September 10, 2012 |

Dough Ball Weights

By Tom Lehmann

I’m just getting started in the pizza business and would like to know how to determine the correct dough weight for each of my pizza sizes.

Pick a size (any size will do). Personally, I like to work with a 12-inch pizza, or something close to it. Next, calculate the surface area using Pi X R squared as our formula for finding the surface area. Let’s say our size selection includes 10-inch, 12-inch and 16-inch pizzas. Here’s the math;

10-inch: 3.14 X 25 = 78.5 square inches
12-inch: 3.14 X 36 = 113.04 square inches
16-inch: 3.14 X 64 = 200.96 square inches.

Begin experimenting with different dough weights to find out what dough weight gives you the pizza that you want to have. If you want a good starting point, go with 1-ounce of dough per inch of diameter for any size up to 16 inches. Add or subtract dough weight until you are satisfied with the finished pizza. Now we’re ready to break out the calculator again. Divide the dough weight by the surface area of the pan, disk, or screen you made your pizza(s) on. This will give you the dough loading per square inch of pan surface. Let’s say you were making a thin crust pizza, and you found that 10 ounces of dough gave you the 12-inch pizza you were looking for. Here’s the math;

10 ounces divided by 113.04 = 0.0884642 ounce of dough per square inch of pan surface area. To calculate the amount of dough needed for each of your other sizes, all you need to do is to multiply this number (0.0884642) by the surface area of each of your other pan sizes.

Here’s the math;
10-inch: 78.5 square inches X 0.0884642 = 6.9444-ounces (7-ounces)
16-inch: 200.96 square inches X 0.0884642 = 17.777-ounces (17.75-ounces).

You can use this for calculating any size and type of pizza. The main advantage of using this procedure is that now all of your pizzas will have a similar amount of dough under them, only the size (diameter) will vary. This means that if you are using an air impingement oven or some other type of conveyor oven, all of your pizzas, with similar toppings, will have a similar baking time regardless of size (within reason). This will make setting up your conveyor oven(s) a lot easier.