Madia (Wooden Dough/Bread Trough) for Pizza

The first time I saw a madia in use, was in one of Italia Squisita’s videos on YouTube. A Madia is a wooden dough/ bread trough where the dough was prepared in the old times. Dough troughs, in general, come in all sizes and shapes. Madia means sideboard. I’m not sure if it got the name because if its look or that some dough troughs in fact were sideboards.

Antique American Pine Dough Box, Pennsylvania (

Dough troughs also often came in a shape of dugout canoe. The benefit of this type is, that you don’t need any joints. It is also naturally sealed if there are no cracks. All you need is to dig out a stem of a tree that is halved lengthwise. For the other type, you have to cut boards, somewhat precise to avoid any gaps and you have to connect them. But you also are more versatile if it comes to the size.

Antique Dough Trough on a Stand (Charles Phillips Antiques & Architecturals)

I decided to make a traditional Sicilian madia which has the shape of a trapezoidal prism. The long sides are at an angle and the short sides are straight (90°). I wanted to tilt the short sides as well but couldn’t do it because I didn’t have the tools to mill a tilted groove.

Some technical data

Inside dimensions:

  • The bottom is 445×190 mm, the top 445×335 mm and the height is 185 mm.
  • The angle of the long sides to the bottom is 111° and the short sides are straight (90°).
  • The volume is about 22 Litres. The wall thickness is 18 mm.
  • The wood that was used is pine.

Tools I used

  • hand router (to make the grooves)
  • hand plane (to plane the angle)
  • hand saw (for cutting the boards at specific length)
  • sand paper
  • clamps
  • drills