or square metal plates made of steel that can be used with many standard home ovens to bake pizzas. Some of the possible options include using a single steel plate, a combination of two steel plates spaced apart from each other on different oven rack positions, a combination of a single steel plate and a pizza stone also spaced apart from each other, or a steel plate placed directly on top of a pizza stone. To achieve the best results will usually require some experimentation in how best to position and use the baking media in any given oven. It is also important that the doughs used be compatible with the baking media used, and that the bake temperatures and bake times also be properly selected to achieved the desired end results using such doughs. Because steel plates have a high conductivity compared with pizza stones, it is perhaps prudent to avoid dough recipes that call for a lot of sugar that might result in overly dark or charred bottom crusts. Also, for much the same reason, it is perhaps wise not to try to replicate or mimic Neapolitan-style pizzas using steel plates, since those styles require the use of lower conductivity stones and a wood fired or equivalent oven that is capable of very high bake temperatures—more than the typical unmodified home oven can provide. Click HERE for additional advice on the use and purchase of steel plates.
Some people confuse a stuffed pizza with Chicago style. While they may look similar, they are quite different. Stuffed pizzas start with a medium thick dough/crust and then some sauce, toppings and a layer of cheese are added. A separate (much thinner) layer of dough is then placed on top of the toppings and then given another, and greater, application of sauce and cheese on top of the pizza. This creates a lasagna-like pie. Cook times on this style are usually in the 30-minute range. Source: PMQ.


The weight of a container or wrapper that is deducted from the gross weight to obtain net weight. Most digital scales allow you to perform this task easily by placing the empty container on the scale and pressing the tare button. Then, when the container is filled, only the weight of its contents is displayed.
Thick style pizzas are really nothing more than a thicker version of a thin crust pizza. They are usually baked on a screen, disk, or directly on the oven hearth. The height or thickness of this style of pizza is achieved through both greater dough weight and some proofing, though not as much proofing as is given to the pan style thick crust varieties. Immediately after proofing, the dough is sauced and topped in the usual manner and taken to the oven for baking. The finished pizzas have moderate thickness, a slightly crispy bottom texture and a moderately chewy eating characteristic. This type of pizza does not have a regional preference, but it is instead, found served throughout the entire U.S. Source: PMQ.
A number often used within the pizza industry to correspond to a particular pizza crust thickness, from "thin" to "medium" to "thick". The thickness factor is used in a mathematical expression to calculate the amount of dough that is needed to make a pizza of any given size (diameter) and desired thickness. The thickness factor of an existing dough can also be calculated from the weight of the dough and the size of pizza made from that dough. Typical values of thickness factors for "thin", "medium" and "thick" crusts are 0.10, 0.11, and 0.12–0.13, respectively. Thickness factors for deep-dish doughs will usually be higher (above 0.13).and for cracker-type or other thin crusts they will often be lower (around 0.05). The thickness factor is often referred to by its more technical name "dough loading factor", which is a measure of dough ball weight per square inch of surface area of the skin formed from the dough ball.
Unglazed, fired, quarry clay tiles used in arrangements of one or more layers on an oven rack or grill for use as an alternative to pizza stones for baking pizzas. The tiles are most commonly found in ceramic tile stores or home improvement stores (such as Home Depot and Lowe's), with typical sizes of 6" × 6", 8" × 8" or 4" × 8" (and generally about ½" thick). Since food is to be cooked on the tiles, for health reasons it is very important that the tiles be unglazed.
A thin crust style pizza dough is mixed until it is smooth and then stretched by hand. The texture of a true thin crust is crispy on the outside, yet soft inside. This style of pizza has been traditionally found in taverns and bars because they allow the customer to eat without being filled up on dough. The toppings and cheese are modestly applied and not piled up high and a thinner sauce usually works best. Source: PMQ.


A dried wheat protein of high-gluten, hard wheat grain that has had all of the starch removed and is then dried. It is frequently used to supplement other flours to increase the overall protein level of such flours. Vital wheat gluten has a typical gluten content of about 45% and a protein content of about 75%.


The letter "W", as it applies to flours, is known as "deformation of energy" and represents the force required to inflate a dough bubble until it bursts or ruptures, as measured by an Alveograph. The W value generally indicates the overall baking strength of the sample tested. Also, the water absorption is generally thought to increase as the W increases. Flour W values tend to range from about 150-400, with the higher values being particularly appropriate for dough undergoing long fermentation times. W values are usually provided by European millers, such as millers of 00 flours, but (usually) must be requested from U.S. millers.

W Factor

P = Dough tenacity (capacity to resist deformation), L = Dough extensibility (maximum volume of air that the bubble is able to contain, l.e. = Elasticity index, W = Dough baking strength (surface under the curve).


A living, microscopic, single-cell organism that, as it feeds, converts sugars and starches into alcohol and carbon dioxide (known as fermentation.) This trapped carbon dioxide gas is what causes doughs to rise, or leaven. See also LEVAIN, ACTIVE DRY YEAST, INSTANT DRY YEAST, and COMPRESSED YEAST. Click HERE for additional information on yeasts in general.