Author Topic: How tight to make dough balls  (Read 1333 times)

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Offline kdefay

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How tight to make dough balls
« on: October 27, 2011, 05:01:03 AM »
Last night I made 9 pizzas based upon the following formula:

2,273g high-gluten bread flour (13.5-14%) (100%)
47g salt (2.09%)
8g IDY(.35%)
2.8g sugar (.12%)
1,494g cold water (65.7%)

total weight:  3,825g
dough ball: 425g


I mixed 70% flour and 100% sugar/water together and allowed to autolyse for 20 minutes.  I then worked in the salt followed by the yeast.  I transfered it to a stone surface and hand kneaded incorporating the remaining 30% of the flour.  I usually stop and let it rest for 5 minutes  1-2 times during this process.  I bulk fermented in a large rubbermaid container in the refrigerator for about 24 hours.  I removed from refrigeration about 8 hours before cooking (this was about 7 pounds of dough, so it takes a while to come up to room temp) and allowed to come up to room temperature and rise.   it rose nicely and I formed the balls about 1 hour prior to beginning.

My first question (and something I have never been clear on) is how tight do I make the dough ball?  I made these balls rather tight and they were not so easy to stretch out.  They required very careful stretching and resting in order to achieve 14" without tearing.  Is it normal for a high-gluten dough to be extensible and easy to stretch?  Every time I work with it, I find it resists stretching.

At about the 2-2.5hr mark, the remaining balls became easier to stretch, but I'm really wondering if my problem is related to the tight balls that I form.

Kirk
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 05:04:53 AM by kdefay »


Offline c0mpl3x

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Re: How tight to make dough balls
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2011, 05:44:02 AM »
that amount of idy would be at least a 8 hour rise cold, maybe 4 on counter
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Offline kdefay

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Re: How tight to make dough balls
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2011, 10:47:41 AM »
that amount of idy would be at least a 8 hour rise cold, maybe 4 on counter


So it looks like I may have let it go a bit long on the rise.  I'll try cutting it down to 4 hours before forming the balls. 

Offline scott123

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Re: How tight to make dough balls
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2011, 12:17:08 PM »
it rose nicely and I formed the balls about 1 hour prior to beginning.

For NY style, you want to ball the dough prior to fermentation.

Mix/Knead
Ball
Ferment
Form/Top
Bake

Balling close to forming (less than 5 hours) will give you dough that's difficult to stretch.

Offline c0mpl3x

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Re: How tight to make dough balls
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2011, 07:40:50 PM »
For NY style, you want to ball the dough prior to fermentation.

Mix/Knead
Ball
Ferment
Form/Top
Bake

Balling close to forming (less than 5 hours) will give you dough that's difficult to stretch.

adding 1-2% oil and increasing your yeast to 1.5-3% may give you the stretch you are looking for, in your time frame
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: How tight to make dough balls
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2011, 11:46:57 PM »
For NY style, you want to ball the dough prior to fermentation.

Mix/Knead
Ball
Ferment
Form/Top
Bake

Balling close to forming (less than 5 hours) will give you dough that's difficult to stretch.

+2
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Offline kdefay

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Re: How tight to make dough balls
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2011, 01:24:18 AM »
For NY style, you want to ball the dough prior to fermentation.

Mix/Knead
Ball
Ferment
Form/Top
Bake

Balling close to forming (less than 5 hours) will give you dough that's difficult to stretch.

I used to do it exactly that way, but I'm making more pizzas now than in the past.  I just don't have the refrigeration space for 30 individual containers, so I tried to do it as a bulk ferment and divide it after.  I wish I could just do room temp ferments, but I live in Thailand where the current daytime temp (80-85F) is fine for doing it, but in 3 months it will be 110F at the same time of day which is just too hot.  Cold fermenting is about my only way to get consistency because of our vast temp variances over the course of the year.  Looks like I'll be cold fermenting in an large ice cooler as it's the only cold space I have that's large enough for this much dough.

I'll increase my yeast to about 1.5% and add about 3% oil to see how it changes.  Thanks for the help.  I'll report back the results in about a week.  I also found out where I can get metal dough boxes in a stack of four trays with a handle and lid for the top.  I'll get one for my next test because it's a much better use of space and a lot easier to clean than 30 small containers.

Kirk


« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 01:26:30 AM by kdefay »

Offline scott123

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Re: How tight to make dough balls
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2011, 02:26:24 AM »
Kirk, I went back and took a look at some of your previous posts and noticed that you've opened/are opening a pizzeria.  Are you selling 30 dough balls worth of pizza a day? If that's the case, then you should be nearing a point where predicting fermentation rates at different room temperatures should almost be second nature. It's just about controlling as many variables as you can along with taking copious notes. It's common in the industry to adjust for ambient temperature fluctuations by decreasing/increasing water temps, but it can also be done with yeast adjustments.

Do you have access to a basement or a cellar?  That will go a long way in evening out your fermentation temperatures.

And that's room temperature ferments.  If this is a business, even a small/fledgling one, then a small refrigerator shouldn't break your budget. If it's dedicated entirely to dough, you can set it to whatever temp you want, so you're not spending too much on electricity.  Or how about a small closet with a vented air conditioner unit? Again, we're not necessarily talking about cold temps, just consistent ones.  If you can consistently get, say, 85 degrees, you should be able to work with that.  Dialing in the yeast for 2 days at 85 degrees will be close to impossible, but you can hit a 1 day target and make a great dough.

Offline kdefay

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Re: How tight to make dough balls
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2011, 03:57:56 AM »
Scott,

We literally opened for business one week ago and for the near future we will only be operating on Saturday and Sunday evenings.  We are located within a very popular weekend evening walking market so we are able to get away with this.  I will get to the point that you describe soon enough, but I'm not there yet.

No basement or cellar to work with here.  I will get a dough refrigerator soon, but for the time being we will have to work with proofing boxes placed into a large ice chest (roughly 16 sq feet) for the overnight cold ferment.  I'll re-shape the balls about 6 hours before using and remove from storage about 2 hours before to come up to room temp. 

I really appreciate your help!  I'll get things sorted out soon enough.  We'll be doing it again this weekend.  I'll adjust things based upon your advice and report back after the weekend.

Kirk

Offline scott123

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Re: How tight to make dough balls
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2011, 05:33:14 AM »
Kirk, if you are going to do a bulk ferment, you can help mitigate the extra gluten formation from the late balling by aggressively underkneading the dough. This means mixing/kneading to a cottage cheese consistency and no further- and definitely no autolyses or rests. Cottage cheese is my normal recommended dough consistency to shoot for with cold fermented 14ish% protein dough, even without the bulk fermentation.

No knead recipes all do their gluten development with cold fermentation.  Cold fermented dough requires almost no kneading.  Autolyses, rests and post ferment dough manipulation are all methods to ramp up the gluten development. Because you've got a high protein flour (with both a propensity to fight you during the form AND have a tough/leathery consistency when baked) you've got to be really careful how much you work the dough.

As to your original question, the act of balling dough develops gluten, so if you're balling right after mixing, you can ball a bit more aggressively and subtract from the kneading accordingly, but if you do it after a bulk, for traditional NY hydrations, that's when the gluten tends to be a bit overextended and prone to tearing, so you want to be gentle.  You want to fold it under itself just enough times to make a ball, but no more.  With care, you should be able to form a ball with 2 or 3 folds under itself. 

Overall, it sounds like you're on the right track.  I wish you well on your new endeavor.


Offline kdefay

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Re: How tight to make dough balls
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2011, 12:07:14 PM »
Scott,

Thanks you so much for your advice!  Tonight I used the following formula:

High gluten flour: 100%
Salt: 2%
IDY: 1%
Oil: 2.4%
Sugar: .4%
Water: 65%

I was able to find proofing trays, so balling the dough before cold ferment is no longer an issue.  Refrigeration is my primary issue now, and will get sorted out in due time.  We did 24 balls of dough for the evening as we were only going to be open for about 4 hours.  This dough was so easy to work with.  It stretched nicely, it was forgiving, and had a great texture and crispy exterior.  I wish I had photos to show, but the first break I got was when the last pizza went into the oven.  We actually sold out in 2 1/2 hours, so it looks like we need to be prepping more for next week's session, because I hate running out early. 

If you ever make it over to Thailand, look me up and I'll buy the beer!  Your advice helped so much and I look forward to continue working with this formula for a while.  I think I will reduce the yeast slightly (maybe down to .8%) because it was as bit more active than I wanted it to be during the ferment, but overall a huge improvement from what I was doing before.

Thanks again!

Kirk