Author Topic: hydration levels, compensation for flour type & other questions  (Read 1763 times)

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Offline getchai

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Hi. I've been making pizza for a while now but recently came across this forum. Now I'm trying to learn all the proper way of doing things (bakers percentages, right sauces, right cheeses etc).

Most of the time I use a food processor because I am only making a few dough balls (4 at most). After I make the balls I store them in a zip lock bag in the fridge for at least a day. I found that in the past when using the kitchenaid stand mixer the gluten wouldn't form as well as it should have, which I think is because I did not have it running for as long as it should be (~10 minutes I believe).

I just tried once again to make the CPK pizza dough recipe using the kitchenaid. I remade the recipe slightly using the dough calculator and it is as follows:

Flour (100%):    253.08 g  |  8.93 oz | 0.56 lbs
Water (62%):    156.91 g  |  5.53 oz | 0.35 lbs
ADY (.4%):    1.01 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.27 tsp | 0.09 tbsp
Salt (2.63%):    6.66 g | 0.23 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.39 tsp | 0.46 tbsp
Olive Oil (8.94%):    22.63 g | 0.8 oz | 0.05 lbs | 5.03 tsp | 1.68 tbsp
Sugar (3.75%):    9.49 g | 0.33 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.38 tsp | 0.79 tbsp
Total (177.72%):   449.77 g | 15.87 oz | 0.99 lbs | TF = 0.101
Single Ball:   224.89 g | 7.93 oz | 0.5 lbs

The first time I made the dough I forgot to put in the olive oil. The dough was a great consistency and I thought maybe throwing the oil in at the end would eventually makes it way into the dough. It didn't so I threw that one out. The second time I put in the olive oil in and the entire time it was way one big soup. With all the flour required it would not start making a ball. I ended up having to put in over 100g more of flour before it started making a ball. Even then it was extremely sticky. After maybe 15 minutes of the stand mixer spinning I took it out and hand kneaded it a little which was very difficult. In the end each ball was ~330g. It's now in the fridge.

Now for the questions:

1. I'm using Rex Royal flour. I'm guessing the high protein is the reason this recipe required so much more flour. How do I compensate for this, for example when a recipe calls for regular bread flour? Do I just lower the hydration level? I still don't understand the benefits of a higher hydration level on a cooked pizza. Is it less dense? I did notice last pizza I made that was more hydrated then usual, the bottom of the pizza had the circle texture on it which I notice at some pizzerias.

2. I'm using a pizza stone. My oven only goes up to 450 which is problematic for the bottom of the pizza. I was thinking of using a pan, though I don't understand the benefit compared to a stone? It seems easier because you don't need a peel which causes a lot of problems for me.

3. When using ADY and the recipe calls for IDY I have been halving the amount. Is this correct? Aside from not having to proof the yeast, what is the difference with IDY? What is the end result affect?

This place is awesome and thank you all for the help!


Online Aimless Ryan

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Re: hydration levels, compensation for flour type & other questions
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2012, 02:11:32 PM »
OK, this is a lot to process, but one thing that really sticks out to me is 9% oil. That's a lot of oil, especially for something with 62% hydration. I've never had CPK (and I probably never will), so I don't know what their crust is like, but I really doubt that it has anywhere near that much oil. With that much oil, it looks like you're making something more akin to a deep dish kind of dough. But deep dish hydration levels tend to be in the 40s, so this looks like a nightmare dough to me already.

Also, that's a ton of sugar and a ton of salt. And considering how much salt there is, the salt probably keeps the small amount of yeast from doing its job.

Honestly, this formula does not make any sense to me. I wouldn't even think about trying it because I would expect pretty much the same results you've described here. If I was actually able to make a usable dough out of it, I'd expect it to end up eerily dark, due to the ridiculous amount of sugar. And considering the high percentages of sugar, salt, and oil, I wouldn't want to taste it.

1. I'm using Rex Royal flour. I'm guessing the high protein is the reason this recipe required so much more flour. How do I compensate for this, for example when a recipe calls for regular bread flour? Do I just lower the hydration level?
OK, unless I'm reading this wrong, the first part here is counterintuitive. High protein flour can hold more water than lower protein flour. Your last sentence makes sense, though, sorta. Since bakers' percents are based on flour weight, yes, you should decrease the hydration level. That is, if you're gonna keep the oil at 9%. (Don't change the flour quantity in relation to all the other ingredients because that changes everything.)

I still don't understand the benefits of a higher hydration level on a cooked pizza. Is it less dense? I did notice last pizza I made that was more hydrated then usual, the bottom of the pizza had the circle texture on it which I notice at some pizzerias.

2. I'm using a pizza stone. My oven only goes up to 450 which is problematic for the bottom of the pizza. I was thinking of using a pan, though I don't understand the benefit compared to a stone? It seems easier because you don't need a peel which causes a lot of problems for me.
Like I said, I've never eaten at CPK, but I'm 99% sure CPK bakes directly on stone. So if you bake on a pan, you're not gonna come close to replicating their pizza. The difference: When you peel dough onto a hot stone, the bottom of the dough immediately starts baking. Conversely, when you use a pan, the bottom of the dough does not start baking until the cold pan gets hot. And even then, it doesn't bake the same way it bakes when you peel it onto a hot stone. In a home oven, you're gonna have a much longer baking time when using a pan.

3. When using ADY and the recipe calls for IDY I have been halving the amount. Is this correct? Aside from not having to proof the yeast, what is the difference with IDY? What is the end result affect?
If you're using ADY instead of IDY, you want to use about twice as much, not half as much.

It looks like you've translated someone else's recipe or formula here. Is that true? This thing is a mess, dude.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 02:18:55 PM by AimlessRyan »

Online Pete-zza

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Re: hydration levels, compensation for flour type & other questions
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2012, 03:50:23 PM »
If you're using ADY instead of IDY, you want to use about twice as much, not half as much.


A neat yeast conversion table is this one: http://www.theartisan.net/convert_yeast_two.htm.

As can be seen from the yeast conversion table, if one is using ADY and wants to switch to IDY, you will use about one-third less of the IDY by weight. One perceived benefit of the ADY is that it contains a lot more dead cells than IDY. That can add some additional flavor to the finished crust and also food for the yeast if it needs it.

Peter

Online Aimless Ryan

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Re: hydration levels, compensation for flour type & other questions
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2012, 04:31:44 PM »
As can be seen from the yeast conversion table, if one is using ADY and wants to switch to IDY, you will use about one-third less of the IDY by weight.
Thanks for correcting me, Peter. Since I only ever use ADY, that's not something I think about much. If you think anything else in my post is questionable or needs clarification, please point it out. Although I think most people would agree with most of what I said, I admit that a lot of what I said is merely my opinion.

Offline getchai

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Re: hydration levels, compensation for flour type & other questions
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2012, 05:37:48 PM »
Thank you AimlessRyan. Sorry, I know it's a mess. I have too many things going on any once.

The recipe was one that I took from the forum (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,704.msg25632.html#msg25632), though modified slightly as I tried to learn how to use the dough calculator. How does oil count into the hydration level? I read somewhere that it doesn't but I don't see how that can be true.

Thank for the ADY clarification. I ended up eating one of the doughs which was pretty good. The other one I'm not going to bother. There is a picture of it below. What went wrong? I don't understand why my doughs lately turn into pancakes which are then impossible to toss because it's way too thin and practically melts in my hand. All the ones since I use the new flour. Am I overworking the gluten? Too much yeast? This one had been in the fridge for 2 days then out for a couple of hours.

Thank you for the link Peter that is very helpful!
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 05:40:07 PM by getchai »

Online Aimless Ryan

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Re: hydration levels, compensation for flour type & other questions
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2012, 06:57:53 PM »
How does oil count into the hydration level? I read somewhere that it doesn't but I don't see how that can be true.
It doesn't. But since oil is still essentially a liquid, it does contribute to making a softer dough. I'm not the best person to try to answer this, but I'm sure someone will point you in the right direction soon enough.

Thank for the ADY clarification. I ended up eating one of the doughs which was pretty good. The other one I'm not going to bother. There is a picture of it below. What went wrong? I don't understand why my doughs lately turn into pancakes which are then impossible to toss because it's way too thin and practically melts in my hand. All the ones since I use the new flour. Am I overworking the gluten? Too much yeast? This one had been in the fridge for 2 days then out for a couple of hours.
That's the result of high hydration in addition to a lot of oil. Even if there was no oil, 62% hydration would make a very soft dough. But with 9% oil added to 62% hydration, you should expect a very wet dough; almost a batter. Based on what I think you're going for, I'd cut the oil down to 3% or less, and I'd probably reduce the hydration to about 60%. That should give you a nice soft dough that won't be wet. But that's just a suggestion to try to get you in the neighborhood.

Online Aimless Ryan

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Re: hydration levels, compensation for flour type & other questions
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2012, 07:40:08 PM »
Having done a little video research since my last post, I now realize I know very little about CPK, and it appears that their dough may not be anything like what I thought it was. However, I don't think they're being very honest in their cookbook. They know almost everyone who buys the cookbook will be happy just to succeed at making any kind of pizza, regardless of whether it turns out like their pizza, so there's no reason for them to share accurate recipes or formulas.

Offline Giggliato

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Re: hydration levels, compensation for flour type & other questions
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2012, 01:12:17 PM »
Thank you AimlessRyan. Sorry, I know it's a mess. I have too many things going on any once.

The recipe was one that I took from the forum (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,704.msg25632.html#msg25632), though modified slightly as I tried to learn how to use the dough calculator. How does oil count into the hydration level? I read somewhere that it doesn't but I don't see how that can be true.

Thank for the ADY clarification. I ended up eating one of the doughs which was pretty good. The other one I'm not going to bother. There is a picture of it below. What went wrong? I don't understand why my doughs lately turn into pancakes which are then impossible to toss because it's way too thin and practically melts in my hand. All the ones since I use the new flour. Am I overworking the gluten? Too much yeast? This one had been in the fridge for 2 days then out for a couple of hours.

Thank you for the link Peter that is very helpful!


Well the dough in the picture is overfermented, your yeast were having a field day with all that sugar. It's possible that your overworking your dough as well. Why not try mixing your dough in a bowl by hand? Or letting it bulk ferment on the counter for a few hours before putting it on the fridge?

Oil makes it harder for the water to interact with the two proteins in the dough that form gluten, it probably does other things as well.

Offline getchai

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Re: hydration levels, compensation for flour type & other questions
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2012, 11:02:23 PM »
Quote
That's the result of high hydration in addition to a lot of oil. Even if there was no oil, 62% hydration would make a very soft dough. But with 9% oil added to 62% hydration, you should expect a very wet dough; almost a batter. Based on what I think you're going for, I'd cut the oil down to 3% or less, and I'd probably reduce the hydration to about 60%. That should give you a nice soft dough that won't be wet. But that's just a suggestion to try to get you in the neighborhood.

Thank you again AimlessRyan. I'm going to try that... and pay more attention to my oil percentages.

Quote
Well the dough in the picture is overfermented, your yeast were having a field day with all that sugar. It's possible that your overworking your dough as well. Why not try mixing your dough in a bowl by hand? Or letting it bulk ferment on the counter for a few hours before putting it on the fridge?

Yeah that is a good idea with the hand mixing. Thanks!

Offline getchai

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Re: hydration levels, compensation for flour type & other questions
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2012, 09:52:10 PM »
So I gave it another go. This time around I used a different recipe and mostly hand kneaded. It turned out much better. I ate one a few days ago and it was OK. It has been in the fridge for three days now. After day one I took it out, waited about 2 hours and made it into a skin. Again it was way too soft. Today I decided to play around with another dough I had in the fridge (3 days later). I took it out and the fridge and immediately shaped it. It was so easy. It felt like a pizza should. Like pizza did back before I came here and made everything better and more complicated  :-[. I tried searching but could not find information on this. Do people tend to shape after taking it out of the fridge? Is there a downside? I feel like I'm doing something wrong since I cannot form it correctly after it has reached room temperature.


Online Aimless Ryan

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Re: hydration levels, compensation for flour type & other questions
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2012, 10:18:14 PM »
Do people tend to shape after taking it out of the fridge? Is there a downside? I feel like I'm doing something wrong since I cannot form it correctly after it has reached room temperature.
I'd say most people tend to give the dough at least an hour at room temperature before shaping. Like you, I don't like using dough with a hydration level above 60% or so. I can handle it just fine, but I tend to prefer the results I get with dough that's slightly stiffer (or much stiffer, depending on what kind of pizza I'm making). The great thing about making your own pizza is that you get to choose how you want to make it. If your dough is uncomfortably soft or wet, decrease the hydration until you feel more comfortable handling it. You don't have to follow anyone else's rules.