Author Topic: Troubleshooting sticky dough  (Read 2180 times)

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Offline mom4max

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Troubleshooting sticky dough
« on: April 11, 2011, 11:37:36 AM »
I can't get my dough off the peel and onto the stone without a huge mess.  Tried cornmeal and flour as glides and usually just end up cooking on parchment on the stone.  Dough is not "wet," I can spread it out by patting with my unfloured hands without sticking, but it sticks to the peel like crazy by the time I get it topped.

Here's my recipe:
13 oz by weight of AP flour
8 oz by liquid measure of water (warmish)
1.5 t ADY
3 T olive oil
1.5 t salt
1 t sugar

Mixing sugar, water and yeast with water and proofing for a few minutes, dump in flour, salt and oil and run stand mixer until dough is smooth.  I have not been refrigerator fermenting, just leaving it all in the stand mixer bowl for an hour or two.  Sometimes I add a little more flour if it's really sticky in the mixer, Houston is pretty humid sometimes, lol!

Thanks in advance for any advice!


buceriasdon

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Re: Troubleshooting sticky dough
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 12:53:58 PM »
Hi, your hydration rate is about 61%, not too wet. I use rice flour on my peel, others use semolina flour. I've gone to 75% or more hydration with my doughs and I'm learning to top quicker. :D Many folks use the shake the peel slightly every so often when topping to make sure it still can slide. Others lift up an edge and blow under the pizza. I keep a length of dental floss handy and pull it along the bottom of the pizza from both sides just before loading. Works well for me.
Don

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Troubleshooting sticky dough
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2011, 03:07:08 PM »
mom4max,

If you are using 8 ounces of water by volume, the weight is perhaps close to 8.1-8.2 ounces if you measure out a cup of water like most people do. Using a value of 8.15 ounces for calculation purposes, the hydration of your dough is 62.7%. That is a few percent above the rated absorption value of all-purpose flour. However, you are also using 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Oil also has a wetting effect on dough. In your case, if we add the weight of the olive oil (1.43 ounces, or just under 11%) to the formula water, the "effective" hydration comes to 73.7%. When I have worked with doughs with a lot of oil, my practice has been to reduce the formula hydration such that the combination of the formula hydration and the oil, by percent, are reasonably close to the rated absorption of the flour being used. How far above that value one can go is often a function of one's ability to handle high hydration doughs. You can see an example of the approach mentioned above at Reply 20 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg59217.html#msg59217.

At some point, you may want to weigh your water also. You might even conduct some tests where you measure out your water volumetrically in a tared one-cup measuring cup and then weigh it. I would do this about a dozen times, to get a fairly large number of samples, and average the values. You might then be able to use the average value in future efforts to calculate the hydration percent when a recipe calls for one or more cups of water.

Peter

Offline mom4max

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Re: Troubleshooting sticky dough
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2011, 04:11:28 PM »
@Don - love the dental floss idea, will have to get some that is not mint flavored, eww!

@Peter - so if I follow your logic, I should be shooting for liquid percentage closer to 61% total for AP flour (as per this thread: pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=4646.0 ).  7.93 oz total by weight for both liquids, right?  Had to truncate the link, site won't let noob post it intact, sorry.

Am I also correct in thinking that the longer refrigerator rise is for the impact on flavor alone and it would make no change in my stickiness factor?

What is the advantage of using Bread Flour over AP flour?  Is it merely structural, or is there a flavor component involved?

Thanks again, gentlemen!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Troubleshooting sticky dough
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2011, 08:02:45 PM »
mom4max,

This is the link you quoted in part: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4646.0.html. Once you get to five posts, you should be able to post full, active links.


@Peter - so if I follow your logic, I should be shooting for liquid percentage closer to 61% total for AP flour (as per this thread: pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=4646.0 ).  7.93 oz total by weight for both liquids, right?

Yes, that is essentially correct. However, you have to be careful about how you allocate the 7.93 ounces (61% x 13 ounces) between the water and oil. For example, at the moment, the olive oil comes to just under 11%. If you keep that percent and reduce the water content, your dough will start to look more like a deep-dish dough or possibly a Chicago thin style dough. That is fine if either of those styles is what you are after. If not, then you may have to find the proper balance between the oil and the water for your particular needs.

Quote
Am I also correct in thinking that the longer refrigerator rise is for the impact on flavor alone and it would make no change in my stickiness factor?

The primary benefit of the long cold fermentation is the creation of byproducts of fermentation that contribute to the final crust flavor, aroma, taste and texture. However, if the fermentation time is too long, enzymes in the flour/dough can attack the gluten and cause water in the dough to be released from its bond and lead to a wet or clammy dough that can be more difficult to handle. In your case, you have to be careful about how long you ferment the dough. I calculated that you are using about 1.54% ADY. That is many multiples of what one would normally use for a cold fermented dough. It is even almost double what one might use to make a dough at room temperature that can be used in only a few hours. If the fermentation proceeds too quickly, because of all the ADY, or if the dough overferments because of the accelerated fermentation, you may end up with a dough that is harder to handle.

Quote
What is the advantage of using Bread Flour over AP flour?  Is it merely structural, or is there a flavor component involved?

Bread flour has more protein and more gluten-forming protein than all purpose flour. As a result, a bread flour dough can hold more of the gases of fermentation and lead to a more open and airy crumb in the finished crust. The bread flour dough can also take on more water, which will also contribute to a greater oven spring and a more open and airy crumb. The bread flour will also add a bit more crust color and flavor than an all-purpose flour because of the higher protein content.

Can you tell me what type of pizza you are trying to make and where you got your recipe?

Peter

buceriasdon

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Re: Troubleshooting sticky dough
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2011, 08:03:55 PM »
mom4max, All purpose flour is a blended product, made by milling a combination of low and high gluten wheat varieties. On the other hand, bread flour is produced from harder wheat types, basically the hard spring crop. Bread flour has a higher protein content, therefore a higher gluten content which can add strength to a dough but can also lead to chewiness, which some people prefer for certain styles of pizza. When I have been able to obtain a made in the USA all purpose flour such as Gold Medal and compared it to made in Mexico brands the imported flour has proved to be the clear winner as far as taste goes, I believe because of better quality wheat used in the milling. I would certainly try bread flour if it was available here in Mexico near me. I have never found my dough to more sticky even after days in the fridge, I find it easier to work with cold fermented as the gluten has developed more. I suggest you try bread flour yourself and see if you like it better than all purpose.
Don



@Don - love the dental floss idea, will have to get some that is not mint flavored, eww!

@Peter - so if I follow your logic, I should be shooting for liquid percentage closer to 61% total for AP flour (as per this thread: pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=4646.0 ).  7.93 oz total by weight for both liquids, right?  Had to truncate the link, site won't let noob post it intact, sorry.

Am I also correct in thinking that the longer refrigerator rise is for the impact on flavor alone and it would make no change in my stickiness factor?

What is the advantage of using Bread Flour over AP flour?  Is it merely structural, or is there a flavor component involved?

Thanks again, gentlemen!

buceriasdon

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Re: Troubleshooting sticky dough
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2011, 08:37:16 PM »
Peter, I would think that taste would be more a factor of the quaility of wheat grain milled over protein content alone as many all purpose and bread flours protein content can overlap depending on the miller. One producer's all purpose is close to another's bread flour and if I understand correctly depending on the time of year there can be fluctuations in protein content from a single miller although small. To carry it out further, high gluten flour has more taste than bread flour or Caputo?
Don

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Troubleshooting sticky dough
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2011, 09:05:18 PM »
Don,

Thanks for adding the chewiness factor. That completely slipped my mind. By extension, high gluten flour would be another step up in chewiness.

You are correct about the flavor issue in relation to protein content. I was thinking mainly of the general types of bread flours sold at the retail level in the U.S. Examples would be the King Arthur bread flour, the General Mills Better for Bread flour and the Pillsbury bread flour. Even among these three flours, the protein content varies, with the King Arthur bread flour having the greatest amount of protein. There are also many small regional millers around the country, quite frequently in places like Montana and the Dakotas, that mill bread flour with higher protein content than the national retail brands. And some of their all-purpose flours have protein content that is higher than the national retail brands. You might find these websites of interest in the vein just mentioned: http://www.wheatmontana.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=24&products_id=135, https://www.ndmill.com/flour.cfm and http://www.stone-buhr.com/flours/. These brands are not available to me where I live so I cannot personally speak to their quality and how they compare with the national brands.

Peter

Offline mom4max

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Re: Troubleshooting sticky dough
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2011, 09:13:51 PM »
Quote
If you keep that percent and reduce the water content, your dough will start to look more like a deep-dish dough or possibly a Chicago thin style dough. That is fine if either of those styles is what you are after. If not, then you may have to find the proper balance between the oil and the water for your particular needs.

@Peter - Understood.  I was looking more to make sure I had the math right more than anything. Is there an oil/water ratio I should shoot for?  The oil isn't even imperative to me, it was just in the recipe I had, but I thought it was keeping the pizza from sticking, but counter-intuitively it was probably making it worse.

Quote
I calculated that you are using about 1.54% ADY. That is many multiples of what one would normally use for a cold fermented dough. It is even almost double what one might use to make a dough at room temperature that can be used in only a few hours.

Yes, I knew that.  I wouldn't have used that much yeast in a cold ferment, but wasn't clear why cold ferment was used so frequently, other than convenience.  Usually, I am looking for a very fast rise, because I want the pizza ASAP, lol.

Quote
Can you tell me what type of pizza you are trying to make and where you got your recipe?

I didn't have a specific model I was shooting for at this point (no indigenous Texas pizza, lol.) I just wanted to get away from the parchment paper I'd been depending on to keep the pizza off the peel. Prob American style. No folding of crusts. Likewise, I don't know where the recipe came from...probably cobbled together from several sites.  I figured if I could find out what was keeping this pizza from being annoying for me I could move onto more interesting crusts later.  Not to mention I am way too cheap to pay for pizza delivery anymore now that I am so close to getting it right. 

Quote
I suggest you try bread flour yourself and see if you like it better than all purpose.

@Don - I fully intend to as soon as I use the 10 lbs of AP that I have here, lol. 

Quote
I have never found my dough to more sticky even after days in the fridge, I find it easier to work with cold fermented as the gluten has developed more.

I wondered if it was my recipe or technique that was making this such a problem for me.  I'd love to move onto make-ahead dough if I can get the last-minute one right.

Thanks again, guys!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Troubleshooting sticky dough
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2011, 10:05:10 PM »
mom4max,

Your recipe does not fit the profile of any style of pizza that I can think of although the combination of high hydration and a lot of oil reminds me of a Jeffrey Steingarten "Perfect Dough" recipe that was featured in the New York Times and covered on the forum in the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8384.msg72404.html#msg72404. I think you might find it useful to read the above thread and also to view the video at the NYT website. You will also note that I attempted the recipe and ended up using a sheet of parchment paper on which to bake the pizza, just as you did. You will also note that Jill in the video had a hard time with the dough skin sticking to the peel. After viewing the video again, I am just suspicious enough to believe that some other issues were perhaps edited out of the video.

If I were to attempt your recipe as it now stands, I would use a mixer at high speed to fairly fully develop the gluten. Alternatively, I could perhaps use several spaced-apart stretch and folds in order to more fully develop the gluten. It might also be possible to use a combination of the mixer and stretch and folds. I try not to use much bench flour, although that is a common method used to make a dough handle more easily without sticking to everything.

The above said, sometimes it is just easier to determine what kind of pizza you want to make and to look for the best recipe you can find for that style. However, if you want to gain experience working with wet doughs, the recipe you posted would be a pretty good recipe on which to test your skills. Or you can lower the oil by about half and adjust the hydration along the lines earlier discussed. That should make a dough that is easier to handle.

Peter


Offline chickenparm

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Re: Troubleshooting sticky dough
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2011, 01:32:20 AM »


You can always buy the super peel and not worry about that anymore.I use mine all the time.I never have to worry about any excess flour,cornmeal or anything being on the bottom that might get in the way of the taste.

I also use a screen sometimes...If I'm making 18 inch pizzas,I will shape,stretch my dough and put it on the 18 inch screen.Add sauce,cheese or toppings then place screen with pizza on top of my 15 inch stone to cook.The stone doesn't do anything for my screen as cooking goes,it just allows the screen to sit perfectly in the oven on the lower rack without tilting anywhere.

Works well too..the crust is a little bit softer on the bottom,but still makes a great pie.Screens come in all sizes,I bought a bunch of them from 14 inch to 18 inch large.Using screens allow you to not have to worry about it sticking to the peel.One down side,if the dough is too thin or wet,it can get stuck into the small holes in the screen if the toppings are too heavy.Spraying your screen with Pam Olive Oil spray also works well to prevent it from getting stuck together.

You can ALSO,If using a very wet dough,put the crust on the screen and precook it for about a minute or two,then take it out,make sure its not stuck to the screen.If its not,and add the sauce,cheese,toppings,and put it back in to finish cooking.

I prefer the screens over round pizza pans because most of the pans are curved at the rim,making the dough slide back down a little bit.Flat screens,it stays put where you shape it around the edge of the rim.

I would rather have a crust cooked directly on the stone,but until I get a larger stone or a steel plate in the 18 inch range,I will use the big screen for my largest pies.

Here a link to some pics of my Giant 18 inch NY slices I made on a screen if you want to see.These are the foldable types I love,but you can go smaller and a bit thicker.

http://s1237.photobucket.com/albums/ff479/BillsPizza86/18%20inch%20NY%20Pizza/

 :)
-Bill

Offline mom4max

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Re: Troubleshooting sticky dough
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2011, 10:45:28 AM »
Quote
Your recipe does not fit the profile of any style of pizza that I can think of

@Peter - I guess that's clearly my first problem, huh?  Lol.  I think I'll try it again tomorrow night with less liquid and see what I get.  I'm not necessarily dying to make this recipe work, I just didn't even know what to try to do to fix it. 

@Chickenparm - I saw the screens at the restaurant supply where I got my peel and wondered about them.  That Superpeel looks wild in action.  Do you have to take the cloth off and wash it occasionally?

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Troubleshooting sticky dough
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2011, 11:25:27 AM »
mom4max,

The reality is that the "style" setters for pizza are mainly the major national chains that sell pizzas in large volumes and have the resources to come up with and popularize the pizza styles that best meet their needs (usually economic). Those are the pizzas that most people buy since, this forum notwithstanding, few individuals make pizzas in their own homes. Your recipe can best be characterized as an "artisan" recipe because it has a high hydration (a lot of water and oil) and may need special processing, such as stretch and folds and the like, to get the dough to a manageable condition at the time you need to use the dough. Occasionally, an artisan recipe can be moved from the home to the commercial level, but few have done it because of the complexity of the processing and because of the labor intensive nature of the processing involved. That makes it hard in a commercial setting to find, train and retain people who will be around long enough to be able to master and execute the dough making and management processes. I think will find that most such operations tend to be limited to one store, not thousands like the big national chains.

So, I suppose the good news is that in a home environment you have the luxury of making any type or style of pizza you want without regard for the style name.

Peter

Offline chickenparm

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Re: Troubleshooting sticky dough
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2011, 02:42:54 PM »

@Chickenparm - I saw the screens at the restaurant supply where I got my peel and wondered about them.  That Superpeel looks wild in action.  Do you have to take the cloth off and wash it occasionally?

I don't find the need to wash it much.I don't use it everyday,which may be the main reason it doesn't get dirty as much.Maybe if one spill some sauce on it,but so far its rarely ever needed to be washed.Once I'm done using it,I shake off a little bit of the flour thats on it,by sliding the cloth back and forth real fast and its done.

Also,I dont use the SP to ever remove anything from an hot oven.I have another peel for that or round pans.
-Bill

Offline Botch

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Re: Troubleshooting sticky dough
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2011, 04:22:19 PM »
Mom4max, you didn't mention what kind of peel you were using.  I started out with a metal peel, and NO amount of flouring the bottom of the skin could keep it from sticking.  
On a hunch I picked up a wooden peel, and I haven't had a pizza stick since.  I lightly flour the bottom of the skin, and sprinkle a small amount of cornmeal onto the wooden peel (I use an old salt shaker), flop the skin on, and never a problem.
I still have my metal peel, and actually prefer using that to remove the cooked pizza.  
« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 10:48:01 PM by Boettcher »
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Offline mom4max

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Re: Troubleshooting sticky dough
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2011, 10:20:32 PM »
@Peter - I found the original recipe I started with here: vicariousfoodie.blogspot.com/2008/06/deep-dish-sausage-and-tomato-pizza.html  Good call, you were right and it was originally a deep dish pizza.  Somewhere along the way, I had already changed the quantity of flour in an effort to make it a more traditional dough, I just didn't go far enough with it.  Dang though, that pizza still looks tasty.

@Boettcher - It is a wooden peel.  I dream of not having to wash the darned thing after I make a pizza, lol!  I usually just pull the whole stone out of the oven with the pizza on it to serve.  It stays nice and warm until it is consumed that way.

Tomorrow I am going to go for it again with a revised ratio.  More news as it happens...