Author Topic: How do check the correct hydration when mixing dough  (Read 153 times)

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Offline islandguy

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How do check the correct hydration when mixing dough
« on: December 17, 2014, 10:41:51 PM »
What's the best method of checking the correct hydration when mixing dough.  I'm using the dough receive from the "pizza Bible" and it's very sticky. I live in Mexico at 5500 ft elevation and cannot buy "00" flour. I know all pizza makers around the world cannot use the same recipe for grams of water, flour, etc due to the verables evolved .  In my case, I have no heat or air in my home.  Some days may be cold, some days hot.
I used a Kitchen Aid mixer and on the last batch, added flour until the KA bowl was clean.  No lose flour or dough sticking to the bowl.  I was not happy with the end results.
I would like to be able to see and feel when the dough is just right.
I've read about the finger test, etc
Does anyone have an easy way to tell when their dough is just right.


Offline vtsteve

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Re: How do check the correct hydration when mixing dough
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2014, 11:52:35 PM »
Try holding back 10% of your water for the initial mix; then add it a little at a time until the dough feels right. Then, weigh the remaining unused water to find your starting water weight for the next mix (original weight - remaining water). Try for 'not sticky' first, and go a little wetter next time if it's too hard to open the dough ball.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: How do check the correct hydration when mixing dough
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2014, 11:56:24 PM »
What's the best method of checking the correct hydration when mixing dough.  I'm using the dough receive from the "pizza Bible" and it's very sticky. I live in Mexico at 5500 ft elevation and cannot buy "00" flour. I know all pizza makers around the world cannot use the same recipe for grams of water, flour, etc due to the verables evolved .  In my case, I have no heat or air in my home.  Some days may be cold, some days hot.
I used a Kitchen Aid mixer and on the last batch, added flour until the KA bowl was clean.  No lose flour or dough sticking to the bowl.  I was not happy with the end results.
I would like to be able to see and feel when the dough is just right.
I've read about the finger test, etc
Does anyone have an easy way to tell when their dough is just right.
What style pizza you going for?
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline Wazza McG

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Re: How do check the correct hydration when mixing dough
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 12:24:07 AM »
If you are using a mixer like a Kitchen Aid;

If it forms a ball and leaves nothing on the sides it could be too dry.

If it is too wet there will be lots dough on the sides or the dough is massing at the bottom of the hook.

I know I'm very close when I see a small amount of dough starts forming underneath the dough hook and sticking to the side.

To do this you have to add small amounts of flour until you see this formation.  your sticky dough may have only been 4 to 5 tablespoons of flour away. 

The picture below shows the look I was describing. Good luck.

Happy to be corrected on any thoughts  ::)



« Last Edit: Yesterday at 06:27:13 AM by Wazza McG »
Fair Dinkum - you want more Pizza!  Crikey ! I've run out out them prawny thingymebobs again!

Offline islandguy

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Re: How do check the correct hydration when mixing dough
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 07:59:51 AM »
What style pizza you going for?

I'm making Neapolitan in a WFO.

My first batch of dough that I made several weeks ago with this recipe was so sticky that I couldnt hardly make the DBs and had a hard time getting it off the peel. But, the pizza tasted great
I kept adding flour with each batch.
The last batch was not sticky at all, the KA bowl was clean and the dough handled great.  But, the final pizza came out terrible.  It was tough and had very little rise.
The next batch I make, I will take McG's suggestion to have a little dough left on the KA bowl

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: How do check the correct hydration when mixing dough
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 08:17:05 AM »
islandguy,

Are you (1) weighing the flour and water (and any other ingredients), (2) using diastatic malt (and, if so, what brand/type and how much), and (3) what is the "finger test"?

Peter

Offline islandguy

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Re: How do check the correct hydration when mixing dough
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 09:04:02 AM »
islandguy,

Are you (1) weighing the flour and water (and any other ingredients), (2) using diastatic malt (and, if so, what brand/type and how much), and (3) what is the "finger test"?

Peter

Peter
I weight everything by the gram.
I do not use malt, because Tony G said you don't need it if you use a WFO
I don't know what kind of flour, because I live in Mexico and cannot get the name brands.  The flour I use I'm told is the best I can get here. It's high protein and is used by the better bakers here in Mexico.
The finger test ( I read on Internet) is to stick your finger in the finished dough and see how the dough springs back when you remove your finger.
I wish I could go to a school and get first hand instructions on how the dough should feel when it's finish.
There's not any good pizza places closed to where I live, but there are plenty of great bakers.  I've went in and watched a few of them.  They do everything by feel. No measurements , weights, etc.  they pour flour on the table (no bowl) and start adding water, yeast, salt, etc.  they keep working the dough and some times add more water or flour to get the results they want.


 

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