Hand Formed

Crusts that are formed by hand receive the least amount of work, or punishment of any of the forming methods. While it may not always seem so, this is the most gentle forming method there is. Very little gas is expelled from the dough during the forming process, and very little work is put into the dough, resulting in less shrinkage or snap back in the formed crust. The necessary soft dough characteristics for hand forming are achieved through water absorption. Higher absorption levels provide the softer, more extensible dough characteristics necessary for hand forming. Occasionally, water alone may not be sufficient, so a small amount of a dough relaxer such as L-cysteine (PZ-44) might be called for.

Hand tossing of the dough isn't just for showmanship, or to give your customers something to watch while their pizza is being made. It serves a very functional purpose. The spinning action of the dough helps to create the desired round, circular shape, and the air flow over the dough surface helps to dry the dough for improved handling properties (ever try to toss a sticky dough? It ain't a pretty sight). That same drying of the dough also forms a bit of a skin on the surface of the dough, which helps to achieve a crispier crust characteristic.

The main characterizing features of a hand formed crust are a light, "airy" texture due to the fact that the dough was not degassed to a great extent during the forming process. The crust will have a relatively tender eating characteristic due to the gentle stretching of the dough during forming. The internal crumb structure will be characterized by relatively large holes scattered throughout the crumb. Overall, the crumb will be very non-uniform. This non-uniformity is at least partially responsible for the unique crispiness and flavor associated with hand formed crusts. The outer edge of hand formed crusts will almost always be lighter, and higher than that of crusts formed by any other method, again, this is the result of the dough not being degassed, or the gas not being redistributed, during the forming process. The non-uniformity of hand formed crusts is what makes these crusts so unique. No two are alike.”

If you would like to learn to Throw Dough from a US Pizza Team member, check out the
Throw Dough Workshops, or send a U.S. Pizza Team member to your store to train your employees and put on a dough tossing show for your customers. Contact Measha Fuller (662.234.5481 ext 127) for pricing and more information.


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