Author Topic: Flour Absorbtion  (Read 2070 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Matthew

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2232
Flour Absorbtion
« on: March 13, 2010, 06:42:49 AM »
Although I fully understand its meaning, I am a little confused on this one.  Quite a few formulas; namely Pizza Romana in Teglia call for an extremely high hydrated dough (70-90%).  Based on my research & availability from local sources, the highest absorption flour that I am able to get is 65%.  This flour is comprised solely of unbleached western hard wheat with no additives.  The fall number is W300 and is about 12.8% protein.  All in all it's an excellent flour that I have used quite frequently in the past.  I don't think that a flour with more than 65% absorption exists, but I could be wrong.  That being said, I am wondering what the downfall is of hydrating a dough beyond its absorption rate or is there a method to compensate for hydrating a flour beyond its recommend absorption?

My observations:

Most videos that I have seen calling for a very high hydrated dough do the opposite of what most of us do, hold back the water instead of flour.  The hold back is about 40% which is added slowly in the 2nd mixing phase at an increased mixing speed.  My guess is that using only 60% of the water in the initial mixing phase will allow for proper absorption of the flour & will properly develop the gluten before entering the 2nd phase where the dough will become overhydrated & gluten development will be slowed down significantly.  Just my observation?  Thoughts???

Matt


Offline Bob1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 601
Re: Flour Absorbtion
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2010, 09:39:30 AM »
Matt,
That's a good question.  I to am wondering about it and I remember you bringing it up before in a PM.  Since I did some liquid preferments before I thought I would start trying bigas.  I am very new at this method but it does add more gluten development and will probably give you the results of Maxy68's crumb.  That was the pic I had posted with the intricate crumb structure.  He had the perfect bubbles but he also had a finer developed crumb around them.  I tried another Biga last Sunday and used cake yeast that is starting to fail, so it was a labor to get it to rise.  I wanted to cook the dough before it matured as far as it did but could not because of the yeast.  I have to process the pics and get them up on this thread. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10396.0.html.  If you check out the first rolls that I did, you can see what I am referring to.  That was after a short 2nd liquid ferment.  The longer you let it ferment, after the second ferment, you will start to get more flavor, but the crumb will start to get long as the gluten degrades.  A good way to practice would be to lengthen the biga time to 18 hours on a three ball batch then use them on staggered days to watch the effect.  I have to go out for a while but I will try to post some info on the falling number.  I believe the W is more of a combo of measurements that gives you the W or strength of the crumb.  W is the the mechanics of the bubble depending on internal pressures.

Thanks,

Bob

Offline shuboyje

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1131
  • Location: Detroit
Re: Flour Absorbtion
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2010, 10:48:57 AM »
Matt,

You have hit on some of the tricks I use to make my dough at 80% hydration.  First and foremost you need high gluten, and I have found getting there through the use of vital wheat gluten is a good alternative so long as you start with a good base flour.  I then do a double hydration, first 60% to develop the gluten, once it window panes I slowly add the rest of the water to bring it up to 80%.  This part is a pain but it is doable with patience.  When that is all done you end up with a thick glutenous "batter" that you are sure will never become dough no matter how many times you make it, lol.  That leads to the next trick, folding, lots of folding during fermentation.  I usually fold every 15 minutes for the first hour, then more like every half hour after that.  It will transform into very wet dough right before your eyes.  The final trick comes when forming the dough balls.  Keep a pile of flour next to you.  Once the ball is formed, or mostly formed, roll it in the flour.  You don't want to work this in, you just want to coat the dough ball to make it like a water balloon with a dry skin and a wet interior, and trust me it feels just like a water balloon.  I then proof in a wooden box with a floured canvas on the bottom and a damp towel on the top.  I've tried this dough without the canvas and it always sticks no matter how much flour is on the surface.  Throw this stuff into a 900-1000 degree oven and you will have the lightest, airiest cornice ever.... getting the center too cook is more of a challenge...
-Jeff

Offline Bob1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 601
Re: Flour Absorbtion
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2010, 02:00:53 PM »
Matt ,
You are referring to making a preferment and letting it sit for a day and having the second stage be the next day as you did with the pan pizza, not as a mixing technique, correct?

shuboyje'
That's a good method but you can use lower protein flour and get the balloon effect.  I find when I mix to the proper finished temp the dough will achieve this, even with 60% semolina, 6% hi Gluten, and 34% bread flour at 90% hydration.  We were also aligning the gluten by doing one to two spins of the mixing bowl every 15 minutes a few times, as you do with folding.  The dough then gets an internal surface tension to the gluten.  An analogy would be the surface tension of water.  That is why water skeeters can skate on ponds.

Bob

Offline dms

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 164
Re: Flour Absorbtion
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2010, 06:53:33 PM »
Although I fully understand its meaning, I am a little confused on this one.  Quite a few formulas; namely Pizza Romana in Teglia call for an extremely high hydrated dough (70-90%).  Based on my research & availability from local sources, the highest absorption flour that I am able to get is 65%.  This flour is comprised solely of unbleached western hard wheat with no additives.  The fall number is W300 and is about 12.8% protein.  All in all it's an excellent flour that I have used quite frequently in the past.  I don't think that a flour with more than 65% absorption exists, but I could be wrong.  That being said, I am wondering what the downfall is of hydrating a dough beyond its absorption rate or is there a method to compensate for hydrating a flour beyond its recommend absorption?


The absorption number on a flour spec sheet has nothing to with how much water you can actually put in a dough.  It has to do with how much water you need to use to get the dough to behave a particular way in a farinograph.  Nearly all flours will absorb higher amounts of water before they become batters and not dough.  It's a good point to start from when developing a formula, but not usually an end point.

 

Offline Matthew

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2232
Re: Flour Absorbtion
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2010, 06:32:45 AM »
The absorption number on a flour spec sheet has nothing to with how much water you can actually put in a dough.  It has to do with how much water you need to use to get the dough to behave a particular way in a farinograph.  Nearly all flours will absorb higher amounts of water before they become batters and not dough.  It's a good point to start from when developing a formula, but not usually an end point.

 

Thanks. After doing a little reserarch into four science I got it.

Matt

Offline Matthew

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2232
Re: Flour Absorbtion
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2010, 06:36:52 AM »
Matt ,
You are referring to making a preferment and letting it sit for a day and having the second stage be the next day as you did with the pan pizza, not as a mixing technique, correct?



Bob

Yes, I was referrering to an impasto indiretto.  My spiral mixer should work well with this type of dough & method.

Matt


 

pizzapan