With experience and research you will generally get to the point where you know typical baker's percents values for different types of doughs. You also get to spot imbalances in ingredients, as where the salt and/or sugar levels are far too high in relation to the amount of yeast, or where the hydration is way out of whack for the type of flour used. Quite often, but not always, correcting the ingredients or rebalancing the ingredients solves the problem. I can usually detect a "home made" dough recipe just from the baker's percents (which I usually have to calculate from the recipes), or from the relative values of baker's percents.
Thanks for the links. I enjoyed reading the items at those links. One thing to keep in mind about the effect of salt on protein is that the effect may be less pronounced for pizza dough than with bread dough because the recommended method for pizza dough is to slightly underknead it, whereas for bread dough you want to fully develop the gluten, which will take a longer knead time to accomplish. Unless you were using the stir speed, sixteen minutes of kneading for about 2 1/4 pounds of dough seems to me to be too long.
As a sidenote to my last post, I want to add that a main reason for the disparity in amounts (percents) of IDY and ADY to use in a given dough formulation is because IDY has a different particle size and a finer particle size than ADY and it also contains fewer dead cells than ADY (I think it is about 30% less). With ADY, you have to penetrate the live cells and get past the dead cells by using warm water. Some time ago, Tom Lehmann wrote a nice article on the different forms of yeast, at Pizza Today. However, Pizza Today recently re-did its website and I could not find the article. However, I managed to find a copy of it at a bread making website and have presented it below for your light reading pleasure:
From Tom Lehmann on Pizza Today:
First, there is compressed yeast, also known as wet yeast (or sometimes brick yeast due to the fact it is commonly sold in one-pound bricks).
Yeast in this form is alive and potentially ready to begin feeding and producing all of those useful byproducts we discussed last month. It only needs to be warmed to a temperature of 50 F or more to get this yeast activated and feeding. This is the reason why the yeast must be kept refrigerated at all times.
This is also the type of yeast for which the old admonishment-never allow the yeast to come into direct contact with either salt or sugar-was developed.
What happens here is if the yeast is allowed to contact salt or sugar, either of the two substances will draw the moisture out of the yeast, thus damaging it to a point where it may lose its fermentative properties. In some instances, the yeast may actually be killed.
For this reason, fresh yeast is best used when making fresh dough on a regular basis. It is also widely used by those manufacturers who produce frozen dough. The reason for this is that the yeast cells will be in excellent condition, provided the yeast has not been temperature abused.
Having the cells in undamaged condition allows the production of the highest quality frozen dough. By high quality, I am referring to frozen dough with a shelf life of 19 weeks or more.
The next type of yeast we commonly see is instant, active, dry yeast, also known as instant yeast (it's often abbreviated to IDY).
This type of yeast is unique in that it is either dried and vacuum packaged, or packaged with an inert gas flush. This is what gives the instant yeast its excellent, long shelf life of one to two years, depending upon the manufacturer.
Have you ever wondered about the word "instant" associated with this product? Instant refers to the rate at which this type of yeast absorbs water. If you could look at each one of those rods of yeast under a microscope, you would see that each one has the characteristics of a sponge: many openings, holes and voids that allow water to readily come into contact with the yeast, thus allowing it to hydrate.
This feature allows the instant yeast to simply be put into dough, along with all the other ingredients, without pre-hydration. The fact the yeast is dry allows it to be used in dry mixes for pizza dough or in goody bags containing salt and sugar. Remember, the yeast is dry so there will be no affect of the salt and sugar on the yeast. Just be careful that you don't try to pre-hydrate a goody bag containing salt, yeast and sugar before adding it to the flour.
The third type of yeast we see commonly used is active dry yeast, or ADY.
Active dry yeast must be hydrated before it can be added to the flour. In pre-hydrating active dry yeast, it is very important that warm water be used. Most manufacturers will specify a temperature between 100-105 F. The ADY is then sprinkled into the water and stirred thoroughly, using a hand whisk or a spoon to suspend the yeast in the water.
After stirring, it is important to wait about 10 minutes. During this time the yeast will hydrate, become active and begin producing byproducts, which we will see as small bubbles of CO2 (or even froth on the surface of the yeast suspension). At this point you know the yeast is fully active and ready to be added to the mix.
It is good to remember that you now have wet yeast, which again should not be allowed to come into direct contact with salt or sugar, but you can put it into the mixer along with your other ingredients and immediately begin mixing.
While we are on the subject of talking about warm water, have you ever wondered why the water must be warm?
When the yeast is dried, the cell membrane shrinks, much like a grape will shrink when it is dried into a raison. In addition to shrinking, small cracks, or fissures, also form on the surface of the yeast cells. If the dry yeast were put into cold water, the yeast would hydrate very slowly, allowing the fissures to open up during the hydration process and allow for a flushing effect upon the yeast cells. When warm water is used, the yeast cells hydrate much more rapidly and allow the cracks and fissures to seal themselves, thus preventing the flushing effect.
Earlier, I had mentioned that compressed yeast is the most commonly used in frozen dough and I explained that fresh yeast generally has yeast cells that are in better condition than dried yeast cells. This is not meant to say that compressed yeast is any better than dried yeast, but the fact remains that when subjected to the drying process, either ADY or IDY will have some of the yeast cells damaged to the point of inactivation by the drying process.
These dead yeast cells can create a problem in a frozen dough system. Through the release of a material called glutathione, which is very similar to L-cysteine (the active ingredients in PZ-44), these dead cells can create a softening effect on the dough, especially as the dough ages under frozen storage. The combined dough softening and potential loss of yeast activity due to freezing is the main reason most frozen dough manufacturers elect to use compressed yeast over dry forms.
It should be kept in mind that if you are a small producer of frozen dough-or operate a commissary producing frozen dough-in all likelihood you may not see any difference in the performance of your frozen dough whether it is made with IDY or fresh compressed yeast.