Author Topic: On Mixing  (Read 354 times)

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Offline rparker

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On Mixing
« on: February 04, 2016, 07:22:45 PM »
I've got two questions on the mixing/kneading process. For reference, I have a Kitchen Aide 600 Pro, which includes an "S" style dough hook.

Once a dough gets into a fully mixed state and the process is more kneading than anything else, can a dough go in and out of preferred states?

Does any particular state of a dough mixing/kneading enable or deter a dough's ability to retain hydration at various times in the dough's life? (Examples - Perhaps increase or decrease a dough ball's chances of releasing too much water during a bake, or maybe being more sticky than normal during stretch?)

Thanks,

Roy


Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: On Mixing
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2016, 12:49:33 AM »
Roy;
The two main things responsible forgetting water into a dough when using a mechanical mixer are mixing time and fermentation time which allows time for the flour to fully hydrate. As for a dough giving off water during baking as long as you have a manageable dough it will bake off to about 32% moisture content during baking regardless of how much water (dough absorption) was used in making the dough. The only way that you can alter this is to put something into the dough that will hold onto the water during baking such as fiber, gums (actually a form of fiber), glycerol, gelatin, etc.). If you go back to the late 1970's you might remember the New Horizons (Continental Baking Co.) high fiber bread that was all the rage. The dough contained roughly 30% microcrystalline alpha cellulose (cellulose for short) and the total dough absorption was up around 105%. The finished bread has the mouth feel of a wet sponge....now that's water retention!
With that said, once a dough is fully developed further mixing can have a degrading effect upon the flour proteins causing them to begin breaking down and releasing water. This is why an over mixed dough becomes soft, extremely extensible and very sticky. A pizza dough should never be mixed beyond the point where it just begins to take on a smooth, satiny appearance.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline rparker

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Re: On Mixing
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2016, 01:31:44 AM »
Thanks, Tom, for your reply. some of that matches up with a couple of recent batches I was testing. A couple things do not.

I really think that my normal batches are over-kneaded, but those are the ones not extensible and not getting sticky. The sticky ones are the ones that sat out on the counter too long before getting to fridge. I did an under-mix (by my standards) to try and improve extensibility. They just seemed to get all clammy on me during the stretch. Lucky to launch either one. The counter ferment was in effort to help gluten grow biomechanically so as to not lose strength and spring.

If anyone is watching and has some examples or links to examples of that they think are the ideal states of the dough during mixing, I'd love to see them. Otherwise I'll just continue to look at Norma's and misinterpret what I see. It's helped me get this far.

Tom one related question. If one was to get an excessive amount of blisters on the bottom crust, is that a sign of bad things, or is it something natural with 4-14 day cold-fermentation? Similar, too, with the blisters on the outer rims that are otherwise really dry?

Thanks again,

Roy

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: On Mixing
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2016, 01:14:07 PM »
Roy;
When mixing a pizza dough the extensibility/feel of the dough is a bell shaped curve, meaning that it goes from very soft to very tight and elastic as the gluten is developed to very soft and extensible again as the dough reaches breakdown. This is one of the reasons why pizza doughs are best when mixed only to the point where it begins to take on a smooth, satiny appearance, more mixing than this does two things, it makes the dough tighter (more elastic) and difficult to handle and it puts undue wear on your mixer. The gluten will be developed through biochemical gluten development during the cold ferment period with the added advantage that biochemically developed gluten is much drier and more extensible than mechanically developed gluten. Allowing the dough to sit out on the counter too long before going into the fridge can easily result in over fermentation of the dough while it's in the fridge. This is why in my Dough Management Procedure it calls for the dough to be taken directly from the mixer to the fridge. Blisters on the bottom of the crust are perfectly normal for a well fermented dough with a very soft consistency.In fact, I developed a baking disk (Hearth Bake Disk, Lloyd Pans) that was designed specifically for use in air impingement ovens when combined with the recommended formula modifications and oven baking parameters gives those same small bubbles/blisters to the bottom of the pizza so the finished pizza has the appearance of having been baked in a hearth type oven.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Online Pete-zza

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Re: On Mixing
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2016, 01:34:52 PM »
Roy,

As Tom was posting, I was getting ready to cite Reply 4 at:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=2964.msg25401#msg25401.

You might find the rest of the thread in which the above post appears of interest.

Also, some time ago, I conducted an experiment using my food processor where I intentionally tried to destroy the dough by, in effect, running the dough through the bell curve that Tom and I mentioned at warp speed. I wanted to see if I could actually kill the dough. I described that experiment at Reply 14 at:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1187.msg10649/topicseen.html#msg10649.

The other think to keep in mind about the release of water from the dough is that there are proteolytic enzymes that, given enough time, can do a number on the dough by dismantling the gluten structure, resulting in the release of water into the dough, making it wet and clammy and maybe overly extensible.

Peter

Offline rparker

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Re: On Mixing
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2016, 03:30:13 PM »
Tom, thanks very much for your time. One follow up question was covered my Peter's 1st link, all the way at the bottom of that reply where he reiterates your description of the egg test. In effort to verify and match up the descriptions to timelines, would the early part of satiny and smooth be right before the upper part of the bell, right before getting tight and elastic?

Related to the egg-test, does anyone have, or can point to, an image that shows in detail what a bad and what a good result looks like?  I think I'm right, but there is that nagging "what if I'm not right" thing.  I used many pics in Norma's more flavor in dough thread as guides for the satiny/smooth thing.

Thanks again!

Roy

Offline rparker

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Re: On Mixing
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2016, 03:32:20 PM »
Peter, thanks for those links. You're usually spot on with your link selection(s). The next two replies in the first link helped as well. I thought I would mention in another thread that I thought the stronger mix helps with flavor, and that some weaker mixes helped to kill it.

Always interesting to see what others' opinions on mix times are. I'd bet half think I'm over-mixing and half think I'm under-mixing.  :-D

OK, so I am understanding the results of a couple of recent tests and explorations. Sometimes tweaks can leave one with sort of paradoxical results. Those results are not so paradoxical now.

Roy

ps - FWIW, I am in the low 80's when I leave the mixer (83F - 85F mostly) except for the odd very-cold water batch. In my latest tests, which were designed to ease elasticity and a bit of toughness, I mixed/kneaded less and got water issues. The temps were 78F. I'd actually been slowly reducing the kneading at various stages and it's biting me. Before these tests, I think I was getting closer to the right combination of speed(tension) and time as well as figuring out how to add a small bit of water for softening.

pss - Also fwiw, my reduced mixing/kneading verses batches before resulted in this. My 6-day dough was dryer and sticker than a 16-day old ball I had baked a week or two ago.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: On Mixing
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2016, 03:49:13 PM »
Roy,

Here is another thread on knead times that you might find of interest:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3204.msg27132#msg27132.

In Reply 3 in that thread, I gave some knead times that came out of several pizza books. At the time, I did not have Evelyne Slomon's book on pizza but later did find a used copy at Amazon. She has a basic dough recipe in the book that calls for about three cups of flour and hand kneading. The total hand knead time she mentions is 5-10 minutes.

Peter

Online Pete-zza

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Re: On Mixing
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2016, 04:10:22 PM »
Related to the egg-test, does anyone have, or can point to, an image that shows in detail what a bad and what a good result looks like?  I think I'm right, but there is that nagging "what if I'm not right" thing.  I used many pics in Norma's more flavor in dough thread as guides for the satiny/smooth thing.
Roy,

In the past, this is the video that I have cited on the egg-test that Tom has taught over the years:



The test itself starts at around 2:29 in the video. In viewing the video, you should keep in mind that the dough on which the egg-test is performed in the video is a commercially produced dough that is likely to be more robust than you can make by hand or a standard home mixer. However, the principles are the same, and the objective is to try to achieve the same or similar dough condition.

Peter


Offline rparker

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Re: On Mixing
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2016, 04:38:11 PM »
Thanks, Peter. Looks like something else to get engulfed in this afternoon. It's quite interesting to see them compiled in a list like that. Obviously all of those examples are devised around their entire procedure and routine. The variables are probably close to endless. 

I'm fast thinking that discussing specific mixing times and speeds is like asking someone how many scales are on the average fish. :)    I'm also thinking that I got caught up in the mix less ideal a little too much. so many descriptions tend to line up when I do not try lower times. I have stopped using those massive mixing times that I tried last Summer.

Thanks for that video link, too. I've seen it before and watched that bit over and over, but I cannot focus on it. My wife reminded me that I can bring it up on our television. (and here I thought I bought that thing just for football and baseball.) anyhow, I'll watch that later.

Just curious to know if you've ever used a KA 600 Pro series with the S-hook on it, and subsequently, if your thoughts on the differences applies to that one as well. I do know the difference between that and my old KA Artisan from the late 90's was huge the very first time I used it.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: On Mixing
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2016, 11:59:15 AM »
Just curious to know if you've ever used a KA 600 Pro series with the S-hook on it, and subsequently, if your thoughts on the differences applies to that one as well. I do know the difference between that and my old KA Artisan from the late 90's was huge the very first time I used it.
Roy,

No, I have never used a KA 600 Pro Series mixer, with or without an S-hook. My mixer is a basic KA mixer with a C-hook. But, over the years, I learned how to use it to make a pretty decent dough. Even before I started using that mixer, I had already spent about two years reading Tom Lehmann's stuff, so I had a pretty good idea as to what to expect in the way of the dough that was to come out of my mixer. But it still took a lot of testing and practice to achieve good results. And I documented some of the tips and tricks I picked up along the way. Some of those tips are discussed at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3985.msg33251#msg33251 and at Reply 8 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=2223.msg19563#msg19563.

I have even been known to use both my KA stand mixer and my food processor to make a given dough, such as the boardwalk type of dough with a hydration that is too low for my stand mixer to handle by itself but that can be finished nicely in my food processor. Once you learn the how the machines work and how they can affect the dough, they become tools that you can use as needed.

Peter

Offline rparker

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Re: On Mixing
« Reply #11 on: Today at 12:35:15 AM »
Thanks, Peter, for the links and wisdom.

I've still got a gray spot here and there, but I think I've got a good line of thought going. More pizza.  8)

Roy

Offline rparker

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Re: On Mixing
« Reply #12 on: Today at 08:02:03 AM »
Peter, I still have one comment that is nagging at me. The comment you made about a commercially made dough.
.........you should keep in mind that the dough on which the egg-test is performed in the video is a commercially produced dough that is likely to be more robust than you can make by hand or a standard home mixer. However, the principles are the same, and the objective is to try to achieve the same or similar dough condition........
Is it possible for you (or anyone) to describe the difference? A better understanding about what I might not be getting will serve to help me modify things the best I can in my home setting. It got me close to that old thick crunch bottom layer thing I grew up with.

When I do my normal mixes, After my very short counter rest - which is crucial at this point - my dough looks similar to what I see online and in the forum by professionals. Just drier, as my current formula is quite dry.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: On Mixing
« Reply #13 on: Today at 12:58:31 PM »
Roy;
Commercial planetary mixers are much more powerful than most home type mixers unless you are one of the few fortunate ones who happen to have a Hobart A-120 or A-200, or even a Hobart N-50 (a gear driven 3-speed 5-quart mixer like a K5-A on a double dose of steroids). With that said, a food processor will mix a dough much in the same way as a vertical cutter mixer (VCM) so it is possible to achieve greater levels of gluten development with a food processor than with a home type planetary mixer. As the gluten continues to develop during mixing the dough goes from a very rough appearance to a smoother appearance which appears to be lighter in color (actually no color change at all, just the dough's smoother skin reflecting more light), as the dough approaches this level of development it becomes noticeable less sticky/tacky, as mixing continues the gluten film develops extensibility, allowing it to stretch without tearing (remember I showed this in the video), The "egg test" is designed to assess dough development to this point. When this level of gluten development is achieved the dough can be taken to the bench for cutting, scaling and rounding/balling without the dough skin continually tearing resulting in greater difficulty in handling the dough. In a pizzeria we have only a 20-minute window of time during which the dough must be taken from the mixer, cut, scaled, rounded/balled, boxed and placed into the cooler so when you are dealing with upwards of 80-pounds of dough you do not want to have a sticky or tacky dough as it will only serve to slow down the operation. When making pizzas at home where only a few dough balls are in play, this is not an issue unless you want to have a dough that is easier to work with. Above all, remember that pizza dough is best under mixed, how much under mixed? Try mixing a dough just until the ingredients are fully incorporated and you have a homogeneous dough mass. The resulting dough will be sticky but it will make a great pizza if you give it a minimum of 18-hours cold fermentation time. This same rule is followed by most pizzerias, they just mix it longer to make the dough easier to handle on the bench, ditto for the large box store commissaries where they mix the dough just enough to allow for ease of processing through their equipment and to control the spread of the dough while it is stored in the large dough boxes.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor


 

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