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A Crust Above the Rest: Perfect Your Pizza Dough with Fiberglass Trays

Posted on April 5, 2022

Be it a Chicago-style deep dish enjoyed with a few friends or a single-serve California pie with light, fresh toppings, it seems there’s a slice of pizza out there to satisfy anyone’s taste. Despite the many variations of a ‘za, there’s one absolute constant that makes a pizza a pizza: it’s got to have a good crust.

Whether you prefer thin and crispy or thick and chewy, there’s a particular process behind that perfect bite, and quality production relies on quality materials to bring it all together. In this post, MFG Tray, a leading supplier of proofing boards and dough trays, explores the billion-dollar pizza industry, the path to the perfect crust, and how quality material handling trays can improve your dough-making process.

Making that Dough: Pizza as a Billion Dollar Industry

From ancient Greek flatbreads topped with oil and herbs to a giant New York slice served from a sidewalk cart, pizza continues to be a true food of the people. Such a favorite, in fact, that the pizza industry reached over $46 billion in 2021–and that’s just in the United States. Globally, the market topped out at $119.2 billion. And, in an industry where the average cost per pie is only $7.25-$15.00, we’re looking at billions of pizzas being made and consumed each year.

Pizza chains continue to dominate the industry, with nearly 60 percent of all sales coming from one of the big names. While many restaurants struggled to make it through the Covid-19 Pandemic, both chain and privately owned pizzerias held steady, actually showing an increase of 0.47 percent. With so much profit potential and a steady stream of industry growth, it’s no secret why more and more people are looking to score a piece of the billion-dollar pie.

Trust the Process

If you want to satisfy your customers with a truly authentic pizza, you have to start with a well-made crust, and a top-notch crust needs adequate time for rising and proofing.

Rising and Proofing: A Multi-Step Process

Once a dough is made, it should be left to rise. At this stage, the yeast and sugars—either added sugar or the sugar that naturally occurs in flour—are left to ferment, causing the dough to expand. What’s more, this process forms tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide in the dough that, when baked, give the crust a light, airy texture.

After the initial rise, the dough enters the proofing process, wherein pie-sized pieces are extracted from the bulk and shaped into balls. The dough balls are then left to rise again, further enabling the dough to ferment and gain the elasticity that makes it workable in the end stages. When proofing is complete, your dough can either be spun out into a pizza or frozen for future use.

Quick vs. Cold Proofing

The interaction of yeast and sugar causes the fermentation necessary for a final product that is light and airy as opposed to heavy and dense. While a warm setting can help expedite this process, it doesn’t give the dough enough time to properly develop flavor and texture.

In a quick proof process, the dough is left to rise for only about one hour and then proofed for roughly the same amount of time. Though it will produce a perfectly useable crust, it’s typically harder to work with a quick-proofed dough and will be less likely to fully develop a flavor beyond the taste of yeast.

Cold proofing, however, gives the various ingredients of your crust time to interact with each other, creating a depth of flavor that simply cannot develop during a quick proof. Moreover, the extended time of cold proofing gives the yeast enough chance to interact with the sugars in the flour, meaning no additional sugar is needed. Of course, if a sweeter crust is your preference, a little added sugar goes a long way for cold-proofed doughs.

The Importance of Quality Dough Trays and Proofing Boards

No matter what proofing process you favor, having high-quality dough trays and proofing boards can help ensure your dough is handled and stored appropriately.

Though simple plastics have been the industry standard for most commercial dough trays, they’re prone to bending, denting, and sagging, all of which can impact the efficiency of your processes. However, a fiberglass dough tray has the strength and durability to outlast its plastic counterparts.

Easily integrated into large-scale production processes, MFG Tray’s equipment is uniquely designed to be stackable, fit most commercial kitchen racks, and withstand changing temperatures. Plus, our dough boxes come in a variety of depths and multiple colors, so you can keep your kitchen organized and production flowing flawlessly.

Similarly, MFG’s proofing boards provide the perfect lightweight solution for large-scale production. Their textured finish allows for an easy release of even the stickiest doughs. In conjunction with dough boxes, these proofing boards are easily cleaned and can withstand a range of temperatures, making them ideal for either a quick or cold proof.

The Sweet Taste of Success

There’s a lot to love about the perfect slice of pizza. Personalized toppings and quality ingredients can go a long way, but a good crust is the true key to success. For that reason, MFG Tray created a line of specially designed fiberglass dough handling equipment to help ensure your crust-making process is always a crust above the competition. To learn more about our food service equipment, please visit our product page. If you’d like to speak with an industry expert about how MFG Tray can help meet your needs, contact us today.

THE MATERIAL MATTERS

Leading manufacturer of high-strength, glass-reinforced composite containers, trays, boxes, flats and totes for material handling in the metal working, plastics and electronics assembly industries, as well as in food service, confectionery and pharmaceutical processing.

MFG Tray continually develops customized solutions for specific material-handling challenges and applications. Customers are encouraged to contact MFG Tray to discuss any unique handling and design requirements.

 

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