Making the Dough : Otto Portland of Maine Pizza Notes Anniversary

When it comes to pizza dough, Anthony Allen, owner of Otto Portland of Maine Pizza knows a thing or two about pizza.

He was smart enough to move his dough facility to right here on Sanderson Avenue. Now they are making gluten-free dough in Lynn in a specialized gluten-free manufacturing room.

Owner Anthony Allen (left), master baker Alex Castiello and son Jared.
Balls of dough are being readied to ship.

“Otto Portland has been expanding, both here in Lynn with the dough but also at our shops,” said Allen. There are seven shops in Maine and locations in Arlington, BU Campus, Coolidge Corner, Harvard Square, Lynnfield, and Newburyport.

Teaming up with Master Baker Alex Castiello and his sons Jared and Julian, the dough is handmade in the Lynn facility with Otto’s own recipe and specialized machinery from Italy. Balls of dough are pressed and then par-baked (never frozen) and readied to ship to 13 locations.

From Castiello, Allen learned not to rely on someone else’s product. So he decided to make his own. Today 2,000 pounds of dough are produced each hour. In 10 years Otto has grown to a total of 460 employees serving pizza or making dough.

“We are different,” Allen said. “No shortcuts. Since 2009 when we opened our first slice shop on Congress Street in downtown Portland, we’ve been striving to elevate the pizza experience. It starts with the ingredients – high quality, local when possible – and the toppings – creative and comforting. Mashed potatoes? Tortellini? Cranberries on a pizza? These are just a few of the things we tried – and they worked.”

 “The Masher” with mashed potato (with a Maine potato and for Otto’s 10th anniversary you can even topped with lobster), scallion, and bacon is one of our most popular pies. And people thought it was weird when we first put it on the menu.” explained Allen.

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