Author Topic: Crust a Little dry  (Read 3279 times)

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Offline s00da

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Re: Crust a Little dry
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2010, 07:01:44 AM »
Check my earlier photo of dough balls.  I manged to get 6x 250g dough balls out of 1kg of flour and roughly 5g of fresh yeast.  I have used 5 dough balls and have one left sitting in the fridge.  I do mostly make my dough by feel but I will endeavour to measure everything in the future.  And yes, after that two day cold ferment, it has certainly made the dough a lot softer around the edges.  I have tried to stretch the dough by hand but find it really difficult.  I know it's all about practice.  What I do is start the dough with the rolling pin, then finish it off by hand.

a 1.5kg dough made out of a 1kg flour bag = roughly 50% hydration

I think you need to up that


Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Crust a Little dry
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2010, 11:49:35 AM »
Thanks Bobino414,

you’re the first person to respond to my question regarding old flour.

You’re comments are really helpful but I wanted to know if there any other tests I could do to definitely know for sure that my flour is knackered?

It seemed that the dry crust problem went away after a two day cold ferment.

But I guess you’re right, two years is a long time to have flour sitting around, so I probably will just chuck it anyway.


Jason.

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Crust a Little dry
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2010, 11:53:09 AM »
Thanks Bobino414,

you’re the first person to respond to my question regarding old flour.

You’re comments are really helpful but I wanted to know if there any other tests I could do to definitely know for sure that my flour is knackered?

It seemed that the dry crust problem went away after a two cold ferment.

But I guess you’re right, two years is a long time to have flour sitting around, so I probably would just chuck it anyway.


Jason.

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Crust a Little dry
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2010, 12:01:17 PM »
What is the technique to increase hydration in your dough?

My dough is roughly 50% hydrated. 

If I had added any more water, then the dough would have become un-workable. 

Is there a technique to over-come this problem?

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Crust a Little dry
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2010, 01:12:18 PM »
I don't have a definitive answer to your problem, but I can relay some techniques that have worked for me to overcome dough which is hard to stretch.

1. Use the dough calculator on this site to get your hydration up to 60%. See how that works for you. The doughs that I have produced at that hydration and using a levain (you use a natural one, I use a starter), are effortless to hand shape into a disc - no rolling pin ever needed. The dough is hard to get used to handling, but makes for a much better product. In fact, doughs produced like this, in my kitchen at least, do not double in size. They merely puff slightly and spread during proofing.

2. If my flour was two years old I would buy a new bag. I just bought a 55lb bag of Caputo Pizzeria. As an example of shelf life, it was produced in January 2010 and the expiration date is November 2010.


What is the technique to increase hydration in your dough?

My dough is roughly 50% hydrated. 

If I had added any more water, then the dough would have become un-workable. 

Is there a technique to over-come this problem?

« Last Edit: May 08, 2010, 01:25:11 PM by dellavecchia »

Offline Bobino414

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Re: Crust a Little dry
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2010, 08:59:50 PM »

Jason

Back to your question-how to tell if flour is old.  The flour package has a date of production stamped on it.  The flour mills (Conagra) prefer you use the flour in 1 month or less.  I have used flour(well  sealed) up to 1 year old without a problem. 
To maintain consistency the flour mills use a farinograph to test the properties of the flour.  This tells them among other things the absorption of water as well as peak water to gluten ratio so the baker can make necessary adjustments.  The printout from the farinograph is supplied when you order a large quantity of flour.
Since we are small users, no printout for us.  If you live near a flour mill they might be nice enough to test your flour.  The test takes about 30 minutes.  Buying a farinograph is not very practical for us. 
So if in  doubt about your flour buy a second bag with recent date of production and use the fresh flour with the same recipe.  If your results are much better, chuck the old but if the results are the same the problem is not the flour.
I hope this helps.
Bobino414

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Crust a Little dry
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2010, 12:19:41 PM »
Thanks Bobino414, this is very helpful. 

Just checked the date.

I'm definitely getting rid of this and getting some new flour.


Jason.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Crust a Little dry
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2010, 12:31:39 PM »
Jason,

What I sometimes do with flour that is past its prime is to conduct experiments with it, especially those that do not involve taste. For example, you might conduct mixer/kneading experiments, hand kneading/stretch and fold experiments, room temperature fermentation experiments, pre-bake oven experiments, etc. You just don't go the point of dressing and baking the pizzas.

Peter

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Crust a Little dry
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2010, 12:44:42 PM »
Thanks Pete-zza, a very good idea.

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Crust a Little dry
« Reply #29 on: May 11, 2010, 03:17:20 PM »
This is the final pie from the batch of dough I made.   This dough had been sitting in my refrigerator for 8 days.  I decided to open this dough by hand instead of using a rolling pin and I have to agree that the results are much better.  The bread is much lighter and more airy.  Still the problem with the dry crust though but I think this is to do with the flour being out of date.

Not perfect but I think I am moving in the right direction.