Author Topic: White, undercooked crust  (Read 2918 times)

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Offline Timedog

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White, undercooked crust
« on: March 16, 2012, 10:25:28 PM »
So my crust is overly white, and the inside is a very slightly sticky instead of fluffy. I've read some threads on here about white crust and tried some things like using spring water instead of tap, and eliminating sugar/oil from the dough, but none of that worked.

Now I'm just thinking it might be that the dough is too wet for my oven temperature (550 degrees F). The cheese burns while the crust is still mostly white (there'll usually be a few little brown spots where the crust caught a gas bubble), and the inside just feels tastes undercooked, although my crumb looks pretty good I think. I tried dough from a local pizzeria, and it did turn out slightly white still, but the taste was okay and the inside was fully cooked and fluffy.

With wetter doughs, do you want higher temps or lower? Also, this was less of a problem when I was cooking in a pan and using instant yeast instead of the sourdough starter I'm using now for some reason. 



Offline Timedog

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2012, 05:29:27 AM »
I should add a few more details.

I don't use anything on the bottom of the pizza (cornmeal, semolina, flour) because I use the EXO pizza peel. The crumb of the cornicione is has varying sized holes on the top portion, but the bottom portion where the dough is touching the stone the holes are tiny and compact. The very outside skin or membrane of the cornicione is usually pretty brittle/crackery

I usually will let the ingredients sit for a half hour to an our after combining them (autolyse), then mix knead after this rest period. I usually make 3 doughs at a time, keeping them in the fridge for 1-3 days to ferment, as I make one pizza per day. Regardless of how long they've been in the fridge, they all turn out the same as far as whiteness. I use sourdough starter, and use about 3 tablespoons per ball of dough I'm making, each pie is thin crust about 13-14".  

I've used King Arthur bread flour and Gold Medal bread flour with pretty much the same results.

Offline Giggliato

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2012, 12:57:06 PM »
How wet is your dough? Do you use hydration percentages? Can you post pictures? Do you you use a pizza stone? How long do your pizzas cook for?

buceriasdon

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2012, 06:45:35 PM »
I suggest going back to adding either sugar or honey. Try 2% sugar/honey to your flour weight as a starting point. I assume your stone is placed low in the oven.
Don
« Last Edit: March 17, 2012, 07:41:46 PM by buceriasdon »

Offline atom

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2012, 07:35:01 PM »
If your not preheating your stone for an hour then do so. If that is not the case then move your stone to a lower rack. Start with the middle and if your having the same problem then adjust from there. It may be possible your oven is just plain broken, how do other foods cook?

Offline Timedog

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2012, 09:09:10 PM »
How wet is your dough? Do you use hydration percentages? Can you post pictures? Do you you use a pizza stone? How long do your pizzas cook for?
I don't know about percentages I had mix and probably use different percentages every time but I think it's pretty wet. I use a pizza stone at 550 and pizzas cook maybe 6-7 minutes before the cheese starts to burn.

I suggest going back to adding either sugar or honey. Try 2% sugar/honey to your flour weight as a starting point. I assume your stone is placed low in the oven.
Don
I've tried lots of sugar, no sugar, and eveything inbetween.

If your not preheating your stone for an hour then do so. If that is not the case then move your stone to a lower rack. Start with the middle and if your having the same problem then adjust from there. It may be possible your oven is just plain broken, how do other foods cook?
I've tried preheating for an hour or more, different racks. Other foods cook fine.

Offline Timedog

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2012, 06:23:00 AM »
I don't have a camera but the crust is about like this or very slightly whiter.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5300/5449378951_d3dfc44e12.jpg

Offline Giggliato

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2012, 01:37:47 PM »
What kind of flour are you using?

Offline Timedog

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2012, 09:22:23 PM »
I already wrote that I have used King Arthur bread flour and Gold Medal bread flour. Well, the Gold Medal flour was actually called "better for bread", which I assume just means bread flour. Either one produced the same results.

Offline Giggliato

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2012, 11:46:42 PM »
Definitely procure an oven thermometer if you don't have one already. I just started using the two minutes under the broiler method to produce the caramelization that I desire. The pizzas take 4 minutes total. Is your dough possibly overproofed?


Offline c0mpl3x

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2012, 05:03:39 AM »
sounds like dough that ran out of sugar and died.

been there, done that.   overproofed dead dough is best let to stay cold and 4-5 hour warm up before using, in my experiences in low sugar, commercial enviroments
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Offline Timedog

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2012, 09:20:38 AM »
Yeah, actually I was thinking that today (it being overproofed). The sourdough starter seems way more finicky than IDY for proofing. I usually make the dough and then immediately put it in the fridge. With IDY usually the dough will be good enough to go the next day. With my sourdough starter the dough won't rise til at least 2-3 days in the fridge for whatever reason. Just no action until a certain point and then it rises really fast.

So I've been (this is probably really stupid but I'm just experimenting with everything) leaving it out overnight to rise. My house is pretty cold, but usually by morning it's risen all the way. Thing is I don't use it until afternoon or night. I should probably just take it out in the morning or afternoon.

Also, if I use half sourdough starter, and half IDY, will they interfere with each other? I'm asking because my pizza is too sour for my tastes right now. Could be because I fed it with rye flour once or twice.

Offline Giggliato

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2012, 12:36:21 PM »
Well, you've got a complex dough going on there. Your IDY and the Yeast in the sourdough starter are most likely not the same species? They would definitely interfere with each other if that is the case.

Room temperature fermentation is the way to go in my opinion. Although sometimes the room can get a bit warm, so it is good to watch the dough.

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2012, 02:27:00 PM »

Also, if I use half sourdough starter, and half IDY, will they interfere with each other? I'm asking because my pizza is too sour for my tastes right now.

There was a very good upscale pizza place on the 'Chau NY Tour'  that did incorporate a starter and IDY in their pizzamaking.  Have you given any thought to the 'age' of your starter?  Are you using it at the correct stage of it's lifecycle?  If it is to sour, I don't see why you couldn't use half the amount and do a few hour room ferment and then to the fridge.  Lookup some of TxCraig's post.  His starter may not be the same as yours, but he believes that refridgerator temperatures are not conductive to his starter producing good results.  My contention is that if your starter is taking 3 days refridgerator time to show any lift, then something is wrong.  It is almost as if the starter was old and hoochy and needed to be fed, you basically feed it by making the dough with it.

But, just my $.02
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Offline c0mpl3x

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2012, 06:56:11 PM »
i don't think im alone here, but cold ferment and sourdough aren't generally on the same recipe.   idy performs better cold, and sourdough is more stable when warm than idy.
Hotdogs kill more people than sharks do, yearly.

Offline David Deas

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2012, 09:32:40 PM »
That depends on what you mean by cold.  If you're talking about fridge temperatures, the yeast slow down while the acid keeps on going to eventually destroy your gluten.  If you're talking about wine cellar temperatures then you should be somewhat better off.

Many of these guys are using really clean and well fed starters (purchased half the time).  These low bacterial activity starters can handle the cold fermenting environment better.  But if your starter smells even remotely like buttermilk or anything then forget about cold fermenting.

Example:  Varasano uses a cold fermented sourdough to great success.  Commercially to boot.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2012, 09:34:13 PM by David Deas »

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2012, 12:36:27 AM »
Example:  Varasano uses a cold fermented sourdough to great success.  Commercially to boot.

Qualify your statement. ???

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Offline Timedog

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2012, 08:32:33 PM »
No sourdough in the fridge, I didn't know that! Dang, now I'm gonna have to laboriously hand-mix/knead one crust at a time :(, but hopefully my pizza turns out better! we'll see tonight.

Offline David Deas

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2012, 10:36:10 PM »
No sourdough in the fridge, I didn't know that! Dang, now I'm gonna have to laboriously hand-mix/knead one crust at a time :(, but hopefully my pizza turns out better! we'll see tonight.

Hopefully so.  And I wish you all the luck.  But let me be even more clear.

Based on what you have typed here, your main problem is that your starter absolutely sucks.  It's too weak.  Not appropriate for baking with.  Just top your pizza with Warheads if that's what you want.

Especially with KA flour, your feeding schedule should be frequent and generously proportioned.  Your starter should smell clean, with a faint aroma of alcohol and that's about it.  It should *not* smell sour, junky or funky in any way.  This state can take weeks to build up to (though not necessarily), and if you don't bake a lot it can be a real pain to maintain compared to the ease of IDY.  But only after then is your starter ready for use.

If you try and pull off a long cold ferment with an immature starter, your baked product will turn out to be sour, gummy, dense and totally safe for even the worst celiac patient because all of your gluten will get wiped out by bacterial activity.  Does sour and sticky sound very familiar to you?  Do you like gluten free pizza?  Because that's what you're making.

This sort of celiac pizza will not brown.  At 500 degrees your pizza will look more like a soft, Italian inspired quesadilla.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 12:32:46 AM by David Deas »

Offline franko9752

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Re: White, undercooked crust
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2012, 11:20:02 PM »
IDY Rocks!


 

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