The Encyclopizza - pizza dictionary

Thickness Factor (Loading Factor)

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What is the Thickness/Loading Factor

The concept of thickness/loading factor can be a bit tricky, but it is an extremely useful tool that enables us to create pizzas of varying sizes while maintaining a desired thickness.

The main purpose of the thickness factor is to calculate the amount of dough needed for a pizza of a specific size and thickness. Similar to baker’s percentages, the thickness factor allows for comparison between different recipes and dough formulas. If someone provides a specific thickness factor, it helps to understand the approximate thickness of the crust and, more importantly, enables the replication of the same thickness properties in another pizza.

Another significant advantage of the thickness factor is its ability to facilitate quick and easy calculations for the amount of dough required for any desired pizza size, whether it is round (based on diameter) or square (based on length and width).

To conclude:
The thickness factor is the ratio of the weight of the dough to the size (surface) of the pizza. A higher ratio means more dough for the same size of pizza, while a lower ratio means less dough, which ultimately determines the thickness of the pizza. The thickness factor allows us to use a constant number, which is the ratio between the size of the pizza and the amount of dough, to calculate the necessary amount of dough for pizzas of different sizes and thicknesses.

It is important to clarify that the thickness factor is not a measure of the actual crust thickness of the baked pizza. It is solely used for calculation purposes.

In the context of PizzaBlab’s pizza dough calculator, it is not necessary to understand the intricacies of the thickness factor; All that matters is that different thickness factor values will result in pizzas with different thicknesses, as shown in the list below. The specific numbers could as well be 1, 2, 3, etc. – the key is that a particular thickness factor will correspond to a specific pizza thickness.

Another important point to note is that while using the thickness factor is a reliable way to achieve a specific thickness in a pizza, certain factors can affect the final result in terms of thickness, such as:

  • Oven spring: Greater oven spring during baking will result in a thicker crust.
  • Size of the rim: For a round pizza, a flat pizza with a minimal rim and a uniform surface will be thicker compared to a pizza made from the same dough but with a larger rim. This is because there is more dough in the rim, resulting in a thinner center.

Thickness Factor Values for Different Styles of Pizza

Of course, these thickness factor values are just guidelines, and you may adjust them based on personal preference.

How to Calculate the Thickness Factor (No Need to Know This)

First, the calculation is performed according to US customary units, using inches and ounces (oz).

Calculating the thickness factor for a round pizza:

TF = DW / (R * R * 3.14)

TF = Thickness Factor
DW = Dough Weight
R = The radios of the pizza
3.14 = Pie (π)

Calculating the thickness factor for a square pizza:

TF = DW / (L * W)

TF = Thickness Factor
L = Length of the pizza/pan
W = Width of the pizza/pan

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