How should my pizza products be stored?
A: Our pizza dough mixes have live yeast in them and are very sensitive to temperature. You should NEVER store your pizza dough mixes above 80F or in an extremely humid environment. Hot cars and garages in the summer are both bad places to keep our dough mixes. Store in a cool dry place or shelf life will be greatly reduced or the product can fail due to dead yeast. If you store our mixes in the freezer, they will last for a very long time. Our pizza sauces and mojos are less impacted by temperature, but we still recommend room temperature storage for best shelf life. Do not freeze the sauce in the can.
Can I add yeast to your mixes and get better results?
A: The short answer is, yes, very likely. When our dough mixes are very fresh, there is plenty of yeast in the bag for a turbo charged rise and pizza making experience. That said, over time and when stored in a bag with other ingredients, traveling from our warehouse to your doorstep, it is possible for some of our live yeast to die off in the bag. There is nothing unhealthy about this, but it can effect the performance of the dough. You can always add 1 tsp of yeast to a bag, whenever you'd like. Add it to the mix, give it a quick whisk, then mix with the water as the instructions state. It will either help fix any yeast issues that may have occurred over time or it will further turbo charge the dough's performance. Give it a shot, you might like the results!
What is the difference between Neapolitan, Outdoor Grilling and Deep Dish?
A: Neapolitan is a traditional pizza dough, like you would see at a wood fired pizzeria, a thin base with a pillowy and airy crust. It will cook well in a home oven and will perform best at the hottest temperatures you can get. Cooking in a true pizza oven environment with temperatures 700F or higher will result in a traditional Neapolitan Pizza. Cooking in a slightly lower temperature environment such as a home oven, on a stone or steel, will result in incredible classic Italian and New York Style Pizzas. Keep scrolling down for suggestions on making dough a day, or more, in advance.
Outdoor Grilling has less gluten in it than Neapolitan, so it rises less. It is intended to be rolled out and become a thin and crispy crust. It is designed to be cooked right over a hot fire, but works great on a stone or pan in an oven or grill. We are huge fans of making 'bar pies' with this blend. This blend is also our suggestion for calzones, pizza rolls, flour tortillas and other flat bread style pizzas. Also, it will work great at high temps, just like our Neapolitan, but you will have a thinner style of pizza. Keep scrolling down for suggestions on making dough a day, or more, in advance.
Deep Dish is intended to be cooked in a pan. It’s a perfect blend for pizza styles like Detroit, Chicago, Grandma, Sicilian, Lunch Lady and other pan pizza styles you may have heard of. You can make the pizza as thick or as thin as you prefer. Our videos show you one way to prepare this crust. We also like stretching this dough in the pan immediately after mixing and letting it rise solely in the pan for up to 8 hours. Keep scrolling down for pan size suggestions and how to make dough a day, or more, in advance!
What is par-baking?
A: Par-baking is short for partially baking. This is a suggestion you may have seen from us on social media and it is a GREAT way to prep for large cooks and parties. For all our dough mixes, you can par-bake the crusts and save them for 3-4 days before using. This saves time in the moment when you need to make several pizzas at once. To par-bake, prep the crusts as you normally would, but skip any toppings. Bake the crusts in the oven, grill or pizza oven as instructed but for a shorter period of time. You are looking for a pale crust, firmed up just to the point where it can be handled and stored without falling apart. Time will vary based on what oven and temp you are using, so go off color and firmness of the crust to determine how long to cook it. When you are done, make sure you wrap them in plastic or store them in a container or ziplock bag, so they don't dry out. Treat them like you would a loaf of bread. Alternatively, you can freeze them for weeks or months, as long as you wrap them properly to prevent frost-bite.
Can I 'Cold Ferment' Urban Slicer dough mixes?
A: You sure can! We have some refrigerator and freezer suggestions below, but yes, our mixes work wonderfully when cold fermented. Much like smoke is a flavor in BBQ, time is a flavor in dough making. When you cold ferment, you mix the dough with cold water (not warm) and immediately put the dough balls in the refrigerator to chill and slow the yeast production down. 24 hours is good, 48 hours is better, 72 hours is best...in our opinion. There are some REALLY cool characteristics that come out of dough which goes through cold ferment process, which you can't replicate any other way. Make sure you set the dough out at room temp for 5-6 hours for the final rise before cooking. Give it a shot and ask us any questions you might have.
What pans work for Urban Slicer pizza?
A: Our favorite pans come from Llyodpans.com due to their high quality and lifespan, but they aren’t required. You can use quality cake pans, cast iron pans, pyrex dishes or cookie sheets. Just be sure to use an oil, grease or butter to ensure the pizza will release from the pan after baking. Cooking times will vary, but they all work very well. Note: pyrex dishes are made of glass and the crust will be less crispy. For best results, use a metal pan.
What size of pans work for Urban Slicer Deep Dish pizza?
A: Our packaging says use two 8x8 or one 10x14, however there is much more flexibility than this! In short, you should aim for at or around 81 square inches or smaller, to get two pizzas out of one pouch. So, you could use 9x9, 8x8, 8x10, 10" round or any other combination of sizes that fit into that sized area.
How do I cook Neapolitan pizza in a home oven?
A: There are several ways to achieve this, but on a pizza stone is the best choice. Put the stone on the highest level a rack will go and turn the oven up as high as it will go. Pre-heat the oven for 30-45 minutes, to allow the stone to get piping hot. Cooking up high will allow the top of the oven to act as radiant heat against the top of the pizza. Additionally, you can use the ‘two stone method’ which is the same concept as above, except you use two stones. One the pizza cooks on, the other on a rack directly above the pizza. Alternatively, you could cook this on a pan.
How do I cook Grilling pizza in a home oven?
A: There are several ways to achieve this, but on a pizza stone or in a pizza pan will work great. You will stretch or roll the dough out as normal, then use a fork or docker to de-gas the dough (poke holes in it). At this point, either transfer the pizza dough to a pan or a pizza peel (if using a stone). You can par bake one side, like you would with the grill, then flip top and finish cooking. Alternatively, you could top the pizza right away and bake the pizza for a longer period of time at once, probably 12-16 minutes at 450. Both methods will lead to an awesome version of what you may have seen called as a 'Bar Pie' or 'Bar Pizza', which is a pizza often cut into squares. Note: If you par bake the dough before topping, it typically leads to a crispier and more crunchy crust.
My pizza is burning and/or is under cooked, help!
A: While we have tried to be very precise with our instructions, all ovens and cooking environments vary. Times may vary, so you may need to adjust. It is pretty critical in baking pizza that the ambient (air) temps be hotter than the stone (surface) temps. We prefer a 50-100 degree difference. Purchasing an infrared thermometer is a must, if you are going to cook a lot of pizza. It helps dial in those temps!
Your instructions say ‘warm’ water, what is the ideal temperature?
A: Good question and this is important! It cannot be too hot. Best temperature is between 75-80 degrees. Anything over 100 and it will kill the yeast.
How do I stretch and prepare the dough mixes?
A: In addition to the instructions on the package, there is a QR code that will take you directly to an instructional video. Additionally, you can go to the ‘Instructionals’ page on our website: UrbanSlicerPizza.com
How long in advance can I make the Neapolitan dough?
A: Have a look at the longer term freezing and refrigeration options below, which is the only way we recommend using our Neapolitan if you won't use it same day. For all our dough, generally speaking, you will want to stick to 4 hours or less as our dough is intended to rise quickly and be ready on short notice. We do not recommend par-baking our Neapolitan.
How long in advance can I make the Deep Dish dough?
A: For all our dough, generally speaking, you will want to stick to 4 hours or less as our dough is intended to rise quickly and be ready on short notice. There are some options you have. You can mix the dough and stretch it right in the pan. Then, let it rise in the pan for 3-10 hours. Additionally, you can do this and then par-bake (partially bake) the dough for 7-8 minutes at 475 degrees F. Let it cool and cover tightly, so it doesn't dry out. You can then use this crust in the next day or two by topping the crust and cooking 8-10 minutes, until done, at 475-500 degrees F. They will keep longer in the refrigerator, but it's important to wrap them so they don't harden and dry out. You can also freeze par-baked crusts and if stored properly, they will keep for a long time.
How long in advance can I make the Grilling dough?
A: For all our dough, generally speaking, you will want to stick to 4 hours or less as our dough is intended to rise quickly and be ready on short notice. There are some options you have. The Grilling Dough instructions remain the same: Grill one side until it begins to firm up. You could also grill both sides, or cook the dough on a stone. Once it's par-baked (partially baked), place the dough on a sheet of parchment paper and separate each remaining dough with parchment paper. Wrap the stack in plastic wrap and you can then use these par-baked crusts for several days. They will keep longer in the refrigerator, but it's important to wrap them so they don't harden and dry out. You can also freeze par-baked crusts and if stored properly, they will keep for a long time.
Can I refrigerate the dough?
A: Yes. We recommend you mix the dough, cover it and put in the fridge immediately after. On the day you want to cook, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let sit room temp for 5-6 hours, until risen and ready to use. Do not refrigerate more than 3 days. Because our dough is intended for same day use, times and results will vary widely.
Can I freeze the dough?
A: Yes. We recommend you mix the dough and let it rise 2 hours. Then, cover the dough well and freeze. On the day you want to cook, take the dough out of the freezer and let sit room temp for 6-10, until thawed and rising again. As long as the dough is covered well and not getting ‘freezer burn’, it should last at least few weeks in the freezer with no issues. With proper storage, you could get months out of it. Because our dough is intended for same day use, times and results will vary widely. You can also freeze par-baked crusts and if stored properly, they will keep for a long time.
What kind of cheese should I use?
A: We recommend high quality and high fat cheeses with no anti-caking additives. Many pre-shredded cheeses use cellulose, which is wood pulp. If your cheese is burning, it’s the cellulose burning, not the cheese. If necessary, hand shred good quality cheeses, to avoid that issue. Whole milk mozzarella is a great choice, but don’t be afraid to get creative. Lots of options out there, which help create unique and awesome pizzas.
Why is my dough sticky and hard to work with?
A: Baking is a science, and there are times this issue can occur. Humidity and altitude can play a part in this. It simply means there is too much water in the mix. Add 1 tsp of flour at a time during mixing, until the dough is easier to work with. Take your time and go easy. The dough SHOULD be tacky, not dry, in order to perform its best.
The dough is sticking to the bowl / container after it has risen for 2 hours, how can I get it out?
A: If you work slowly and gently, it should come out. However, it is helpful to use a little oil to cover the inside of the bowl / container prior to setting the dough ball in it after kneading. This helps the dough release.
Why is my dough dry and not mixing well?
A: Baking is a science, and there are times this issue can occur. Humidity and altitude can play a part in this. It simply means there is too little water in the mix. Add 1 tsp of water at a time during mixing until the dough is easier to work with. Take your time and go easy. The dough SHOULD be tacky, not dry, in order to perform it’s best.
Why is the dough tough to stretch? It acts like a rubber band!
A: Our dough is made with real yeast, which means it takes time to become the dough it is meant to be. After mixing / kneading for 8-10 minutes, the dough needs to rise (also called proofing) for at least 2 hours at room temp (70-75 degrees), until it has at doubled or tripled in size. In addition, check your water. If the water is very hard water, this can happen. Try bottled water or filtered water from your refrigerator.
Why is the dough too soft? It tears when I try to stretch it?
A: It is very possible for dough to ‘over’ rise, which means it has been given too much time after kneading and has begun to deflate. Our dough is made with real yeast, so it needs to be given time to rise or proof, however we don’t recommend allowing dough to rise for longer than 4 hours at room temp, after kneading. This could also be a case of your water being too soft. Try using bottled water or water filtered from your refrigerator.
My dough is rising slowly, help!
A: The temperature of the water and environment can play into this. Your water should be 70-80 degrees, no higher. Ideally the environment should be 70-90 degrees or so. If your dough is rising slowly, it could be the room temp. Your thermostat might say 70, but the area of that room might be 65 or lower. One awesome trick is to use your oven, with the light on. Turn the light on, put the dough into the oven and let it rise there. This will give you a 10 degree boost or so! In addition, some water has additives and/or could be too hard or too soft. Using filtered or bottled water might be worth a shot, if you suspect your tap water might be the cause.
My dough won't rise at all, help!
A: The good news is, our dough mixes are the real deal and they are ALIVE. Yes, you heard that right, there is LIVE yeast in our packages. When we ship our products, the yeast is dormant (dry), but it is still a living organism and just like all of us, it is sensitive to its environment. In all cases, if your dough won't rise, something has killed, or nearly killed, the yeast cells in the package. This is usually due to extreme temperatures. We recommend storing the packages at 80 degrees or less, in a cool dry place. Dough stored at temperatures higher than this, even if for just a few hours, can be bad for the yeast.
When you mix the dough, be very careful to use warm water, not hot. We recommend 80 degrees. Anything above 100 degree water is in the danger zone. "Warm" tap water can be surprisingly hotter than you think, to the touch. We recommend a thermometer to be sure. In addition, some water has additives and/or could be too hard or too soft. Using filtered or bottled water might be worth a shot, if you suspect your tap water might be the cause.
On rare occasions, especially during the hot summer months, shipping trucks will sit for long periods of time. On some of these trucks, it can be 140 degrees or more inside! Unfortunately, this is not good for our yeast and could cause your product to fail.
The good news is: we stand behind our product and if you dough does not rise, please send us a message and we will take care of you. If you want to proceed with your remaining packages in the meantime, you can add about 7g of yeast (or one packet), per pouch of Urban Slicer, to the mix. Simply pour the contents of the package into a mixer or bowl, whisk the yeast in then add your warm water and you will be good to go. We realize this defeats the purpose of 'Just Add Water', but it will get you going in a pinch while we take care of the failed product.
If you currently have dough mixes that isn't rising, you can add some yeast at this point. You mix 1tsp of yeast with a few tablespoons of warm water. Let it sit for five to 10 minutes. Once the yeast has activated, fold it into your dough and mix as best you can This might make your dough a little 'tough', but it will rise and will work in a pinch. When doing this, only mix for another 3-4 minutes, so you don't overwork the dough.
Do you have any recipes or ideas for cooking pizza?
A: Yes! Please see the ‘Recipes’ page on our website, UrbanSlicerPizza.com, for many ideas to get you started.
When will you have new types of dough or sauce?