How To Use PizzApp In 7 Easy Steps (Best Dough Calculator)

Asking pizza aficionados about what is the best pizza dough can quickly turn into a religious discussion. Do you work with a high-hydration dough, a medium, or a low? Do you add fats, how long should the dough raise, should it raise cold or warm (or a combination)? Ultimately the combinations of these factors are to be determined by the pizzaiolo, as he/she is the one who will be working with the dough. What is true no matter which direction the discussion takes is that all of the mentioned factors should have an impact in determining how much you will need of the different ingredients in your pizza dough.

How To Use PizzApp (Best Dough Calculator)

This is where PizzApp comes into play. PizzApp is a great invention by Nasuti Francesco Paolo and is available for free on most smartphones (Android and iPhone). In this guide, I will teach you how to use PizzApp which I believe is the best dough calculator on the market.

PizzApp makes it super easy to determine the number of ingredients needed to turn out amazing Neapolitan-style pizza. You simply specify the number of dough balls, the weight of each ball, your amount of water (hydration), salt, yeast type, and how much time you have available for leavening. PizzApp then does its magic and calculates the number of ingredients needed for you to shine as the master pizzaiolo of the night.

The dough will work in any type of oven, but my experience is that you will get the best results using an actual pizza oven that can get very hot – I would recommend looking at something like the Ooni Koda 16 for great pizza baking results. Read along and learn how to use PizzApp in 7 easy steps.

Table of Contents

How To Download PizzApp

1: Download PizzApp from App Store/Playstore

iPhone:

  • Open App Store
  • Search for PizzApp
  • Select and download PizzApp+

Android:

  • Open Google Play Store
  • Search for PizzApp
  • Select and download PizzApp+

Step-By-Step How To Use PizzApp

1. Open PizzApp

After installing PizzApp from your specific app store, locate the icon and click to open the app. Follow the rest of the steps to learn how to use PizzApp.

2. Select Number Of Dough Balls

First, decide how many dough balls you need. This number will obviously depend on how many mouths you are planning on feeding.

The number of dough balls is tightly interlinked with the ball weight. You could make 1 pizza at 500 grams (which would be a huge pizza) or 2 pizzas at 250 grams. The total dough amount would be the same.

3. Decide On Ball Weight

In this step, you will have to decide on the weight of each dough ball. The smaller the size the smaller the pizza, and the larger the size the larger the pizza. You get the point.

From experience, I would rather make 2 smaller pizzas than one big pizza. This way you get the opportunity to create many more pizzas with different styles of toppings.

For me and my family, I have learned that 235 grams is a great sweet spot. However, you do you. If you want larger pizzas then go ahead and increase the amount.

4. Set The Hydration Level (Water Amount)

In this next step, you will have to decide on the amount of water in the dough or using bakers’ terms the hydration level of the dough. PizzApp has a built-in functionality where it changes the color of the percentage. A green percentage signals that the dough is fairly easy to work with. Yellow is a bit more difficult. Finally, red signals that the dough will be fairly tricky to work with and would require quite a lot of technique and skills to handle the dough.

From my point of view, I would really not go below a 60 percent hydration level. I usually work with around 62-65 percent. However, the percentage also depends on the type of flour you use. Some flours tend to be more thirsty and can thereby absorb more water before they become difficult to work with. Similarly, some almost reject absorbing the water and quickly become very wet and difficult to work with.

I would suggest that you start with about 62 percent water. If you then feel like the dough could use more water I would gradually add more.

5. Set The Salt Level

Pizza dough should be fairly salt, so do not be worried when you see the amount of salt that PizzApp suggests adding to the dough. Keep the salt level at around 3 percent and you should be good to go.

I have landed on 2.9 percent being the perfect amount for me. Once again, as was the case with the water level, PizzApp uses color coding to signal the ideal salt percentage.

6. Decide Leavening Time And Setup

The first step – and for some, only – is to set the amount of time you have available for leavening at room temperature (RT). Depending on the setup you want, you may leave the dough at room temperature only. The rule of thumb is that the longer the leavening the less amount of yeast is needed.

The second point to define is at what temperature you will be leaving the dough. In my house room temperature is about 22 degrees Celsius. In the settings, you will be able to define whether the measurement should be in Celsius or Fahrenheit.

As with everything else, the way you raise your dough can be quite religious. Some swear to only rest it at room temperature, whereas others look for a combination of room temperature and cold (CT, fridge) storage.

If you want to use the CT cold storage option this is something you will need to select in the settings menu (see step 8 for how to add CT as an option).

I usually rest my dough using a combination of room temperature and cold storage. As exemplified in the screenshots, I have had great success with 8 hours at room temp (split between both sides of the CT leavening, e.g. 4 hours before CT and 4 hours after).

The reason why I use both cold and room temperature leavening is that I find that the dough develops some delicious fermented flavor.

7. Select Type Of Yeast

Depending on where you live in the world you will have different types of yeast available. In my case, I typically use fresh yeast (CY) but only because this is easily available where I live. It should not really matter which type of yeast you use, the only important thing is that you select the right type of yeast in the menu.

Types Of Yeast:

CY = Compressed Yeast, a fresh form of yeast made from Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (made from beer).

ADY = Active Dry Yeast, a dried yeast made from Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (made from beer). This requires activation in warm water.

IDY = Instant Dry Yeast, once again a dried form of yeast made from Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (made from beer).

FSD = Firm Sourdough, 50 % hydrated sourdough

LSD = Liquid Sourdough, 100 % hydrated sourdough

Irrespective of which type of yeast you use you should not be concerned about the low amount of yeast suggested by PizzApp. This is on purpose! Pizza dough should not contain loads of yeast, instead, you should raise and leave it for a longer period of time to allow for the yeast to work its magic.

While I would recommend leavening for a minimum of 24 hours to allow the development of flavors, do not worry if you wake up with pizza cravings and do not have that amount of time available. I have successfully made delicious dough using the PizzApp calculations with only 4 hours of leavening time.

You have now learned how to use PizzApp following the above 7 easy steps enabling you to easily make delicious pizza dough. However, it does not have to end here. In the next step bonus step, you can learn about even more fantastic features available in PizzApp.

Oh, and if you want to learn more about what pizza accessories I recommend you should check out the pizza tools I like.

8. BONUS: Additional Settings

PizzApp is an amazing app and it features way more settings besides the minimum required once than what we have walked through in this guide.

You have the option of turning on settings if you use poolish or biga in your dough, if you add fats, if you use Fahrenheit instead of Celsius, and so on.

PizzApp also comes with a variety of translations, so you if prefer to display everything in another language this is also a possibility.

All in all, I cannot recommend PizzApp enough. It is truly my go-to partner in crime when preparing my pizza dough.

25 Comments

    • Hi John!

      Glad you liked the guide.

      I’m usually using Caputo Pizzeria or Caputo Nuvola flour. They are great for making Neapolitan pizza dough.
      If this is unavailable where you live, I suggest you look for flour with a reasonably high W value. Often an easy way to do this is by going with flour with at least 12g of protein.

      Hope this helps :).

      /Christian

  1. In the app what is main dough doses at the bottom? Is this the weight it will rise to? So if I want 6 – 250g balls…. It’s saying I use 920g of flour and that will rise to make 1,500g ?

    • Hi Pete,

      That should indicate the total weight combining the different ingredients (more or less).
      They calculate this by taking the number of dough balls multiplied by the ball weight.

      Basically, the weight of the dough doesn’t increase as the dough rises (at least not noticeable, some water may evaporate).
      As the yeast consumes the natural sugars in the dough carbon dioxide is created filling the dough with air/gas.

      Hope this helps,

      Happy pizza-making,
      Christian

  2. Hello. Hope you can answer something I am confused about. You specify hours and temp for RT or CT. Does this include balling up your individual dough balls or extra time? If you specify 20h for instance, would you ball up after 18h?

    • Hi David,

      Correct. The hours specified is the total amount of hours, meaning that both bulk and individual dough ball time is included.

      Depending on whether or not you ball up directly from cold fermentation I would probably increase the dough ball time to 3-4H.

      Hope this helps,
      Christian

  3. So, i typically make poolish, let it rest at room temp for an hour and then put it overnight in the fridge for 16 to 24 hours.

    Then I mix the dough and let it rest for an hour, then ball up and let it rest at room temp for 3 to 4 hours.

    My question: when specifying poolish leavening time here, do they mean in the fridge? And does the poolish resting time of 1 hour before putting it in the fridge get counted toward total RT time?

    • Poolish is defined in the app as: “Poolish = liquid pre-ferment, with a flour to water ratio of 1:1 and little yeast, left to ferment at 18-20 degrees C.”. So based on this, they expect you to leave your poolish in room temp and not the fridge. The polish resting time is calculated as its own line item, separated from the RT and CT times you specify.

      The resting time of the combined dough (poolish + dough) is counted together in the 1-hour RT dough mix and the 3 to 4 hours ball up. So in PizzApp you would specify 4-5 hours RT leavening.

  4. Hello,

    When talking about ct and rt I have a question, if I do say 6 hours room temp, and 24 control, can I do 4 hours on rt and then count the 2 that I will take out from fridge to reach room temp before working them to make pizza? Or there are 6 hours before going into ct and the bring back to room temp does not count?

    • Hi Carlos,

      Do calculate a bit of time for the dough to come up in temp to get the full effect of the RT raise.
      However, that is more or less how I count it. Especially with such a long fermentation process, whether RT lasts 5 or 6 hours shouldn’t matter too much.

      Most important is that you after CT ensure that the dough gets time to acclimate as this will make it much easier to work with the dough.

      Bake on,
      Christian

  5. This is great. I’m going to try out the Pizza App.

    Does the leavening time apply to the bulk ferment or ball? A combination of both? How do you know?

    Any help would be much appreciated!

    • Hi Nino,

      Great, I’m sure you will like it!

      The leavening time is the total combined time – so it is up to you to decide on the time where you bulk and where you ball.

      I usually only bulk at the end so would do the majority of the leavening in bulk. A pro tip is to ball for around 4 hours at RT this will allow the dough to rest and get to room temp, which in turn will make it much easier to stretch out the pizza.

      Hope it helps!

  6. This is my first time using the chart.
    Can you make different styles with this formula I.E New York or Pan pizzas?
    (2)…If using a Kitchenade mixer what would be the ideal mixing time at low speed or is the temperature of the dough your guide?
    (3)…Please tell me if this is exceptable or you may have a better Rt and Ct.
    After mixing the dough, I cover the dough for 90 minutes at Rt. I Then ball the dough, add oil to the balls and cold ferment for 24 hours.
    Before making pizzas I let dough come to room temp (3 hours).
    Thank you
    Michael

  7. I am making my dough at 4 PM the afternoon before I plan to use it the following evening at 7:00. I have it scheduled for a total of 8 hrs. RT and 18 hrs CT. I plan to put it in the refrigerator at 10:00 PM the night before after is has been at RT for 6 hrs. Should I put it in the fridge in one big ball or should I make the individual pizza balls before I put it in the fridge? Thank you!

    • Hi Christian

      Thank you for the great article and explanation.

      I have got the app and am similarly confused regarding the ball vs bulk time. What would be the optimal time at which point to do the ball time.

      So for example if I had 6hr RT and 24hr CT and I want to have pizza ready for 2000 Saturday night would I do a CT first then RT for 4hrs followed but 2hrs of ball?

      Sorry I am still figuring this out

      • Hi Ravjit,

        Yes, that would work perfectly.
        A suggestion could be to have 1-2 hours on RT before you put the dough in the fridge to allow the yeast to start working.

        /Christian

    • Hi Amy,

      That is really up to you. Only thing it would advise is that you at a minimum give the individual dough balls a chance to warm up in RT for couple of hours before you make your pizzas.
      I myself tend to change it up depending on what suits my day and schedule the best.

      /Christian

  8. Question regarding the use of poolish feature.
    Would I add yeast to the main dough aswell? when combining the main dough with the Poolish?

  9. Thank you for the wonderful info.
    After mixing I like to leave it for 2 hrs at room temp and fridge for 48 hours.
    Do I make the balls after the rt or when I remove dough from fridge?
    Thank you
    Michael
    Canadian Pizza Lover

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