Author Topic: I'm about to give up!  (Read 4220 times)

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Offline grandpa

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I'm about to give up!
« on: March 28, 2011, 10:42:31 PM »
Iíve tried to make several pizza skins now and they all turn out the same. The dough is so elastic that I canít even get started. I am mixing my dough by hand, I let it rise, I punch it down, I make a ball, I let it rest but when I try to make the skin, I canít work the dough because itís too elastic. I have tried several recipes, Iíve tried using IDY and ADY, Iíve let the dough rise one hour, one day and three days. Iíve let the dough rest for 5, 10, 20 and 30 minutes but it is still too elastic to work. Iíve used recipes from this forum, Iíve used a recipe using the recommended ingredient quantities calculated from the Lehman calculator and Iíve used other recipes. Iíve tried incorporating the suggestions and techniques that Iíve read about on this forum. Iím at the end of my line.


Offline chickenparm

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2011, 10:56:44 PM »
Did they cold rise in the fridge? When the dough is cold,its easier to work with,wont be as extensible.

When I make my dough,I put it into the fridge for a day or 2.When I'm ready to cook,and it looks risen,I take it out and within 30 minutes Im shaping it into a pizza crust.Some of my doughs in the beginning,would not work when cold.Some would shrink back and never form right.

I had to let it warm up some,but when I did,it could sometimes become too extensible and get too large and stretch bad when Lifting and trying to shape it.

Is this whats happening to your doughs?



-Bill

Offline chickenparm

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2011, 11:04:37 PM »
Forgot to add,the folks here are gonna want to know what your recipes you are using,and having trouble with.
If you can list the formula,it may help someone narrow down whats wrong a little easier.
 :)
-Bill

Offline Ronzo

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2011, 11:08:19 PM »
Don't give up. You did the right thing by venting here, though. There are plenty of very knowledgeable people here who can help you out and get you on the right track.

Don't give up. Don't give up. Don't give up.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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Online Tscarborough

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2011, 11:25:54 PM »
Add more water.  Low hydration doughs are hard to work with unless you want to use a rolling pin, or do the various steps and calculations perfectly every time.  My guess is that you are in the mid 50s hydration, so kick it into the low 60s and form your doughs cold, straight from the fridge.  Not only will they be easy to work with, they will have excellent spring and flavor.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2011, 11:40:41 PM »
I'd like to see a typical recipe that resulted in failure, with all of the ingredients and quantities and all the steps that were taken to make and manage the dough, including all relevant times and temperatures. Otherwise, we are just guessing.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2011, 06:33:12 AM »
Iíve tried to make several pizza skins now and they all turn out the same. The dough is so elastic that I canít even get started. I am mixing my dough by hand, I let it rise, I punch it down, I make a ball, I let it rest but when I try to make the skin, I canít work the dough because itís too elastic. I have tried several recipes, Iíve tried using IDY and ADY, Iíve let the dough rise one hour, one day and three days. Iíve let the dough rest for 5, 10, 20 and 30 minutes but it is still too elastic to work. Iíve used recipes from this forum, Iíve used a recipe using the recommended ingredient quantities calculated from the Lehman calculator and Iíve used other recipes. Iíve tried incorporating the suggestions and techniques that Iíve read about on this forum. Iím at the end of my line.


grandpa,

Donít give up.  When I started to make pizza, I started as a business and had all the same problems that newbie pizza makers have with elastic skins and other problems.   I had multiple dough balls to deal with and I finally succeeded with the help of this forum.  There are so many variables that go into pizza making and different doughs you try.  You will succeed with Peterís help and the help of other members.

I am even an old lady, so if I can succeed so can you.  :)

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

buceriasdon

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2011, 07:27:34 AM »
I also would like to see the recipe as my experience as been either the dough is too warm, too much water, or needing a higher gluten flour when is acts this way.
Don

scott123

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2011, 10:19:07 AM »
I am mixing my dough by hand, I let it rise, I punch it down, I make a ball, I let it rest but when I try to make the skin, I canít work the dough because itís too elastic.

Mix/Knead
Ball
Let it rise (cold or room temp) until about doubled
Form

No punch downs or balling after rising.  Just one single rise and the dough should have plenty of extensibility.

Offline PiedPiper

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2011, 11:19:23 AM »
I agree on the higher hydration, and lately I like to stop kneading in my flour when the dough is still slightly sticky (just enough that it will stick to the counter if left for a minute or so, but not overly sticky to the touch) Stopping at this point usually leaves me with a slightly wet dough that cant be tossed or handled much. Rather I place it in an oiled pan, define my crust, slightly push it out with my finger tips, then im able to stretch it out to the size of the pan by doing nothing more than placing a loose fist on the dough  and pushing it out using nothing more than the action of opening my hand (hopefully you will get this visual, its the best way i can explain it)


buceriasdon

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2011, 03:14:16 PM »
ah, :-[ My mistake, the original poster was saying the dough was springing back, too elastic. Yes, more water.
Don

Offline joiseystud

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2011, 06:54:23 AM »
Iíve tried to make several pizza skins now and they all turn out the same. The dough is so elastic that I canít even get started. I am mixing my dough by hand, I let it rise, I punch it down, I make a ball, I let it rest but when I try to make the skin, I canít work the dough because itís too elastic. I have tried several recipes, Iíve tried using IDY and ADY, Iíve let the dough rise one hour, one day and three days. Iíve let the dough rest for 5, 10, 20 and 30 minutes but it is still too elastic to work. Iíve used recipes from this forum, Iíve used a recipe using the recommended ingredient quantities calculated from the Lehman calculator and Iíve used other recipes. Iíve tried incorporating the suggestions and techniques that Iíve read about on this forum. Iím at the end of my line.


More water and try kneading a bit longer maybe?  The dough should not feel like a tight ball.  You want pretty loose and  tacky dough.

Try this one(makes (2) 12" pies NY style).  I made this yesterday and the dough was perfect using Bread flour.

Flour (100%):    384.68 g  |  13.57 oz | 0.85 lbs ( 3 light cups of flour though weighing is better than volume measurement. I recommend a scale)
Water (64%):    246.2 g  |  8.68 oz | 0.54 lbs
ADY (.7%):    2.69 g | 0.09 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.71 tsp | 0.24 tbsp
Salt (2%):    7.69 g | 0.27 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.6 tsp | 0.53 tbsp
Total (166.7%):   641.26 g | 22.62 oz | 1.41 lbs | TF = 0.1
Single Ball:   320.63 g | 11.31 oz | 0.71 lbs

Offline grandpa

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2011, 02:27:23 PM »
Thank you ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for the encouragement.

I didnít put any recipes in my post that started this thread because I think the problem is in my technique since I am getting the same results with several different recipes.

Below are two recipes that represent the extremes of  hydration.

First recipe: This recipe was given to me by an acquaintance. He has made this dough many times without a problem. AP flour 100%, water 74%, ADY 1.85%, salt 0.7%, EVOO 10.6% and sugar 2.1%. Mixed the flour and salt. Mixed the ADY and sugar in 120 degree water and let set for 10 minutes. Added flour to water mixture and mixed. Folded into a ball. Put dough in bowl with olive oil coating top and bottom. Let set for one hour at about 70 degree room temperature and covered with cloth. The dough doubled in one hour. Punched dough down. It was very sticky so I added a little more flour and folded for a few minutes. The dough was too elastic to do anything with it. I only weighed the flour, the rest I used measuring spoons.

Second recipe: This recipe I got from this forum but I donít remember whose it was. KJBF 100%, water 65%, IDY 0.6%, salt 2.4%, VOO 5.9%, sugar 5.1%. Mixed the flour, IDY, salt and sugar. Mixed in 120 degree water. Kneaded for about Ĺ hour. Folded into a ball. Put in refrigerator for one day. Dough doubled in size. Punched dough down. Dough was a bit sticky so I added a bit more flour and kneaded for a few minutes. The dough was too elastic to use. I also made this same recipe but I didnít knead it before I put it in the refrigerator. I left it in the frig for three days. It doubled in size. I took it out of the frig at 8:00AM and punched it down. I let it set covered at room temperature for eight hours during which time it doubled in size again. I punched it down again. Folded into a ball. It was too elastic so I kneaded it for about 5 minutes then let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. I did this for about 45 minutes. I was finally able to roll it out a little at a time, letting it rest for about 5 minutes between rollings. I know the last part was all wrong, but I was getting frustrated and desperate.

I only make pizzaís every other week. Iím going to try this recipe next.

AP flour 100%, water 60%, IDY 0.29%, salt 1.05%, oil 1.7%, sugar 1.5%

Right now I donít care what style pizza I make. I just want to figure out how to make the dough so that I can make a skin without rolling it.
 

Offline grandpa

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2011, 02:48:07 PM »
Joiseystud,

I'd like to try your recipe next but I'm concerned about measuring the ingredients other than the flour. My scale only weighs to one gram and I'm not sure how to accurately measure fractions of a teaspoon for such small quantities.

Are you from anywhere near West Orange, New Joisey?

scott123

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2011, 03:10:29 PM »
Grandpa, when I first started making pizza, I had come from a breadmaking background, so I was pretty punch down crazy.  It took me a while, but I eventually figured out that punch downs are great for bread but completely counterproductive for pizza.  For extreme hydrations, they might help to contribute structure, but for traditional pizza doughs, they create a dense, tough skin that's impossible to stretch.

I don't know where in the forums you're finding this recipe, but I don't know of anyone here that punches down NY style.

60% hydration sounds about right for AP, so, overall the recipe you're thinking about looks pretty good.  The most important aspect, though, is the process
Mix/Knead
Ball, place in lightly oiled container
Cold Ferment until dough is almost doubled
Allow to warm briefly at room temp
Form skin, top and bake

The other big player in dough manageability is proper fermentation.

parallei

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2011, 03:30:29 PM »
Grandpa,

Don't sweat using the scale on the yeast and salt.  Typically I just use the volume measurements for the yeast and salt.  Eyeballing the 0.75 teaspoons of yeast (about 3/4 teaspoons) and 1.6 teaspoons (about 1.5 teaspoons) in Joiseystud's recipe will be close enough.  If I were making Joiseystud's recipe I'd:

1.  Tare (zero) out) my scale with a mixing bowl on it
2.  Add the required flour by weight
3.  Mix in the yeast and salt to the flour
3.  Tare the scale out again with the bowl/dry ingerdients
4.  Add the required amount of water
5.  Mix - knead

You need to stop punching the dough down :o.  Seriously, try balling up right after you've finished the knead and then put the ball/balls into the fridge overnight.  Take them out of the fridge 2 hours before your bake but don't punch them down......just form the gently form the pies right before you put one in the oven.

Keep trying!

Best....




I see Scott123 just beat me to the "no punching down" rant!
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 03:32:53 PM by parallei »

Offline dmaxdmax

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2011, 04:17:37 PM »
Don't give up!  Here's what happened to me:

April 2010 - lost my favorite pizza place
May - decided to make my own
June- disaster after disaster!
July - more disasters so gave up and turned my attention to bread
Oct - took class from Peter Reinhart.  Biggest lesson learned was get a good recipe, measure carefully and be gentle to your dough.  Don't make it harder than it is. (I sure was!)
Nov - I started making good pizza
Dec - I discovered this site and started making very good pizza.

I love the Reinhart classic dough as discussed recently at great length on the NY and General forums. 

There are so many people here who know so much and are generous with their time that you're bound to find success.

Don't give up!
Dave
(one good thing is that I learned to make a pretty good loaf of bread!)
Always make new mistakes.

Offline chickenparm

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2011, 10:38:59 PM »
Use a scale to get an idea what you have.Round off the grams if you have to.Dont worry about it if its less than 1.My digital scale cannot do 1/2 grams or 1/2 ounces or 1/2 kg.No problem,I round off to the nearest if I have to.

For example,If I have a dough recipe that says I need 304.59 grams,I just add enough for 305 grams.
If the water calls for 8.36 ounces,I pour enough for 8.4 ounces.Grams and ounces can be a tiny drop at times,dont worry about it,dont over analyze it.

If I have a recipe that says .42 tsp of yeast or something else,I just use 1/2 a tsp or eyeball it a little less than half in the tsp.

Dont be a slave to the exact percentages.Use the recipe as a guideline and learn how your dough responds,feels or behaves.Do get as close as you can,but dont worry about the super small stuff.
 :)








« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 10:40:50 PM by chickenparm »
-Bill

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2011, 11:07:02 PM »
After reading your recipe and technique, quit abusing your dough.  Time does a better job of kneading than your hands.

Offline Ronzo

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Re: I'm about to give up!
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2011, 11:07:59 PM »
After reading your recipe and technique, quit abusing your dough.  Time does a better job of kneading than your hands.
Agreed. A half hour seems way too long to me.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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