Author Topic: Windowpane test  (Read 1602 times)

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Offline Kermit

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Windowpane test
« on: August 02, 2012, 05:50:40 PM »
I've read several threads about the windowpane test not being nessesary for pizza. Could you please elaborate on that matter? Also, if doing a quick dough with very short rise(3-4 hours), would you want to mix your dough to full gluten development?


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Windowpane test
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2012, 06:21:03 PM »
I've read several threads about the windowpane test not being nessesary for pizza. Could you please elaborate on that matter? Also, if doing a quick dough with very short rise(3-4 hours), would you want to mix your dough to full gluten development?

Kermit,

With respect to your first question, see the quoted text in Reply 440 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg28694.html#msg28694.

With respect to the second question, see the thread at the PMQ Think Tank at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=23597#p23597.

Peter

Offline Kermit

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Re: Windowpane test
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2012, 04:24:36 AM »
Thanks Peter for the helpfull answer  :)

Offline Pappy

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Re: Windowpane test
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2012, 09:38:48 AM »
Quote
As for home baking of pizza, there is no need to mix the dough to full development unless you REALLY need the exercise. Even the artisan bread bakers now advocate mixing the dough just until it comes smooth and then allowing it to ferment in the fridge overnight. This isn't to say that you can't do it, but it just isn't necessary, and I'm all for following the path of least resistance.

In regards to Kermit's second question, I think it important to point out that Lehmann is not saying that the windowpane is unnecessary for a relatively short 3-4 hour rise.  He is saying that an overnight cold rise with minimal mixing is an easier, more efficient method than the long mix/short rise method.  A 3-4 hour rise with minimal mixing would give a very problematic dough.

In a commercial setting, Lehmann is obviously concerned that a long mix time will lead to overly warm, oxidized dough.  In a home setting with strong flour, cold water, an autolyze, 30 seconds in the food processor, and 4 minutes of hand kneading, I can easily get a windowpane and 76 degree dough.

I concede Mr. Lehmann's point, but given that a 24 hour cold rise and a 3-4 hour room temp rise lead to very different flavor characteristics in the dough, I believe that should be the criterion, in a home setting, that determines what method you use.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Windowpane test
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2012, 10:11:23 AM »
In a commercial setting, Lehmann is obviously concerned that a long mix time will lead to overly warm, oxidized dough.  In a home setting with strong flour, cold water, an autolyze, 30 seconds in the food processor, and 4 minutes of hand kneading, I can easily get a windowpane and 76 degree dough.

Pappy,

My recollection is that for an emergency dough, Tom advocates a finished dough temperature of around 90 degrees F (or maybe even higher), along with an above average amount of yeast, to promote faster fermentation. That is in the context of using a commercial planetary mixer, which is unlikely to increase the dough temperature above 90 degrees F for relatively short mix times (as mixing takes place, the dough is likely to give off heat to its surroundings, which are unlikely to be above 90 degrees F). A food processor would have a better chance of adding significant heat to a small dough quantity in a home setting, especially if the mix/knead times are long.

I agree that a long cold fermentation is likely to produce more acceptable results than a short room temperature fermentation, but the reality is that some people prefer emergency doughs over cold fermented doughs. That is the reason why this compilation exists: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8297.0.html.

Peter

Offline Pappy

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Re: Windowpane test
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2012, 11:11:50 AM »
Pete, thank you for your reply.  Unfortunately, I am now confused.

Mr. Lehmann, in his PMQ response, clearly seems, to me, to be talking about making emergency dough in a commercial setting,

Quote
The reason why I don't recommend mixing an emergency dough longer (to full gluten development) is because then the dough would be excessively soft and even sticky. With the increased temperature, and the increased mixing the dough would just be a mess to work with. Ask any bread baker who always mixes his dough to full development) what his dough would be like if he allowed the dough to get into the 90 to 95F temperature range during mixing.

and specifically notes that the temperature of a fully mature can get to 95F, which is the reason for not mixing to full development.

When Mr. Lehmann switches to advice on the home front, he says this:

Quote
As for home baking of pizza, there is no need to mix the dough to full development unless you REALLY need the exercise. Even the artisan bread bakers now advocate mixing the dough just until it comes smooth and then allowing it to ferment in the fridge overnight. This isn't to say that you can't do it, but it just isn't necessary, and I'm all for following the path of least resistance.

There, he seems to be saying not to bother mixing to full development in a home setting, but to use an overnight cold fermentation.

So what does one do for an emergency dough if one needs one?  In the first half of his answer, Mr. Lehmann seems to be saying that biomechanical glutanation will suffice for an emergency dough in a commercial setting.  This assumption seems to be affirmed by this anecdote:

Quote
Yep, that was the bakery in Romania...I saw what appeared to be at least 60 bowls, about 1 meter across, and about equally as deep, with two men, each armed with a wood agitator (looked a little like a baseball bat, only longer) mixing, or shall I say, stirring, the dough to an oatmeal like consistency, then moving on to the next mixing station and repeating the process. After about three hours of fermentation, the dough was ready to go to the bench for portioning and making up into some wonderful tasting bee hive bread. Bio-chemical gluten development rocks!

That is all well and good, but what about the home setting?  There is ambiguity in Mr. Lehmann's answer.  The emergency dough thread is no help, the mixing suggestions are all over the map.  Some recipes are vague, some make no suggestion at all.  Pizza Shark advocates a long knead and notes that it is virtually impossible to overknead home dough.  Steve uses my method:  30 minute autolyse, 30 seconds in the food processor, a couple of minutes hand knead.  

In my experience, under kneading a so-called emergency dough in a home setting leads to disaster.  You must go to windowpane.  Contrary to your assertion that mixing with a food processor will be more likely to heat the dough to unacceptable levels, as Steve points out, and in my experience, you only need 30 seconds, and then some hand kneading.  If the water is chill, the dough won't go over 76-78 degrees.  Yeast quantity, and a warmer room temp will compensate for the cool dough temp and still get you the quick rise.

This all leads to a pet peeve of mine, in that cold fermentation cannot be a simple substitution for a room temperature rise, and that the term "emergency dough" is somewhat of a misnomer.  A dough mixed to rise at room temp in an hour or two is an emergency dough.  Anything over that is a same day dough, and is a very different critter than a cold fermented dough.

Flavor in dough comes mainly through bacterial fermentation.  There are two types of lactic bacteria that produce the acids that flavor dough:  homofermentative and heterofermentative.  Homofermentative bacteria thrive in temperatures in the 70-95F range, and produce lactic acid, which is mild, and similar to the tangy flavor one gets in yogurt.  Heterofermentative bacteria thrive at 50-65F, and produce both lactic and acetic acid, which is sharp, and similar to the flavor one gets in vinegar.

The temperature at which you choose to ferment your dough favors one type of bacterial activity over the other, and leads to different flavors in the dough.  I personally do not like sourdough, so I prefer a process that encourages the production of lactic acid and minimizes acetic acid.  A long room temperature rise of 5-8 hours gives me the flavor profile I am looking for, which would be impossible with a cold-fermented dough.

This is why I have problems with authors like Reinhart, who should be explaining stuff like this and doesn't.  He leaps on overnight cold fermentation as some sort of revolutionary breakthrough and panacea without really explaining the science behind the method that would allow the novice to make an informed choice.  Please note that Reinhart's pain l'ancienne is a complete bastardization and misunderstanding of Philip Gosselin's brilliant and revolutionary method of making baguettes, but that is the subject for another post.

Pete, you are, of course, vastly more informed than I, so I would appreciate your comments on this matter, given that I could be all over the map.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Windowpane test
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2012, 12:34:25 PM »
Pappy,

I agree with you that the Tom Lehmann posts can lead to confusion. I believe that the confusion was possibly created in this part of Tom's post:

As for home baking of pizza, there is no need to mix the dough to full development unless you REALLY need the exercise. Even the artisan bread bakers now advocate mixing the dough just until it comes smooth and then allowing it to ferment in the fridge overnight. This isn't to say that you can't do it, but it just isn't necessary, and I'm all for following the path of least resistance.

I believe that Tom meant the first and last sentences to go together. The middle sentence wouldn't make sense if applied to an emergency dough because a combination of undermixing and overnight cold fermentation would not apply to an emergency dough. The total elapsed time would be too long to apply to an emergency dough. If you jettison the middle sentence, Tom seems to be saying that it isn't necessary to mix the emergency dough to full gluten development. For either a home application or a commercial one.

The story about the Romanian workers doesn't clarify matters much because it doesn't say how long the two workers took to go through 60 bowls and from which point in time the three hours of fermentation was measured. We just don't know what the total fermentation time was.

If you want to see Tom's advice on how to make a commercial emergency dough, see the PMQ Think Tank post incorporating Tom's advice at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=29594#p29594. When I make emergency doughs at home, I knead the doughs as I would any other doughs. I don't shoot for full gluten development.

When I put together the collection of emergency dough recipes at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8297.0.html, I was mindful of the fact that I would need a cutoff point for the emergency doughs. I somewhat arbitrarily selected four hours. That four hours could have all at room temperature or a mix of room temperature and cold fermentation. I looked at a lot of dough recipes that went beyond four hours but less than 24 hours, but it didn't make sense to me to create another category to cover those recipe. No one was clamoring for such a category but they were for emergency doughs.

Peter

Offline Pappy

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Re: Windowpane test
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2012, 01:08:07 PM »
Peter, thank you for your clarification.  I would only add that I assumed from story of the Romanian bakers that each bowl of dough was timed individually, rather than all collectively.  As each bowl reached the three hour mark, the mixers would portion that batch and then move on to the next as it hit the mark.  The timing would not be exact, but close enough for government work.  :D

The anecdote is, however, ambiguous, and we can't know for certain.