Author Topic: Weights and Measures  (Read 6160 times)

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cornicione54

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2010, 05:16:44 PM »
One of the reasons I'm asking this question is because I have seen some statements about hydration ratios in post both here and elsewhere that just don't seem realistic. Getting into the upper 60's and l
lower 70's and you can have some damn wet doughs, doughs which are almost impossible to work with. Handling wet doughs is tough, getting them dressed and off a peel is a nightmare. The aggravation alone would negate the joy of the finished product, no matter how great it might be. But, I think that some mismeasuring and or miscalculating may be more common then people realize or want to admit. Of course, if the measurements are as far off as some of the numbers I've seen in this post seem to be, it would explain some of my suspicions. I'm hoping that Pete gets in on this and gives exact numbers of what would be needed to produce a 70% hydration dough, then I'd like anyone who was interested to take those numbers and scale it out to make that dough and see how it handles. I think some people will be in for an eye opener!

The bakers making pizza bianca in Rome are handling 90+% hydration doughs in some cases. They seem to get them off the peel without too much difficulty ;)


Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2010, 05:36:16 PM »
The bakers making pizza bianca in Rome are handling 90+% hydration doughs in some cases. They seem to get them off the peel without too much difficulty ;)

Yeah, but they probably don't have anything better to do. :-)

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2010, 05:49:57 PM »
I know exactly what you are talking about. I see hydrations that seem really high and I would think they would be impossible to handle. The highest I have gone was about 64-65 and it was crazy hard to handle, I couldn't imagine going any higher than that for pizza. I always thought their math or measurements were off but who knows, I guess I am in the same boat as you with no paddle.

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2010, 05:54:34 PM »
I know exactly what you are talking about. I see hydrations that seem really high and I would think they would be impossible to handle. The highest I have gone was about 64-65 and it was crazy hard to handle, I couldn't imagine going any higher than that for pizza. I always thought their math or measurements were off but who knows, I guess I am in the same boat as you with no paddle.
Thank God, a voice of reason!

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2010, 06:52:05 PM »
DMC, I know you didn't ask but since I am one of those ppl who likes a well hydrated dough, I thought some insight into what I do might explain things a bit.  From hand kneading a variety of flours, I've noticed that when I knead to a certain consisitency that I like, different flours will have different HR's.  This makes sense since the protein levels vary and in my mind, it's the protein content that determines the level of water a flour will absorb.

For me a 66% HR for caputo 00 flour feels similar to a 69-70% HR for AP flour and a 73-74% HG flour.  Let me say again though that I live 5000+ feet above sea level and in a very dry desert environment, where moisture is wicked away very quickly.  If dough is lefted out without cover, it forms a skin fairly quickly. 

This means several things.  One, my flour is likely drier than someone living in a humid climate.  2) My dough is likely losing moisture during the 30min it's out while I'm kneading.  I don't knead for 30m, but the dough is out that long.  After that I try to keep things covered and sealed.

When I first noticed my hydration ratios were higher than most, it would bother me a bit.  I would double, and triple check my math.  It's not my math.  Since then, I've not worried about it.   

Then there is the issue of bench flour.  How much bench flour am I using?  I typically use about 1gm or less of bench flour during dividing and balling. Yes I measure that amount and factor it into the HR.

I don't measure the bench flour use for stretching the dough but it's not much.  Around 1gm at most and that doesn't change my HR very much.   I've also noticed that when a dough is kneaded well, it will require very little or no bench flour during the dividing and balling stage (after bulk rise).

Prior to stretching, I typically cover the doughball in flour and shake the excess off and then use a minimal amount of flour on the peel.  So I would say that my doughs absorb very little extra flour during this whole process.   

I'm posting some pics of what my dough looks like today after bulk rising, dividing, and balling.  Here is an AP flour dough at 71% HR.  No bench flour is used during the dividing and balling.  I dusk a very minimal amount of flour in the pyrex dish for the dough to sit while it's proofing.  No flour is added to the top. 

Chau

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2010, 07:42:45 PM »
Tran Man , those doughs certainly don't look  overly wet or out of the ordinary useable range. Maybe the hot, humid weather of mid-state New York makes that big a difference, or should I say your dry air makes that big a difference. This is one of the problems of trying to copy someone else's recipes, and the reason I always say to people "learn how to handle your ingredients and formulate your own recipes". Nothing one person does can be copied exactly by somebody else, especially when there are so many variables. I wasn't specifically singling out your doughs, but I did note your high hydration levels and those of many others as well. I know that if I correctly measured and used your hydration rates in my home, the dough would be an utter disaster. I guess my point is don't rely on a magic recipe, rely on what your eyes and hands tell you. Too many people want a quick fix to a problem and think some magic recipe will come to the rescue. If there was one that was "the best", everyone would be using it.Thanks for your imput, always enjoy reading about your results. I do intent to follow through with the experiment we talked about a few days ago. Have been tied up this weekend with un expected company and some catching up on projects around the house. I'm readying my house to put on the market soon, but I always find time for PIZZA.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2010, 09:01:08 PM »
You know what DMC - I couldn't have said it better myself brother.  No worries, I didn't feel like you were singling me out at all, but I did figure some ppl were interested in how I go about doing some things. 

I have said what you just posted from day 1.  I have tried and tried to duplicate the looks of some ppl's pies and to no avail.  And when I say I tried, I'm not kidding around either.  Even if you can duplicate the dough, that's only half the equation.  The other half is the heat.  If you aren't using the same oven and the exact same set up, you'd be lucky to even get a remotely close looking pie.   This is also why I started this thread here....
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11062.0.html

It was not so much to b*tch about how my pies suck, etc, etc.  It was more or less to make the point that the pies look a certain way b/c of the very many specific things we do over and over without thinking about it.  It can even be in the details like if you use a lot or a little bench flour, how you stretch the pie out, how you bake, blah blah blah. 

Listen, no worries about the dough experiment.  Unimportant at this point.  The main thing is that not anyone of us here has ALL the answers.  It's a great place where we can meet, share ideas, learn from one another, play nice, eat pizza, be happy. 

And I realize that what works in one kitchen may not work in another, so we should try to be open minded and keep looking for answers b/c who knows....it may very well lead to the best pie of your life.   :chef:

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2010, 09:05:11 PM »
If I made that same dough Chau made here in Boston at 71% I'd be killing my self, I guess where you live does make a difference. Chau I love how you always happen to have dough on hand to show examples of. The dough you made looks like the dough I make at 61%-62%. When I was making pizza in the home oven I was using HG flour with a 64% hydration and I found that to be the perfect area for me, it wasn't too wet but still had a slight wet consistency.

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2010, 09:17:56 PM »
BrickStoneOven-I live near Albany, NY, and my weather is very similar to yours, and you are right about where I am with the HR thing.60ish or a little higher is fine, but go much beyond that and it's not fun to handle the dough. Would love to hear from some other people on this, but sometimes I think people are afraid to question some things and as a result they never learn all that needs to be learned.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2010, 09:27:03 PM »
I agree guys.  I have been wondering about what effects the environment has on the dough for some time now.   I first realized this after i posted a low hydration recipe of 63% using HG/BF?  Low for me I guess.  Anywho, someone that live in a very humid area tried it and said he had to put extra flour in to make it work. 

BSO, it sounds like the physical environment can make a difference of 10% on the hydration ratio, considering I like a 73% for HG flour.   But I will admit that I do tend to like a rather moist to even slight wet crumb. 

David, I usually have dough on hand, b/c I have a problem.  It's like a druggie making sure he's always got a stash somewhere.   :-D


Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2010, 09:34:08 PM »
BrickStoneOven is a David? So am I. Tran Man, I also just about always have a dough in the fridge. I'm a sourdough man, and as you know I favor long, cold ferments. I commonly make my 2 doughs on Thursday and in the fridge they go. One sees duty on the weekend, the other is used during the week. That's one of the beauties of cold fermentation, you're in charge.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #31 on: September 05, 2010, 10:01:51 PM »
I hear ya David C.  ;) I am just discovering tonight that for a NP style pie, the cold ferment doesn't really change the texture for me like a NY style pie. With the short quick bakes I'm getting a nearly identical crumb as a same day NP style dough but with the added benefit of the extra leoparding.  So I just may have some use for cold fermentation after all.  :-D

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #32 on: September 05, 2010, 10:11:41 PM »
Chau this is for you. I said it before and I'll say it again...

Offline StrayBullet

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #33 on: September 06, 2010, 10:54:36 AM »
BrickStoneOven-I live near Albany, NY, and my weather is very similar to yours, and you are right about where I am with the HR thing.60ish or a little higher is fine, but go much beyond that and it's not fun to handle the dough. Would love to hear from some other people on this, but sometimes I think people are afraid to question some things and as a result they never learn all that needs to be learned.

I'm in FL, you can guess the humidity ranges I'm dealing with and that's 8 months out of the year....the last 2 doughs I made were with AT flour at 65% and 66%, cold fermented for 3 days.  The dough is very slack and isn't "easy" to work with but on the other hand, that makes the dough "easier" to handle; it stretches itself, there's not much forming to do :)  After my initial bench form, it's on my forearms for a short few seconds before it's at the desired diameter.  This was cooked in an 11 year-old oven on a 1.25" soapstone for 4.5 minutes.  I'm still very much in the learning phase but I'm liking the results so far!

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #34 on: September 06, 2010, 11:10:21 AM »
StrayBullet- yes, I get very similar results, long cold ferment tend to produce very slack doughs, never a If problem to open, but can be a little tricky to handle. That's one reason I don't like them to be too "wet".if you keep them a little drier, they stretch very easily, a fact I like since I prefer large (18"), thin crust pies.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #35 on: September 06, 2010, 11:15:26 AM »
dmcavanagh,

I have been away from my home base for several days and have not had a chance to respond to your posts under this thread. But I believe I can answer most or all of your questions when I return home in a few days.

Peter

Offline StrayBullet

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #36 on: September 06, 2010, 11:46:49 AM »
StrayBullet- yes, I get very similar results, long cold ferment tend to produce very slack doughs, never a If problem to open, but can be a little tricky to handle. That's one reason I don't like them to be too "wet".if you keep them a little drier, they stretch very easily, a fact I like since I prefer large (18"), thin crust pies.

Totally agree!  Tossing that baby into the oven, even at my 14" isn't easy.  I almost tend to over dust my board and work as quickly as possible to get that thing into the oven.  It doesn't slide off the peel as much as I get the lip of the pie off and onto the stone, then due to a combination of dragging out the peel and the skin "sticking" to the stone, the rest of the pie ends up launched :D

I worked with a really low hydration dough yesterday and I was amazed to learn the actual definition of the term, "launch." :D

Offline dms

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #37 on: September 06, 2010, 12:21:31 PM »
BrickStoneOven-I live near Albany, NY, and my weather is very similar to yours, and you are right about where I am with the HR thing.60ish or a little higher is fine, but go much beyond that and it's not fun to handle the dough. Would love to hear from some other people on this, but sometimes I think people are afraid to question some things and as a result they never learn all that needs to be learned.

I'm in the midwest, where it's frequently humid.  I work with 74% (by mass, of course) doughs made with high protein flours (in the range of 13.5 to 14, depending on what's in use) all the time.  works fine, makes good pie.  It does take some practice to deal with, but it's not hard. 

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #38 on: September 06, 2010, 12:56:15 PM »
dms-you're a better peel man than I am, if you can get a 74%'er off the peel! Do you cold ferment your doughs for 4-5 days? I do, and that could make a big difference.

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #39 on: September 06, 2010, 04:02:45 PM »
I know this has passed but I just wanted to show dough I made today that was at 60%.