As a kid I loved to watch dough being hand tossed at Dewy's in Clifton, Ohio. The hand tossed method has lasted for centuries and has become an incredible form of artistic creation in some circles. There is even hand tossing competitions all over the world. It is enchanting to watch and when set to the right music can be a form of entertainment for guests.
Ever notice a difference in the crust when going to those pizza chains who are a bit more reserved about what goes on in the kitchen? Depending on the desired crust type, different methods may be used to achieve the perfect pizza crust. I will touch on three different methods of creating the foundation of a pizza.
Heated dough presses come with heated heads. Upgraded or newer models can also come with heated bases. Heated presses work by applying heat & up to 1200 PSI to a dough ball, forming it into a pan size for only 10-15 seconds at temperatures of what are used commercially to bake a regular pizza crust. These temperatures peak at 900ºF. Dough that is pressed with heat has a crisp texture and works very well with dough that yields higher amounts of sugar. Tons of pizza enthusiasts love that crisp thin crust taste that hot presses stamp out to perfection.
Cold pressed pizza has a completely different texture and finished product than that of its mechanically assisted counterpart. Cold pressed dough is more romantic and soft. This is a great method to get a thick soft crust pizza.
Hand tossed pizza is an art form to say the least but there is a method behind the crazy entertainment you have grown to love to watch. When dough is tossed into the air it is stretched to the desired size, shape and thickness for the consumer. Drying of the dough is also a key element to hand tossing a pizza. When the dough glides through the air it is dried forming a hardened skin that gives hand tossed pizza that crispy outer shell but a nice, soft, almost pillow-like center.
Ever think about how much though goes into creating that crust that you love? Next time you are out enjoying your favorite pizza take note of the texture, crispness, flexibility and overall quality of your crust, and then find out which method is used. This will help you narrow down the selection of how you will want to make your dough at home or in your own pizzeria.