Author Topic: Dough Tears  (Read 3959 times)

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Offline bbb

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Dough Tears
« on: December 18, 2007, 07:17:06 PM »
I mostly use this recipe in a bread machine:

1 cup white whole wheat flour (King Arthur)
1 cup white flour (trying different brands... everything from A&P all-purpose to Heckers to King Harvest)
3/4-7/8 cup of water
5/16th tsp yeast
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil (prevents the dough from sticking to the container)
(note: no salt is used)

The machine takes 2 hours to make the dough, and i make multiple batches in a day, so usually i let the dough rise for about two hours while the next batch is mixing, and so-on.

I then split the ball (from one machine cycle) into two parts, which are about a pound each and freeze them for later use.  They defrost in about 2-3 hours and ready to make some pie.

PROBLEM:
The dough has a tendacy to tear. 

I've learned to work around it, but if i were to drape the dough over my fists in an attempt to stretch it out (as a pizza maker in a pizzeria would do), it would most certainly tear.  The dough feels very moist to the touch (compared to dough that i used to buy from local pizzerias).  The tearing occurs regardless if i'm using fresh dough our defrosted dough from the freezer.

Any suggestions... too much water, oil, flour, etc?

Thanks for any and all input... i'm glad to have found this forum.


Offline dmun

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Re: Dough Tears
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2007, 10:38:31 PM »
1 cup white whole wheat flour (King Arthur)
1 cup white flour (trying different brands... everything from A&P all-purpose to Heckers to King Harvest)

I don't know anything about bread machines, but half whole wheat flour may be too much to give you a supple, extensible pizza dough. You may also need a stronger white flour, like bread flour, to give you more gluten. You may also want to add the oil at the last moment, to facilitate dough release.

Offline bbb

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Re: Dough Tears
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2007, 01:28:31 AM »
Quote
1 cup white flour (trying different brands... everything from A&P all-purpose to Heckers to King Harvest)
The Heckers and King Harvest are both very high gluten flours (afaik)

Also, i should add to clarify, that the dough tears as it gets too thin... it's almost 'soupy'.

After flattening the balls of dough into a small circles, if i pick up the dough by the edge (vertical to the ground... to let it stretch to a larger size) it will continue to stretch and stretch, until it tears... so i have to move it very quickly.  Dough that i have bought from local pizza shops hold their shape much better and wouldn't stretch as easily, but also don't taste as good :)

I guess it can best be described as the dough doesn't have the elasticity that it should... but not sure if this is a symptom of too much flour, too much water, or something else  :-\

Offline charbo

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Re: Dough Tears
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2007, 12:11:14 PM »
bbb,

Your problem is probably caused by lack of salt.  Salt will strengthen the gluten, as well as hold water.  Use a low-sodium salt, if desired.

cb

Offline Bryan S

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Re: Dough Tears
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2007, 11:34:31 PM »
I use Ceresota flour which is the same as Heckers and I don't have a tearing problem, and I use the Harvest King for pan pizza's. Salt will def help some. Sounds like a little too much water to me, "soupy" to me means liquid. Also the whole wheat white is not known for it's gluten content. Also have you ever used the dough without freezing it? Why not just store the dough in the fridge, in a airtight container for up to 14 days for later use instead of freezing it?
« Last Edit: December 19, 2007, 11:40:37 PM by Bryan S »
Making great pizza and learning new things everyday.

Offline bbb

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Re: Dough Tears
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2007, 01:51:04 PM »
Thanks for the replies thus far...

Quote
Your problem is probably caused by lack of salt.
Hoping to make some dough tomorrow or this weekend, will try to add some salt and see the difference it makes.


Quote
Sounds like a little too much water to me, "soupy" to me means liquid
I guess 'droopy' may be a better word.  The pie itself isn't droopy after cooking, it's just working with the dough while making the pie itself.


Quote
Also the whole wheat white is not known for it's gluten content.
I'm told it's 13%, which seems pretty high relative to other 'bread' flours which are often used for dough making purposes... although i probably lose some of the 'rise' due to the wheat.


Quote
Also have you ever used the dough without freezing it? Why not just store the dough in the fridge, in a airtight container for up to 14 days for later use instead of freezing it?
I didn't know it would last that long... i'll try a few balls in the refrigerator next time around, thanks for the suggestion/info.

Offline Bryan S

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Re: Dough Tears
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2007, 06:40:34 PM »
bbb, try cutting back on the water a tad, a TBS or 2 to see if it helps. Not sure if you saw this thread or not but you might find some info in there to help you. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5000.0.html
Making great pizza and learning new things everyday.

Offline Bryan S

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Re: Dough Tears
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2007, 12:17:47 AM »
I just reread your first post and saw that "the machine takes 2 hrs to make the dough" and a red flag went up. That's an awful long time to make pizza dough, IMO  ??? Can you provide more detail about your machine and it's process of making pizza dough?
« Last Edit: December 21, 2007, 12:19:52 AM by Bryan S »
Making great pizza and learning new things everyday.

Offline Art

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Re: Dough Tears
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2007, 10:14:32 AM »
I have been making pizza once a week for the past 3 years and each and every time I've used a bread machine. It too has a 2 hour dough cycle which breaks down as follows: The first 25 minutes it just sits there; I assume this ensures all ingredients are at room temp. Then it goes into action; 2 minutes of slow & easy mixing followed by 23 minutes of vigorous kneading. It then sits for 50 minutes resulting in a little rise followed by a 1 minute period of slight movement and another 20 minute rest. I then remove the dough, split it into halves, put them onto 2 slightly oiled pans http://www.zesco.com/products.cfm?subCatID=1652&PGroupID=020206MZ01 , cover each with a square of Saran, and place in the fridge for 3-7 days. The doughs are consistently beautiful; easy to handle & shape (they never tear, and the flavor seems to improve with the time spent in the fridge. I never freeze it, but always get it into the fridge asap. I have (at times) pulled the dough from the machine right after the first kneading and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before halving with no discernible difference. Here's my Lehmann recipe for two 14" pies.. Give it a try and see what you think.  :chef:  art   

Flour (100%):    519.7 g  |  18.33 oz | 1.15 lbs
Water (63%):    327.41 g  |  11.55 oz | 0.72 lbs
IDY (0.20%):    1.04 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.35 tsp | 0.12 tbsp
Salt (1.75%):    9.09 g | 0.32 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.89 tsp | 0.63 tbsp
Oil (2%):    10.39 g | 0.37 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.31 tsp | 0.77 tbsp
Sugar (1%):    5.2 g | 0.18 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.3 tsp | 0.43 tbsp
Total (167.95%):   872.83 g | 30.79 oz | 1.92 lbs | TF = 0.1
Single Ball:   436.41 g | 15.39 oz | 0.96 lbs 
When baking, follow directions.  When cooking, go by your own taste.

Offline bbb

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Re: Dough Tears
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2007, 05:16:23 PM »
UPDATE:
This weekend i made a new batch of dough using many of the tips above, and the results were EXCELLENT.

Probably the best crust i have made to date, had a great char to it, browned pefectly, and was crisp on the botton while the crust remained chewy.

Unfortunately i tried a few 'new' methods so not sure which one (or all) were responsible for the improved results, but i'll list what i did differently and what effect i think it had on the outcome:

Salt: added 1/2tsp to the recipe in the first post above.  I believe this is the change which had the greatest effect.  As i added the salt, i began to think how the salt probably absorbs some of the water during the entire process and the previous lack of salt could account for a droopy/wet dough.  Sure enough the dough came out with much more elasticity and there was very little fear of tearing as i spread out the pizza (even draped it over my fists to expand with no problem).  I was very surprised at the dramatic change from just a minor amount of salt.

Freeze: i didn't freeze this batch of dough.  After removing the dough from the machine and letting it rise about 2 hours, I made 4 balls (i'm guessing about 1lb each) and put them each in their own container in the refrigerator... making two pizzas the following day and the other two balls are still in the refrigerator.  I thought it was "ok" to freeze dough, but the more i read here it is generally not recommended.  Next time i make dough i'll take two balls from the same batch (i get two balls from the same batch of dough making), putting one in the refrigerator and freezing the other, which should give me an apples-to-apples comparison to see if i notice any degredation.

Yeast: i used a different brand of yeast (Fleishman's Active Dry this time, i'm not sure of the previous brand i used (i can find out next time i'm at that store), although i do know it was an active dry type as well).  This yeast seemed a bit more 'seed-like' than the previous yeast brand, which was a bit more clumpy and the yeast stuck together.  Both resulted in a dough which would rise plenty, so i'm guessing this wasn't too much of a factor in the difference

Rise Period: after removing the dough from the machine and letting it rise about 2 hours, this time i used a cloth over the bowl, previously using saran wrap.  This resulted in a 'skin' forming on the dough, so i kneeded the dough a few times to blend it in.  I don't think the towel vs plastic wrap had any effect on the results, but i could be wrong.

So i'm excited to try again, but my new success has raised a few more questions as i strive to perfect this and get more consistent (sorry, don't know board protocal if i should be posting this as a new topic)...

1) Bryan S mentioned above keeping the dough for up to 14 days... will dough really last this long in the refrigerator?  If so, why would anyone freeze dough... as even when i make 8 balls in an 'all day dough session' they usually don't last more than 2 weeks anyway!

2) What is the type of yeast most frequently recommended on the board?  Seems to me Fleishman's Active Dry is looked down upon somewhat.

3) When letting dough rise, is a towel recommended over the bowl vs. saran wrap?  If so, how do i prevent the hardening skin which formed when i used just a towel?

4) I don't know what happens during each step of the bread machine's dough cycle, i assume it's identical to Art's machine above... should i let the dough continue to rise after i remove the dough from the machine or it go directly from machine to refrigerator?  I did pull out the manual and all it really states is that the dough mode only goes thru one rise period vs. two rise cycles when using it to actually make/bake bread.

5) I will soon purchase a kitchen scale so that i can get more consistent in my dough/pizza making.  Will a 5lb capacity be enough or should i opt for a slightly more expensive 11lb. capacity?

Thanks again for the continued insight and help... can't wait to give it another try.


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Dough Tears
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2007, 08:49:17 PM »
bbb,

I will try to tackle some of the new questions you raised.

It is possible to prepare a dough with a useful life of two weeks (or even longer) but you usually have to keep the dough cold. In Bryan's case, my recollection is that he stores his dough balls in a refrigerator in the garage. That means he is not likely to be opening and closing the refrigerator door that much to allow the cold air to escape. Most people open their kitchen refrigerators several times a day. In fact, I read of a study that was conducted several years ago that said that the freezer and refrigerator doors were opened on average 42 times a day. Add a few kids here and there, and it most likely is a lot more than that. Under these conditions, it will be hard to get a dough to last for a couple weeks or more.

IDY tends to be preferred by most of the members mainly for its convenience (it can be added directly to the flour and other dry ingredients), and because it is stable, can be frozen, etc. It is also not prone to the types of problems that arise in rehydrating ADY, where it is common for users to use water that is of the incorrect temperature. Professionals by and large have increasingly gone from cake yeast and ADY to IDY. However, some people use only ADY, as noted, for example, in this post: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5341.msg45206/topicseen.html#msg45206 (Reply 2).

As for ways to prevent a dough ball from developing a crust on the surface, it is a good idea to brush the dough ball with a light coating of oil. If you also want to use a towel, you can use that together with a sheet of plastic wrap secured around the towel with a rubber band. I often use the freebie rubberized shower caps from hotels to wrap around dough containers.

Bread machines vary quite a bit. However, the preheat cycle is usually for the purpose of getting the dough ingredients up to a specific temperature. For my machine, a Zojirushi, that temperature is about 80 degrees F. The finished dough temperature at the end of the rise cycle will also be quite high. That might work against a long dough "window" in your case unless you get the dough into the refrigerator as quickly as possible. Unless you have a captive refrigerator for your dough balls, I wouldn't be surprised if the window for your dough balls is only a couple of days or so. When I have used my bread machine to make pizza dough, I use very cold water and a shorter knead time to keep the dough as cold as possible by the time I take it out of the machine.

There is a lot of good information on the forum about digital scales. You will find it if you do a forum search. However, if you plan to make large dough batches at one time, or if you will be using your scale for other applications involving large quantities of ingredients, then the 11-pound model of scale might make sense.

Peter


 

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