Author Topic: Help! My dough keeps tearing.  (Read 792 times)

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Help! My dough keeps tearing.
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2014, 01:38:27 PM »
Craig (and anyone else who always leaves their starter out at room temp), do you find that leaving the starter out produces a less acidic starter? Approximately what ratio of starter to flour and water do you use? I'm assuming it's not 1:1:1, or the starter would become very acidic very quickly, right?

Probably - but because you feed (and dilute the acidity) more often when it's at room temp. I do the feeding by sight. I don't measure anything My normal feeding routine is to add some water - maybe 50% of the starter volume, mix it up, dump half out, and add enough flour to reach a thick batter-like consistency. That's it.

Your problem really surprises me. I've never had anything like it when using such small quantities of starter.

If I had to guess, I'd say it enzyme related more so than acid. If it was acid breakdown, surely you would have a strongly detectable acid bite in the dough.
Pizza is not bread.


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Help! My dough keeps tearing.
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2014, 01:39:33 PM »
How much salt (%) are you using?
Pizza is not bread.

Offline dbarneschi

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Re: Help! My dough keeps tearing.
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2014, 04:11:16 PM »
How much salt (%) are you using?
A 250g dough ball is comprised of the following:

150g 00 flour (100%)
93.5g water (62.5%)
4.5g salt (3%)
2g Ischia starter (1.3%)


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Help! My dough keeps tearing.
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2014, 04:32:42 PM »
I don't know what to tell you. I'm surprised you are having this problem. It will be interesting to see what happens with IDY.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline dbarneschi

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Re: Help! My dough keeps tearing.
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2014, 04:45:30 PM »
I don't know what to tell you. I'm surprised you are having this problem. It will be interesting to see what happens with IDY.
Thanks for the tips. I'll keep you updated.

Perhaps one other thing to note is that I'm not very consistent with my starter feeding regimen prior to "activating" the dough. Sometime it's at it's peak, sometime it's a number of hours after it peaks, sometime I'll pull it straight from the fridge and let it warm to room temp. I've been more consistent lately, but this last time the starter had deflated for a number of hours (probably between 4-6) before using.

Offline dineomite

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Re: Help! My dough keeps tearing.
« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2014, 07:20:02 PM »
If they collapse that soon after you're done cooking I'd try reducing the percentage of Ischia.

I think the bigger issue is the feeding schedule. I find it very difficult to anticipate what my fermentation is going to be like if the starter is jumping all over the place due to sporadic feeding. My biggest successes seem to come when the starter is rising and falling predictably and I begin mixing the dough just as it's starting to recede. A regular feeding regimen certainly informs you on how active [or inactive] your yeast is behaving.

Try lowering the yeast percentage and see what happens.

Offline dbarneschi

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Re: Help! My dough keeps tearing.
« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2014, 11:42:30 PM »
If they collapse that soon after you're done cooking I'd try reducing the percentage of Ischia.

I think the bigger issue is the feeding schedule. I find it very difficult to anticipate what my fermentation is going to be like if the starter is jumping all over the place due to sporadic feeding. My biggest successes seem to come when the starter is rising and falling predictably and I begin mixing the dough just as it's starting to recede. A regular feeding regimen certainly informs you on how active [or inactive] your yeast is behaving.

Try lowering the yeast percentage and see what happens.
Good advice. I'll experiment with this.

Offline dbarneschi

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Re: Help! My dough keeps tearing.
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2014, 10:59:16 AM »
I did another bake session the other day and made a few changes. First, instead of a weekly feeding for my Ischia starter and a random feeding routine prior to making the dough, I fed it three times a day for three days in a row. I found that the starter puffed up a lot less between feedings (it probably doubled vs. tripling or quadrupling previously). This time around, I also (accidentally) fermented cooler - probably ~62F over the course of 48 hours. Also, instead of pulling the dough out to sit at room temp for 4-5 hours prior to baking, this time it was more like 2.5-3.5 hrs. When stretching, the dough was cool to the touch and more difficult to pull out, but 1. there were no tears, 2. oven rise was terrific and 3. leoparding was some of my best yet.

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Help! My dough keeps tearing.
« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2014, 05:22:30 PM »
Rcently I have made two batches of dough with the same bag of Caputo flour. (which is stored in my 80-90 degree garage in plastic containers)

The first was three weeks ago --- with Camaldoli starter that was admittedly neglected, poorly fed, and very acidic tasting at the time of dough making. But it looked "pretty active"....

The dough looked good through bulk and ball stage --- all at RT. But when it came time to make the skins it was like making skins with cottage cheese. DISASTER.

The only other time I experienced such weak dough was when I tried to rush along some "slow dough" by letting it rise on a very hot driveway. Same cottage cheese result.


Fast forward to this week --- same flour, same hydration, but made with IDY. Similar 46-48 hour fermentation/temp.

Dough could not have been any more perfect.

I am throwing out the Camaldoli. When I get back to natural starter dough I will re-try some Ischia or mmmph's Moby

I was worried it might have been the flour. It wasn't. It was the starter. I wish that I had a pH meter b/c that's what I suspect. But TxCraig mentions enzymes, so there's another factor I hadn't considered.

John K
I'm not wearing hockey pads!