Author Topic: Pizza Dough Challenge  (Read 2039 times)

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Offline Crusty

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Pizza Dough Challenge
« on: February 28, 2005, 08:57:42 PM »
My latest effort included 5 NY Style Street Pies that were all mixed two days prior under identical conditions and put in the refrigerator immediately after mixing.  On Saturday evening after 44 hours in the refrigerator I took all 5 out and brought to 55 degrees (about 1.5 hours).  The first three pies were excellent and the dough was very pliable.

So this took about 30-45 mintues and then I was on the the 4th pie.  Well the 4th and 5th pies started tearing and were very different from 1-3.  The dough was not as pliable and I could not get the same results
out of it.  I guess it was the fact that the last two batches had been out of the cooler much longer and had reached a temperature that was significantly different than the first three and this is what caused the different properties.

Any thoughts on what was different?

Thanks,

Crusty 


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Re: Pizza Dough Challenge
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2005, 11:55:57 PM »
Crusty,

If I had to guess, I would say that the last two dough balls crossed over the line to a stage of overfermentation.

Under ordinary circumstances, I think all of your dough balls should have been OK since they were produced under almost identical circumstances. Once a dough ball is brought out to room temperature and left to sit for an hour or two, it should still be good for a few more hours. Your dough balls were 44 hours old when you took them out of the refrigerator in preparation for making the pizzas. Tom Lehmann often says that the dough should hold for 48 hours or more, but you have to keep in mind that the retardation/cooling he talks about takes place in a cooler, which operates at several degrees less than the typical home refrigerator. So, 48 hours for him can possibly mean a shorter time for you--from a few to possibly several hours. In your case, the higher temperature of the final two dough balls may well have been just enough to push the dough balls over the line into overfermentation. Had they remained in the refrigerator longer, it's conceivable that they would have made it.

If you know in advance that you want the Lehmann dough to last out to 48 hours, the way to achieve that objective is to add some sugar to the dough at the outset and/or use cooler water. The cooler water will serve to slow down the fermentation process and the sugar will continue to feed the yeast once it has exhausted the sugars extracted from the flour and thereby extend the useful life of the dough. Sometimes the 48-hour retardation happens unintentionally, as through a change of plans that prevents you from using the dough earlier. In those cases, it's important to be aware that the clock is ticking on the dough.

I'd be curious to know how the crusts were for the final two pizzas. Once a pizza dough starts to overferment, it usualy becomes slack and soft and can develop tears fairly easily and have thin spots when you try to stretch and shape it. It will also not bake well from the standpoint of color because all or much of the sugar has already been used up (feeding the yeast) that there is not enough of it left to promote browning through caramelization, Maillard reactions, etc. Did you experience these symptoms?

Peter

Offline snowdy

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Re: Pizza Dough Challenge
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2005, 04:06:59 AM »
hey crusty, i find that odd.

i actually take my dough balls out of the fridge and let them sit about 3-4 hours before i shape them. any earlier than that and they are just too hard to stretch... actually the few times i make 4 or so balls.. the ones i make last that are the warmest usually seem to be the easiest to work with.... no tearing or anything.. just stretch right out with hardly any effort. maybe its because my fridge cools it to a rediculously low temp, although i have no thermometer yet so i dont really know.

must be the 24 vs 48
« Last Edit: March 01, 2005, 04:09:21 AM by snowdy »

Offline Arthur

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Re: Pizza Dough Challenge
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2005, 04:33:12 PM »
hmmm... interesting.  I made 4 pies yesterday using dough that had been in my fridge for 2 1/2 days.  Made dough Sat noon - ate Monday night.   The dough was outstanding and I only took it out of the fridge 1 hour before.  Never do I get a tear.  I now realize why I get great dough (thanks peter) - my fridge (it's my second fridge in the basement) is much colder than my "regular" fridge.    I need to check the temp and report back. 

My current list of "dough tips"
1) KASL
2) fridge temp colder than normal
3) overnight rise (at least 24 hours - more like 48)
4) Kosher salt
5) no oil or sugar in dough (during mixing) - I know others add these including malt, but this is just my opinion.  The less you put in the better.
6) olive oil to coat during rise (NOT extra virgin)
7) right percentage of water to flour (need to try different percentages, but start with 60)
8) instant yeast
9) small amount of yeast
10) weigh everything!
« Last Edit: March 01, 2005, 04:43:51 PM by Arthur »

Offline friz78

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Re: Pizza Dough Challenge
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2005, 04:58:08 PM »
Those all sound like some rock solid tips to me Arthur!
Friz

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Re: Pizza Dough Challenge
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2005, 05:52:31 PM »
The thought occurred to me last night that if Crusty made enough dough for five 16-oz. pizzas, using the Lehmann NY style dough recipe, the total dough weight would have been over 100 oz., or about 6.5 pounds. Depending on what else was in the refrigerator, and how long it was there, it could have taken a fair amount of time to cool down that amount of dough.

Peter

Offline Arthur

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Re: Pizza Dough Challenge
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2005, 09:02:26 AM »
Checked my fridge.  The one I use for retarding the dough is about 38-39 degrees - about 4 degrees colder than my kitchen fridge.   

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Dough Challenge
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2005, 11:40:53 AM »
Arthur,

That's a good piece of information on your refrigerator. I think that may be a big reason why you have been able to hold your dough so long. Your refrigerator operates close to the temperature range of some commercial coolers.

Peter

Offline Crusty

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Re: Pizza Dough Challenge
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2005, 06:33:02 PM »
Peter, what are the temp ranges of commercial coolers?

Thanks,

Crusty

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Re: Pizza Dough Challenge
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2005, 07:54:04 PM »
Anthony,

From what I have read, the temperature range is around 35-40 degrees F. Of course, if workers are going in and out of the cooler, the temperature will usually be higher, just as going in and out of your home refrigerator will result in a temperature rise.

Peter


 

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