Author Topic: hydration rates and cracker doughs  (Read 2387 times)

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Offline fazzari

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hydration rates and cracker doughs
« on: February 28, 2012, 09:44:34 AM »
Tom
What is the reason that most cracker dough recipes (specially, the laminated ones) have such low hydration rates?  I know you can make them with higher rates, but what is the thinking behind most of them being so very low (36,37,38%)?
Thank you

John


Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: hydration rates and cracker doughs
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2012, 10:28:32 AM »
John;
Actually, we have found that absorption values of 45 to 50% work better in cracker type doughs than the very low absorptions in the 30 to 40% range. The reason for the low absorption values is to prevent full hydration of the flour, however, we have found that if you make the dough in much the same manner as you would a pie dough you can achieve the same results while having an easier to work with dough. This is what we have found to work best for us;
Put water into the mixing bowl (45 to 50% of the total flour weight), then add the yeast (be sure to suspend the yeast in the water), add salt and sugar (we don't recommend using sugar but do so if you must), now add the oil and immediately add the flour. Mix at low speed for about 90-seconds (I know, it doesn't look like a dough, but trust me). Take the "shaggy" dough to the bench and scale to desired weight (be sure to scale about 2 to 3-ounces heavier than what you want as there will be scrap dough), roughly form the "dough" into pucks as you would for a pie dough, or better yet, place into individual plastic bags, then place into the fridge to ferment overnight. If you made pucks, place them onto a pan and cover with plastic before placing it the fridge. On the following day, remove the dough from the fridge and allow to temper AT room temperature for 2-hours, then turn the dough out of the bag, and place onto a dusted surface, using a rolling pin, sheet the dough out to about the thickness of a quarter. Trim the dough to the desired diameter, dock well, sauce and dress as desired. Pizzas made on these dough skins should be baked on a hearth surface at 500F.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Online Pete-zza

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Re: hydration rates and cracker doughs
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2012, 10:40:27 AM »
Tom,

From what I have seen on the forum, the members seem to have different expectations when it comes to the cracker style crust. Some members (me included) like the crust to be very crispy and prone to shattering--much like a piece of glass shatters. I found the best way to achieve this result was to use a low hydration and a low thickness factor (and a modest amount of oil, mainly to improve rolling and for flavor). Other members prefer a more tender crust. It will usually be less crisp and may break but it will be just like breaking a saltine cracker into two pieces, without shattering. The more tender type of crust is likely to have a higher thickness factor from what I have seen and maybe a bit more oil. It can also tolerate a higher hydration, but not too high since that might lead to a crust that has both cracker like effects and chewiness.

Peter

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: hydration rates and cracker doughs
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2012, 12:45:01 PM »
Peter;
You are absolutely correct. The gross under mixing of the dough that I outlined produces a finished crust that actually shatters as you bite into it, yes, it is that tender and flaky, and if that isn't enough to satisfy ones crispy tooth, try par-baking the docked dough skin, then dressing it and finishing in the normal manner, it is like having a giant saltine cracker under those toppings (I've been known to boast just a little), but it does produce a pleasantly crispy and tender eating finished crust. The key is not to over mix the dough, it must look something like either a long flake pie dough or a good home made baking powder biscuit dough (that biscuit dough might be just a little over mixed as an example for this application).
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline fazzari

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Re: hydration rates and cracker doughs
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 11:01:28 PM »
Tom, Peter
Your explanations show me the way to go.  I am close, so close to where I want my dough to be, and now I think I know how to get all the way there.

By the way Peter, I have never tasted a pizza that had the qualities that you describe..so, I have a batch started per Tom's instructions and I'll give it a go.

Thanks to both of you

John

Offline MUAATH

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Re: hydration rates and cracker doughs
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 08:13:41 AM »
Tom
Does not affect Add salt to the mixture of water and yeast in a negative (causing the death of yeast).

Offline MUAATH

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Re: hydration rates and cracker doughs
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 08:20:51 AM »
TOM
Is there a specific amount of water before mixing with yeast or this is not true.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: hydration rates and cracker doughs
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2012, 09:07:28 AM »
Is there a specific amount of water before mixing with yeast or this is not true.


MUAATH,

If you are asking Tom how much water to use to rehydrate ADY, see his post at the PMQ Think Tank at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=54647#p54647. See also the topic heading "Add to warm water" under REHYDRATION at http://www.lallemand.com/BakerYeastNA/eng/PDFs/LBU%20PDF%20FILES/2_9INST.PDF.

Peter

Offline MUAATH

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Re: hydration rates and cracker doughs
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2012, 09:16:16 AM »
peter
This is very useful thanks.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: hydration rates and cracker doughs
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2012, 09:28:42 AM »
Muaath;
If you are using my cracker dough formula, it calls for adding the yeast to the water in the mixing bowl. While this is usually not a recommended practice, the in this application it is absolutely necessary due to the VERY SHORT mixing time. Also, in this application I suggest adding the yeast and salt, then stirring just enough to suspend the yeast in the water IMMEDIATELY followed by adding the flour and beginning the very short mixing phase. This is the only way to get a decent dispersion of the yeast and salt in view of the short mixing time.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor


 

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