Author Topic: Mix Times and Development  (Read 145 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Mix Times and Development
« on: December 18, 2010, 11:44:38 AM »
Today I stumbled across an article by Tod Bramble, of King Arthur, on mix times and development. The article is at http://www.bakingbuyer.com/en/Baking%20and%20Production/Mix%20Times%20and%20Development.aspx. Because I cannot reproduce the article because of copyright reasons, it may be necessary to register, as I did some time ago, to see the article (and other articles and videos as well). As I was reading the article, I kept on thinkng of Chau, which is what prompted me to post the link to the article.

Peter


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Mix Times and Development
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2010, 07:53:27 AM »
What a good read, thank you for posting that Peter.   Are you sure we couldn't just cut and paste the article as long as credit is given to the author. 

Anyways I found the article informative and interesting to read.  A couple of points worthy of noting is that the author mentions that in most instances, it is generally undesireable to knead to full gluten development (window pane).  Only with a Challah or a Brioche would one want to mix to full gluten development.  Usually a dough is mixed to undergluten development and the remaining development of gluten is accomplished with either stretch and folds and/or the process of fermentation.  As an aside and not mentioned by the author, I believe this point of undergluten developement is also referred to as the point of dough by Italian pizza makers or the punta di pasta. 

A 2nd point I thought worthy of discussion is that the author states that a hi-gluten flour may take 7 min as oppose to 2 min (lower protein flour) in order for the gluten to develop b/c it has more protein to reorganize.  I believe this to be wrong and should be vice versa.

Here is a snipet of the article.  "The development time is the amount of time it took to mix the dough to full development. In the first flour example you can see that the dough mixed together relatively quickly and has a development time of 2 minutes. (A typical hi-gluten flour (14% protein), in contrast, might have a development time of 7 minutes: there is just more protein to organize.)."

He illustrates this statement by pointing the reader to 2 fairnographs showing the mix times and stability times of 2 doughs, a 10.91% protein dough vs a 12% protein dough.  The mix times or times to gluten development are 2 min and 2.5 min.  Basically the higher protein flour require a half min more to develop gluten compared to the lower protein flour.

I have to say that I disagree with this point.  This issue has been discussed on this forum before without conclusion or satisfaction.   Either I simply don't understand the science or their science is flawed.  Any home baker can do a simple test and show that high gluten flour develops gluten much more readily than a lower protein flour.   In order to keep the test fair, the tester needs to use appropriate hydration levels respective of the protein strength or absorption values.   I would love to hear more discussion about this topic.

A few other facets of dough that have remained a mystery to me are ...
1) how doing stretch and folds seemingly builds more strength into dough compared to kneading by a mixer.   Does mixing dough with a mixer somehow causes more gluten damage than it builds gluten?  When using a mixer, you can visibly see the dough get stretched and "torn" for lack of a better word, and remixed.  Where as when I do hand kneading or stretch and folds this occurs to a much less extent. 

2) Also in this article, the author addresses the issue of stability in a dough.  "This is a relative measure of how long a dough can be mixed before the gluten network begins to breakdown resulting in an over-mixed dough."  I have yet to see this in the few test that I've done both hand kneading and with a mixer.  I have purposefully overkneaded dough in the realm of 25mins or so and have yet to see a dough lose it's shape or stability.   Can anyone clarify what is meant by an overmixed dough?  Does the dough somehow turn back into a more liquid state if overmixed? 

Thanks,
Chau
« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 07:56:17 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Mix Times and Development
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2010, 08:55:54 AM »
Tran Man, we had talked about this mix time issue a while back and I had hoped to do some experimenting along these lines. I had stated that I had also seen written accounts that stated it was almost impossible to "overmix" a high gluten flour. I know your feeling on the subject, and I just don't know what the "correct" answer. I do know that I had been using KA SIr Lancelot for my NY style pies, but have abandonded it because it was just to leathery, especially once the pie cools. I've been very tied up timewise as i'm in the process of selling my house, and my pizza making has almost come to a stand still. Perhaps once I'm settled back down I'll be able to persue this subject along with you. I will say one thing, I feel that my KA mixer with older style C-shaped hook is not the greatest dough mixer ever invented. Stay in touch.  Dave

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Mix Times and Development
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2010, 09:02:03 AM »
One point the article does not touch on is mixer type and speed. For instance, as it applies to pizza dough, Neapolitan tradition uses a fork mixer at a very slow speed for up to 20 minutes, achieving a very smooth (developed) dough.

John

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Mix Times and Development
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2010, 09:22:03 AM »
One point the article does not touch on is mixer type and speed. For instance, as it applies to pizza dough, Neapolitan tradition uses a fork mixer at a very slow speed for up to 20 minutes, achieving a very smooth (developed) dough.

John

Somewhere, marco pointed out that 20 minutes refers to the total mixing time, including rest periods. My fork mixer runs somewhat faster than those used in Naples, but I have come around to the "under development" school for Neapolitan dough. I have reduced kneading time from 5 to about 4 minutes (with a 20 minute riposo) with good results. With a 24-hour room temp fermentation/proof, the dough gets all of the strength it needs.

I plan to try less kneading at some point to see what happens.

Offline Matthew

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Re: Mix Times and Development
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2010, 09:55:46 AM »
Somewhere, marco pointed out that 20 minutes refers to the total mixing time, including rest periods. My fork mixer runs somewhat faster than those used in Naples, but I have come around to the "under development" school for Neapolitan dough. I have reduced kneading time from 5 to about 4 minutes (with a 20 minute riposo) with good results. With a 24-hour room temp fermentation/proof, the dough gets all of the strength it needs.

I plan to try less kneading at some point to see what happens.


I find that 8-10 minutes seems to do it for me with the spiral.  4 minutes to incorporate all the flour & 4-6 minutes to bring me to moderate gluten development .  If I was doing a sameday dough, I would mix for an additional 2-4 minutes which would be very close to windowpane.

Matt

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Mix Times and Development
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2010, 10:01:40 AM »
Chau,

On the copyright matter, Steve, the owner and Administrator of this forum, has instructed the Moderators to police the posts on the forum to be sure that copyrighted works of others are not reproduced on the forum. Some publishers will authorize reproduction if attribution is given but that permission has to be stated somewhere. Beyond that, you have to ask for permission. Most people don't notice but just about everything put on the Internet by professionals has a copyright notice. One of the negatives from our perspective when using only links to articles is that websites change and material is taken down such that links go dead. Sometimes the material can be found using the Wayback Machine at http://www.archive.org/web/web.php, which I think is a great search tool, but not all materials are archived and accessible using the Wayback Machine. For example, the posts and threads of the PMQ Think Tank before it changed its forum software a few years ago are not archived. That is why a lot of the PMQTT links in older posts on the forum no longer work.

With respect to your assessment of what Tod Bramble wrote in his article, you might want to take the matter up with him. As you can see from his bio at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/Tod-Bramble.html and his LinkedIn info at http://www.linkedin.com/in/todbramble, Tod has a milling and baking background, so he should be in a position to respond to your observations. He should also have access to Jeff Hamelman. Tod's telephone number is given at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/. However, you might want to keep in mind that Tod qualifies what he says about dough development when he states Here is the key thing to remember: you cannot use these as your mix times when mixing doughs in a production setting. These are the times that it took the farinograph to mix to an optimized dough strength, not a production mixer.

On the matter of overmixing and the breakdown of a dough, I have always read that it was almost impossible to destroy a dough by hand kneading. However, I know that it can be done in a machine. To test out this possibility, I once used my 14-cup Cuisinart food processor to see if I could achieve the breakdown or "letdown" point and literally destroy a dough. I reported on the results of my experiment at Reply 14 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1187.msg10649/topicseen.html#msg10649. I also talked about this matter at Reply 44 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2964.msg25401/topicseen.html#msg25401 and at Reply 13 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9027.msg78107/topicseen.html#msg78107. I never tried to use my basic KitchenAid stand mixer with a C-hook to see if it could similarly reach the breakdown or letdown point. I would think that one would have to use the higher mixer speeds for this purpose while restraining the mixer so that it doesn't end up in your living room.

I might also add, to Bill's and John's comments, that it appears from what I have read is that the bread side of dough making has been increasingly moving away from full gluten development at the mixing/kneading stage to less mixing/kneading and letting biochemical gluten development do more of the heavy lifting.

Peter


Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Mix Times and Development
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2010, 10:03:06 AM »
Somewhere, marco pointed out that 20 minutes refers to the total mixing time, including rest periods. My fork mixer runs somewhat faster than those used in Naples, but I have come around to the "under development" school for Neapolitan dough. I have reduced kneading time from 5 to about 4 minutes (with a 20 minute riposo) with good results. With a 24-hour room temp fermentation/proof, the dough gets all of the strength it needs.

I plan to try less kneading at some point to see what happens.


Agreed - I was referencing Roberto's mixing time in the video about Keste posted recently. If I am doing a 12-24 hour bulk I, personally, only do a 2-3 minute mix. By the time I go to use the balled dough it is silky smooth and developed.

John

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Mix Times and Development
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2010, 10:19:28 AM »
As would often happen with Marco, in my quest and desire to learn as much as I could about Neapolitan doughs, I would say something dumb or incorrect that compelled a perturbed Marco to respond to set the record straight. An example of this is Marco's post on the knead time at Reply 164 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1298.msg13809.html#msg13809. He also addressed the issue at Reply 116 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1298.msg13378/topicseen.html#msg13378.

Peter

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Mix Times and Development
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2010, 10:42:33 AM »
Peter, thank you for clarifying the forum's stance on infringement of copyrighted information.    I completely understand.  Also thank you for your advice.  Perhaps, I will have to take my questions and concerns to the source, King Arthur himself.   :-D

I'll also go through the links you have provided later today in hopes of learning about the breaking point of dough. 

As far as mix times and NP dough, it was this last August that I got a chance to see the Pizzaiolo at POMO in AZ mix up 2 batches of dough.  He insisted that they keep to VPN standards and I timed both batches in the vicinity of a 35min mix time using a fork mixer.   Upon trying slices from 4 different pies on 2 occassions I did not detect a leathery crumb which I would have attributed to overgluten development via overkneading.  My own personal complaint with the crust was that it was on the dry side but the crumb itself was not leathery as I will get if I overdevelop the gluten. 

My own feeling or suspicion for all this is that when a dough is mixed gently, the stability times can be greatly increased especially if the dough is of a moderate hydration relative to it's absorption rate.  That is you can mix it for much much longer than anticipated without ill effects to the dough.

I would wager that those with a gentle action fork/spiral mixer who are using minimal mix times could double and possibly triple their mix times with minimal effect to the gluten developement or resulting crumb.  If anyone is interested in doing that test, I would love to hear the results.   

Dave - no worries about doing that experiment as it is just a curiosity of mine and not that important.  All the answers will reveal themselves to us in due time.   

Chau
« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 10:52:45 AM by Jackie Tran »


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Mix Times and Development
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2010, 10:51:13 AM »
Interestingly enough, I followed both links Peter provided to the experiments he did with destroying the dough and read Scott r's response in reply #5.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2964.msg25401/topicseen.html#msg25401

"Peters description is exactly why I recommend finishing your dough by hand.  You will feel when the gluten is building, and I have found the best time to stop is just when you can feel it tightening and getting a little springy.   Since discovering this my doughs have gotten MUCH more consistent.  The electrolux is amazing, because I can knead for 25 minutes and the dough never gets tight.  I don't know if a KA would work the same way, but I have a feeling the santos does.  Of course a real pro knows when the dough hits this point without even having to finish by hand."

I would add that a real pro still needs to touch and perhaps pull on the dough to determine that there is sufficient and desire gluten developement to whatever level the pizza maker desires. 

Chau
« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 10:54:36 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline scott r

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Re: Mix Times and Development
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2010, 02:26:05 AM »
When I first got my santos I did a lot of mixing time experiments and found that with this powerful mixer it was fairly easy to take the dough too far into gluten development.  It was a really interesting phenomenon to experience, and it definitely returned to a more liquid, but incredibly sticky state.   Basically the dough would get tighter and springier fairly slowly, and then would almost instantly turn completely to glue.  It always amazed me how fast this happened.  I forget the exact times now, but it went somthing like this.    around the 3-4 minute mark the dough would come together and start feeling like a decent dough.   at 5-7 minutes it would gradually get smoother/tighter, and at somewhere around the 10 minute mark the dough would completely fall apart.  It turned to the consistency of a thickened elmers glue, was just as sticky, and once on my hands it was almost impossible to get off.  It would take me a half hour just to get everything out of the bowl and my hands.  Just like bill, I ended up with close to a 4 minute ultimate mix time with the santos.   The slower moving italian fork mixers (almost half the speed) tend to be used for much longer than that.   I have had the chance to talk to a number of professionals with fork mixers, and the common consensus is that 20 minutes with a typical italian flour is not unusual in naples, and that is with a fast incorporation of the flour at the beginning (as most italian pizzerias seem to do it).   With the gradual addition of flour and or higher hydrations mix times can definitely go up from there.    Part of the reason for the long mix times is that they never use bromated flours, which can withstand less mix time and perform like a fully mixed dough, and part of this is because of how the gluten is slowly achieved via the gentle italian fork mixers that are filled to capacity.   Don't forget that preferred mix times can change with batch sizes.   A large fully loaded fork mixer is sort of doing mini stretch and folds, and it takes a while for the fork to get back to the part of the "doughnut" that it has hit on the previous rotation.   A slow italian fork mixers action gives each part of the dough in the mixer a rest period while you are waiting for the full rotation of the bowl.   From what I have seen and heard it is typical at even the best pizzerias in naples to use a dough that is probably quite a bit more developed than what is typical on this forum.  Still, the pizza is amazing :)
« Last Edit: December 21, 2010, 12:52:15 PM by scott r »

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Mix Times and Development
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2010, 07:57:49 AM »
Scott - Many thanks for the excellent post. Extremely informative.

John

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Mix Times and Development
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2010, 08:24:21 AM »
Thank you Scott R.   That makes a lot of sense.  I forgot to mention that with the 2 batches I saw mixed for around 35m, flour was incorporated slowly and I was told the batch size was around 35lbs of dough.