Menu Inspiration

Defining Your Dough

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Crisp, charred, dense or chewy - nothing defines your pizza more than your crust. It holds the whole pie's personality and is the first thing diners feel as they lift, grab or fold their first slice.

Bella Bello by Shamrock Foods is here to help you dial into your desired performance with best-in-class pizza flours and expertise. Let's take a look.

The essential elements

Master the foundational crust by breaking down the role of each major ingredient.

Master the 3 steps of mixing

Whether you're adding a new pizza program or perfecting a classic crust, consistency is everything. Master the three most critical aspects of mixing dough to produce perfect pies with every order that flies out the door.

  • use a thermometer

    As the second largest dough ingredient, water temperature has a huge effect on fermentation. Make the use of thermometers a standard practive to get your dough at the right temp for proper fermentation (80°F).

= the sweet spot for dough fermentation
The rate of fermentation doubles for every 15°F increase in dough temperature, up to 140°F!

Equip your restaurant with top-quality pizza equipment from Shamrock Foods, including high-performance pizza ovens, durable pizza peels, efficient mixers, dough trays, and more, ensuring precision and excellence in every step of your pizza-making process.

  • add ingredients in the proper order

First: Add water to the bowl.
Next: Add weighted dry ingredients right on the top - no need to pre-mix.
Finally: Add oil after the flour is hydrated (about 1 min).

  • Get a sense of how long to mix

    As the dough hook keeps churning, the gluten networks in the dough become more stabilized. Pause the mixer every few minutes to gauge the development. Find the perfect balance between extensibility (the stretch) and elasticity (the snap back).

90% of pizzerias make dough in-house.*

Choosing the right flour

Quality growing and milling is standard across our competitive selection. Ask your Shamrock Foods Sales Representative for help choosing the flour that will maximize yield and performance for each menu application.

#1 factor in Performance = Gluten Level

The crispier the crust the higher the gluten level required.

new york-style

Thin and crispy

  • High gluten
  • 13 - 14% protein level
  • Imparts a characteristic crisp crust with a chewy texture
  • Minimal sauce soakage


Pan or Neapolitan

  • Mid gluten
  • 12.5 - 13.5% protein level
  • Great "middle" choice
  • Higher dough tolerance than all-purpose
  • Softer texture than high gluten

deep dish

Thick and chewy

  • 10 - 12% protein level
  • All-purpose
  • Less dough shrink, more tenderness
  • Most versatile flour

reading the flour label

What does "Treated" mean?

Treaded = bleached and bromated

Untreated = unbleached, unbromated

Both produce the same end result. Only untreated flour can be called “all natural.”

What does "Enriched" mean?

Vitamins are lost during the process of milling, so many flours have the vitamins added back in. In that case, the label will include the term “enriched.”

"00" flour: superfine and soft

This powdery flour is the finest grade of milling available. It is ideal for producing a light and thin Neapolitan-style crust with those characteristically puffy edges called the cornicione. Bake quickly in a wood-fired oven for maximum flavor.

craveable crusts

Tweak the thickness or cut of your dough for buzzworthy LTOs - or a new take on signature pies.

The cheesiest Detroit style.

Spread cubes of cheese all the way to the edges of the crust so the butterfat drips down to the bottom of the pan. Or don’t chance it and grate, or even slice cheese directly into a rectangular black metal pan to form the deliciously crisp lacy structure around the edges.

Need inspiration for a profitable LTO? Ask your Shamrock Foods Sales Representative about a consultation with one of our Bella Bello specialists or chefs.

the skinny on square

Whether it’s called Roman, Sicilian, or Grandma-style - leverage key characteristics to distinguish your pies.

  • Prep a thin, crunchy-bottom crust

    Tip: Bake in a heavy metal pan, or simply re-toast the crust before serving

  • Take toppings edge-to-edge

    Eggplant and garlic. Prosciutto slices. Fresh figs and arugula.

  • Slice it with scissors

    Al taglio means pizza cut with scissors to the preferred width, often sold by weight.

Chicago tavern-cut pizza is trending

Prepare thin squares for snacking, preferably on a napkin. The crust should have a thin crackle around the edges, some chewiness in the center.

(Tip: Let dough ferment 24 - 48 hours, bake at 600 degrees.)

In the realm of pizza, the foundation is just as crucial as the toppings. A perfectly crafted dough can elevate a pizza from basic to breathtaking. With Bella Bello's premium range of ingredients, achieving that impeccable base is within arm's reach.

Contact our experts today and discover how Bella Bello can transform your pizza creations, taking a simple crust to the pinnacle of gastronomic delight!


*Pizza Today, 2023 State of the Pizzeria Industry Report

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Glorious Gluten

Gluten = Protein = Strength

The transformation of dough begins when two opposing yet complementary strands of gluten come together when flour is mixed with water, yeast, sugar and salt.

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