Mar 14, 2012 • By

The Doughminators to the rescue

To some folks, Tom Santos, Bill Weekley and Tim Huff are three average Joes. To pizza people, they are three superheroes.

The trio, known as the Doughminators, is on a mission to rescue pizza places from crust catastrophes.

Tom, Bill and Tim are part of our Bakery & Culinary Technical Services Team. Because the pizza business accounts for such a large percentage of flour sales, they’ve worked with a lot of pizza operators.

These guys know pizza dough, but have discovered that many pizza people don’t.

“Pizza folks tend to be folks that are not trained in the baking industry. They often get into the pizza industry almost by accident,” explains Tim, a bakery services manager. “They are construction workers, former taxi drivers, teachers – who knows what – getting into the pizza business. They tend to be very hungry for technical information we can supply.”

Bill and Tim branded themselves the Doughminators about a year ago, but have been saving pizza joints for ages. (Tom recently replaced John Lipani in the group, who retired in December.)

(John, Bill and Tim)

“I’ve probably had about a dozen operators over the years who have called on a Friday and said, `Tim, I’ve got this great storefront. It was an old pizza place. The guy retired. He sold the business. I bought it. I’m opening on Monday. How do you make dough?’”

In emergencies like this, the Doughminators begin by finding out what style of pizza is desired. Once they know that, they can determine what type of flour to use for the crust. For example, a Chicago Deep Dish requires flour with a protein level of 10 to 12 percent, like Harvest King. Step-by-step, the men help pizza operators dominate their dough.

Currently, the Doughminators are on duty at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. They are leading a seminar on the science of making pizza dough – a service they’ve provided at the annual event for more than 15 years.

“We talk about ingredient functionality. We talk about formulation. We talk about the process of making dough and troubleshooting,” says Tim. “What we’re doing is arming pizza operators with the information to put them in control of their dough instead of their dough controlling them.”

Crowd control might become just as relevant as dough control. From what we hear, and can see in the photos in this post, fans flock to the Doughminators.

Still, despite their fame, you can reach the down-to-earth guys at their toll-free number: 1-800-426-2760.