The Wood-Fired Blog

Rolling Out the Dough

Mar 21, 2016Posted by Kylie H

I spent longer than I’d like to admit thinking of halfway decent puns that involve the word “dough.” I’m not sure why, this post is a pretty straightforward recollection of how I found at the dough I use today.

Well, to be honest, getting the dough wasn’t all too straightforward. I had to go through half a dozen contacts, two different companies (one twice), and some less-than ideal recipes.

I buy Rich’s dough balls, the 9 oz ones because you can (trade secret coming up here) cut them in half and make two personal pizzas. They are, quite frankly, the best; anyone who tells you otherwise is either A) trying to sabotage you, or B) delusional. My gluten filled delights come in a box of 48, and are frozen solid upon arrival. I start thawing them 12 hours in advance of the actual event, which leaves me plenty of time to shape the dough and put it into bread boxes to proof. The dough itself rolls thin, cuts well, crisps beautifully and tastes pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

I know I probably sound a bit too much like an advertiser here, but I’m serious, this is good dough.

Anyway, I’m getting off track. You’re here because you clicked the wrong link because you want to hear how I found these nuggets of delicious efficiency.

Since I first expressed interest in making pizza, even before the idea of my own business entered the equation, people have been explaining to me the importance of having good dough. You can have the best sauce, and the finest freshest ingredients, and the most creative applications for cheese since Queen Margherita set foot in Naples, but it doesn’t mean anything without good dough.  (I know, I know, another tangent. Forgive me, now I’m back on track.)

I learned to make dough at the Fire Within Mobile Pizza Oven Conference. It involved a 40-pound mixer, me dropping dough balls on the flour, and enough yeast to drive a man mad. It was heaven. We scooped up dozens of gooey lumps of dough and molded them into rough spheres. Heck, I got pretty good at it. (All right, all right, I may have dropped one or two but nothing wrong with a little floor protein, right?)

Things got a bit more complicated when I started sourcing my own ingredients. Our first event, we bought dough from a couple of sources. Our second, my dad and I tried making dough using a hand mixer. It tasted pretty good, but the process took forever, and I could only make about 6 dough balls at a time (which does not work for an event of 500+ people, many of them intoxicated college students capable of consuming more than a pound of dough).

The store bought dough was sub-par, making my own dough was not scalable, and I couldn’t very well load toppings onto pita bread, so I started looking into buying the aforementioned Rich’s dough. After a bit of research (clicking about on the internet), we found BiRite.

I made my first order from BiRite before I could technically drive, so my father (see: father of the year), drove to San Francisco to pick up my order. It worked surprisingly well, but having my father drive all over creation picking up ingredients was not a long-term solution.

So I signed up for US Foods. It took a while, between credit forms and password mix-ups, but eventually I got my account. They had high quality sauce, good ingredients, and the right pizza dough.

I ordered ingredients from them for my first major event, a 700 person affair that involved both college students and venture capitalists. I wrote about it a couple of months ago, so I won’t try and recap here. It went off without a hitch, but we still had a problem. Most of my events are for 50-150 people, with an average food cost of $250 per event. US Foods only does delivery on orders of $500 or more, anything less than that requires on-site pick up. By now I could drive, but this still wasn’t going to work. I decided to reserve US Foods for my largest events, and to look someplace else for my smaller ones.

This is where BiRite enters the picture yet again. Like I said, having my father drive all over creation isn’t feasible (those jobs are pesky things), but BiRite is a straight shot up 101 from my school. A phone call, a drive, a quick exchange, and the next thing you know I have as many dough balls as I can handle! One box, in my case, seeing as it weighs about 30 pounds and I’m not in the best shape.

So there you have it. It took a while, like most things do in this business (business permits sobs), but in the end it was worth it. (Like ALL things in this business, except for the dishwashing.)


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