Author Topic: Question about high hydration doughs and the difference between using yeast &...  (Read 815 times)

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Offline ringkingpin

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Hey Guys,

I have a question.  I make my dough by using a sour dough starter.  I have an Ischia and a Cameldoli which I've had for about a year and a half.  I keep these starters at a consistency that is a good bit thicker than pancake batter.  I think I run around 60-62% hydration.  My recipe is 8 cups of flour, 2 cups of water, 2 cups of starter, two table spoons of Kosher Salt.  For me, on the 2Stone, this mixture works pretty good.  If I don't use the starter once a week, it can become a little bit of a gamble but it always seems to work out. 
However, when I try to go to a higher hydration, I don't get a good proof.  My question is, is there a reason that I can't get really high hydration with just a natural leavening?  Thanks in advance!
"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
 Brillat-Savarin


Offline TXCraig1

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No reason I can think of. I've seen plenty of really good looking pies with 70%+ hydrations.

You might need to change the way you work the dough as you increase hydration. Employ the Tartine method or similar maybe?
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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For starters (pun intended) I would strongly recommend using a scale for your measurements. This is less about absolute precision and more about being able to reproduce your results. You can't be sure of your hydration levels with volume measurements.

When you increase the hydration, do you adjust the other ingredients or are you just putting in more water?



 

Offline TXCraig1

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With his starter %, I wouldn't think a little (or a lot) extra water would affect his leavening much.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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With his starter %, I wouldn't think a little (or a lot) extra water would affect his leavening much.

Probably, but what is his starter %? Two cups of starter can cover a wide range of weights depending particularly on whether it has been degassed during the measuring. That's why I stressed the importance of weighing.

Offline TXCraig1

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Good point.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline ringkingpin

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I know I need to start measuring by weight.  I used to bake professionally and have always worked off metric weights but when I started doing these pizzzas as a hobby I just started developing my dough by feel and used volume because it was handy.  I'll work on dialing in my starter with a little more precision and weight this stuff out.  When I've tried going to higher hydration, I simply add more water. 
"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
 Brillat-Savarin

Offline David Deas

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Hey Guys,

I have a question.  I make my dough by using a sour dough starter.  I have an Ischia and a Cameldoli which I've had for about a year and a half.  I keep these starters at a consistency that is a good bit thicker than pancake batter.  I think I run around 60-62% hydration.  My recipe is 8 cups of flour, 2 cups of water, 2 cups of starter, two table spoons of Kosher Salt.  For me, on the 2Stone, this mixture works pretty good.  If I don't use the starter once a week, it can become a little bit of a gamble but it always seems to work out.  
However, when I try to go to a higher hydration, I don't get a good proof.  My question is, is there a reason that I can't get really high hydration with just a natural leavening?  Thanks in advance!

Im going to assume a cup is a cup.  So since you have indicated that the health of your starter is indeed an ongoing issue, I think that's the most obvious place to start looking.

You are implying that you have achieved acceptable results at higher hydrations using pure yeast rather than a sourdough starter.  If this implication is true then the principals behind your troubles are easy to elucidate.  

Please confirm or deny.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2012, 12:33:09 PM by David Deas »