Author Topic: Dough hydration question and dough sticking to hoook.  (Read 6834 times)

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Offline nysauce

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Dough hydration question and dough sticking to hoook.
« on: April 03, 2005, 09:02:55 AM »
After reading Pete-zza's inspirational posts on experimenting with Lehman's NY recipe I decided to increase my dough hydration to about 60% not realizing all this time my recipe was using about 52%. I never really took into consideration the idea behind baker's precentages and just kind of kept using the dough recipe that I've always used.  Anyway after using more water I noticed that the dough is sticking to my hands after mixing and I've always read and been told that the dough should feel sticky but not stick to your hands.  Am I answering my own question in saying that I just need to mix it longer? If so, is there a good method to keep the dough from sticking to the hook. What I get a lot is just the dough sticking to the hook and just spinning around as opposed to the hook actually kneading the dough. Thanks


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Dough hydration question and dough sticking to hoook.
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2005, 10:21:55 AM »
nysauce,

Unfortuately, most home stand mixers, like the KitchenAids, can't do as good a job with dough as a Hobart. So, you have to play around with the machine and the processing. Some people spray the dough hook with a light oil spray (you may have seen Alton Brown do this in a foodnetwork segment), and some will use the paddle attachment to get a good start. I have noted at least four places where human intervention in the process is quite often needed.

First, is to get the dough ball started. The flour will often spin around the bowl and stick to the sides of the bowl. I use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to direct the flour into the path of the dough hook or paddle. If necessary, I stop the machine to do this, but more often I am able to do this while the machine is running (at low speed).

Second, is the hydration issue--the one you mentioned. Instead of throwing the entire amount of flour into the bowl at one time, I add it gradually, using either the stir or #1 setting, and, if necessary, the spatula, to keep the flour and dough in play. You will have a better chance of incorporating the flour into the dough ball that way, even at relatively high hydration levels up to 65%. If you decide to use an autloyse rest period, that will also improve the hydration.

Third, is kneading in the oil. When everything comes together in a rough dough ball, that is when I add the oil, and knead that in, usually using the #2 setting. If the dough ball sticks to the dough hook or it doesn't seem to be incorporating well, I just stop the machine, do a little bit of hand kneading (which itself will also improve the hydration of the flour), and put the dough ball back into the machine and resume the kneading. 

Fourth, is the matter of adjustments. I usually do this after the oil has been added since it is a liquid and will absorb some flour. My experience is that where the flour and water have been weighed on a scale there is usually not much need for any adjustments. However, when adjustments are called for, I do it a teaspoon at a time. Many people make the mistake of adding too much flour because the dough seems to them to be too wet. I have found that just kneading the dough by hand will reduce that wetness by a surprising amount. It is only when you can't remove the dough from your fingers after hand kneading that you may want to add a bit more flour. But only the minimum--like a bit of bench flour. I want the dough to be tacky.

I might also mention that fellow member Friz has found it useful to use a high machine speed (I think is is above the #5 setting) to get a high enough centrifugal force to propel the dough ball off of the dough hook when it is riding the dough hook. Sometimes jogging the dough hook by shifting from one speed setting to another will also help dislodge the dough from the hook. But I wouldn't recommend using the high machine settings for too long a time, for fear that the dough will develop a close crumb in the finished crust because of overkneading. The final thing I do when the dough ball looks done is to knead the dough by hand for an additional minute or so. That helps shape the dough ball into a nice round ball but it also gives you a good idea as to whether you succeeded or not in getting a good dough ball to proceed with. That is also the time when I weigh the dough ball (mainly for my notes) and take its internal temperature to see how close I have come to hitting the 80-85 degree F finished dough temperature.

Peter

Offline varasano

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Re: Dough hydration question and dough sticking to hoook.
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2005, 04:37:14 AM »
Go to my website and read about the DLX mixer and kneading techniques. The Kitchen Aid is hard to work and the Hobart is too expensive. The DLX works great.

http://www.think2020.com/jv/recipe.htm

Jeff

Offline nysauce

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Re: Dough hydration question and dough sticking to hoook.
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2005, 12:09:28 PM »
Guys
Thanks for the detailed information guys. I will try them.

Offline buzz

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Re: Dough hydration question and dough sticking to hoook.
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2005, 12:27:22 PM »
Don't forget that flour is a tricky substance--that's the problem with relying too much on formulas. Depending on the level of humidity, altitude, age of the flour, etc., etc. , it can take more or less water to hydrate. In the winter I've had to use almost half a cup of water for one cup of flour.

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: Dough hydration question and dough sticking to hoook.
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2005, 08:38:24 PM »
peter -

i have to ask about your point #5...

i've always heard that kneading dough on too high of a speed like that (although i admit i do it sometimes myself) is a good way to add too much friction to the dough and in turn, too much heat, too quickly. i don't know what the end result is, but i hear it's not good. perhaps an experiment is in order?

also, you say that it may result in overkneading. again, i've always heard that overkneading is next to impossible, unless you're spending hours kneading the thing. underkneading is what bakers are afraid of.

anyway, it's just what i've heard.

thanks

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Dough hydration question and dough sticking to hoook.
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2005, 09:20:30 PM »
PizzaSuperFreak,

Generally speaking, the factors that will determine the final dough temperature of a dough are water temperature, the amount of dough to be kneaded, and the speed and length of kneading. The last two items are related to the frictional heat of a particular machine, and can vary from one machine to another. You are correct that kneading at high speed, all other things being equal, will increase the temperature of the dough. Since it was fellow member Friz who used a higher than usual speed, I went back and found the post in which that matter was discussed. This is what Friz said (in quotes):

"After a dough ball was created in the mixer at speed #2 and then speed #3, it began, as it normally does, to stick to the dough hook and seriously restrict the kneading process.  So, as a "change-up" to anything I had done before, I INCREASED THE MIXER SPEED TO 4-6 FOR THE FINAL 3 MINUTES OF MIXING.  4-6 is a speed on my mixer (there is no 5 or 4, just a setting that is "4-6").  I am convinced that this provided a valuable element to the stand mixer kneading process.  While some of the dough still stuck to the hook, the speed of the mixing periodically released the dough from the hook and provided some additional kneading, but for only a short period of time."

It is hard to hurt a dough with kneading, and apparently that was the case with Friz's use of his 4-6 setting for 3 minutes, since the results he reported were very good. However, if Friz had used that speed for say, 10 minutes, he might have built up the heat in the dough to levels above optimum for fermentation (80-85 degrees F). If Friz knew from the outset that he was going to do what he did, he could have compensated for the additional heat by using cooler water.

As to your question about overkneading, I was using the term overkneading in the context of pizza dough, not bread dough. According to Tom Lehmann, pizza dough should be kneaded only until the dough ball comes together into a smooth and elastic ball, and no longer. Technically, it is possible to overknead a dough to the point where it may not be usable. During kneading, the gluten strands get longer and longer, but a point can come where the gluten strands start to break apart due to excessive kneading. This is called the "letdown" stage and will result in a dough that completely disinte­grates and becomes wet and stringy. Our dough recipes don't call for a level or duration of kneading that should take us to that point. But too much kneading can lead to a tight crumb in the finished crust with small voids.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 01, 2006, 10:38:27 AM by Pete-zza »