Author Topic: Disappointing pies tonight  (Read 10330 times)

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Offline slybarman

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Disappointing pies tonight
« on: August 19, 2012, 08:40:37 PM »
I feel like my pizza took a step backwards tonight after making some improvement over the last couple of weeks. The crust was chewy and dense - not airy. :(  The rim also browned less.

I did a 2 day cold rise instead of 3. I also started with a lower water temp and a lower final dough temp. I suppose that could have done it. I also lowered the oil from 2% to 1.75. Otherwise I kept the same formula - all trumps, 58% hydration, .35 IDY, 2% salt, 2% sugar.

I saved 1 dough ball to see whether it is any better tomorrow.

Edit: I did try the trick of blowing under the pizza skin to make sure it wasn't stuck to the peel before launching it. That works like magic. The pie floats off the peel like a hovercraft.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 09:04:42 PM by slybarman »


Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2012, 08:56:29 PM »
But you learned from it, right? Of course you did, or at least you will. We all make crappy pizzas sometimes, and they always provide good learning opportunities. The pizza I made tonight was kinda bad, too, but it's helping me learn what happens when you mess around with dough that's essentially unleavened. I've learned a ton in the last week by doing this.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 10:11:58 PM by AimlessRyan »

Offline slybarman

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2012, 09:42:53 AM »
Hopefully, I will take something from it. So far, I am not really sure why it failed. If the last dough ball is better tonight, that will tell me a lot. It was confusing because looking at the dough in the tupperware, it seemed like it had risen a good bit. When I was stretching the dough, I could feel the air in the dough and had a few bubbles form in the dough as I was laying it out on the peel. But, once I baked it . . . . pffft.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 09:47:56 AM by slybarman »

Offline slybarman

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2012, 06:58:54 PM »
I cooked the last dough ball tonight. Result was the same. Clearly, the yeast was plenty active and if anything the dough was over-blown on day 3. See the huge bubble on top and lots of smaller bubbles on the bottom. Though dough handled fine. It stretched out with no problems.

But . . .

Again, when I baked it there was no oven spring and little structure. It was bready and on the chewy side.

So, the question for you experts is - what causes a dough to have plenty of rise, but no spring/structure? I am assuming that this was problem when the dough was being mixed - that somehow the gluten did not develop properly? Please share any thoughts.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2012, 07:58:42 PM »
I feel like my pizza took a step backwards tonight after making some improvement over the last couple of weeks.

Been there many times. When I am, I go back to what I know works before doing anything else.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline ThatsAmore

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2012, 09:39:14 PM »
slybarman,

To take a quote from a movie, this is something I try to keep in mind when things don't come to fruition in my minds eye. "But, these little set-backs are just what we need to take a giant step forward"  8)
Who put that pie in my eye ?

Offline fazzari

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2012, 10:39:42 PM »
I'd be willing to bet you, that if you took that overblown dough ball, reballed it and put it back in the fridge for a half day or so....you wouldn't recognize it was the same dough!!!!

John

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2012, 09:25:59 AM »
A couple of things come to mind. What was your finished (mixed) dough temperature? We normally like to see something in the 80 to 85F range. Did you cover the container when you put the dough into the fridge? If you did, that might have contributed to the problem as this does not allow the dough to cool very efficiently, you might try wiping the top of the dough ball lightly with oil after you put it into the plastic bowl, then leave the lid off for about 2-hours (allowing the dough to cool more efficiently) before lidding the bowl.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline weemis

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2012, 09:51:54 AM »
We normally like to see...

Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I notice everything posted by the dough doctor uses the "we" pronoun instead of "I". Is this a dr jeckyll/mr hyde thing with Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor, or are there a team of folk that equals one entity, named TOM?

Who is "we", tom?
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer

Offline slybarman

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2012, 10:10:59 AM »
A couple of things come to mind. What was your finished (mixed) dough temperature? We normally like to see something in the 80 to 85F range. Did you cover the container when you put the dough into the fridge? If you did, that might have contributed to the problem as this does not allow the dough to cool very efficiently, you might try wiping the top of the dough ball lightly with oil after you put it into the plastic bowl, then leave the lid off for about 2-hours (allowing the dough to cool more efficiently) before lidding the bowl.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thank you Tom. My dough did finish at about 80 degrees. I put it into the fridge with the lid off for an hour and then covered. I oiled the container but not the dough.


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2012, 10:33:39 AM »
I notice everything posted by the dough doctor uses the "we" pronoun instead of "I". Is this a dr jeckyll/mr hyde thing with Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor, or are there a team of folk that equals one entity, named TOM?

Who is "we", tom?


Nick,

See the LEHMANN (Tom) entry in the forum's Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html#L. You can see what Tom looks like, as of 2010, in the video at
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGw10twuHKw" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGw10twuHKw</a>
.

Peter

Offline weemis

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2012, 11:01:40 AM »
Nick,

See the LEHMANN (Tom) entry in the forum's Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html#L. You can see what Tom looks like, as of 2010, in the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGw10twuHKw.

Peter


i see. thank you peter. the "we" of it all is still a mystery, but one I am willing to live with.
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer

Offline juniorballoon

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2012, 11:07:36 AM »
I have no clue why your pizza came out different. You can clearly see there wasn't much browning. Were there any changes to the oven setup?

jb

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2012, 11:12:02 AM »
i see. thank you peter. the "we" of it all is still a mystery, but one I am willing to live with.


Nick,

You can see more of the "we" in the video at
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dtiOxq73uM&amp;feature=related" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dtiOxq73uM&amp;feature=related</a>
where Tom and his associate Jeff Zeak talk about making pizza dough. I believe that Tom and Jeff made that video after they had returned from a Halloween party and didn't have time to change.

Peter

Offline slybarman

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2012, 11:18:09 AM »
I have no clue why your pizza came out different. You can clearly see there wasn't much browning. Were there any changes to the oven setup?

jb

Nope. Oven was all the same - 545, cordierite stone on bottom rack. The browning was better than the cell phone camera pictures and subsequent photo editing would suggest, but still not as much as previous batches. Though, come to think of it, I did not brush the rim with olive oil this time.

Offline scott123

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2012, 06:06:36 PM »
Steve, I would not oil the top of the dough.  In the type of container you're working with, the oil, as the dough rises, will puddle along the edge. This excess oil will act like a magnet for bench flour and you'll end up with a line of flour going around the rim. In commercial settings with 100s of dough balls, cross stacking/leaving the covers off to let the dough cool is critical, but, for the home baker using single dough ball containers, it isn't necessary.

From what I can tell, there are three factors impacting your 'disappointing results:' flour, thickness factor and bake time.

Flour

All Trumps has, by it's bromated 14% nature, a very high propensity for toughness/chewiness.  You can get around this by taking a few extra steps, but it isn't easy.  Underkneading is critical.  If you take it anywhere near smooth, with a cold ferment, you're pretty much guaranteeing toughness.  At the same time, though, the dough has to be thoroughly mixed or you'll end up with wet and dry areas in the dough, resulting in major stretching problems. You want to take cold fermented AT doughs to a point where they're well mixed, but barely kneaded- a cottage cheese appearance.  For me, kneading by hand, that was about 2.5 minutes total mixing/kneading time.

You can mitigate the toughness in the flour through additional oil, but once you start adding that much oil, you leave the NY style realm. Oil can also help a bit with oven spring.

Honestly, you can make AT work, with a lot of fussing, but it is far from ideal for NY style.  If you can score AT, you should be able to score something with a lower protein, such as Spring King, Full Strength, King Midas Special or Occident. I wouldn't throw away the AT you've got, but, for the next bag, I'd find something with less protein.

Thickness Factor

We talked about TF in the Reinhart thread and I think you understand the direction you need to take.  As you drop the TF, there's less dough in contact with the stone, less water per square inch.  Since water takes a lot of energy to boil, when there's less of it, the dough will heat up faster, creating a faster reaction, providing slightly better oven spring.  There are diminishing returns to this equation, so you can't just keep stretching the skin further and further, but, for NY, .075 seems to be a happy number.

Bake time

Pizza is 80% bake time.  The bake time dictates the intensity of the reaction. With a faster, hotter bake, you get a more explosive reaction, producing superior oven spring. With a slower, cooler bake, the reaction is sluggish and you end up with a dense bready crumb.

Now, you can tweak the dough and, within a small margin, get slightly better or slightly worse oven spring, but you will always be anchored to your oven setup. A cordierite pizza stone is better than no pizza stone at all, but, depending on the thickness, the best bake time it's going to get you at 545 is 8 minutes, and 8 minutes, for NY, is pretty bready.

It's time to start looking for a better stone.  If you're willing to deal with the weight, 1/2" steel plate, at 5:45, will give you bake times down to 3 minutes (lower than you'll need for NY).


The thickness factor should be pretty easily resolvable.  With the right stone and the right flour, you should be set, but those might take a while. Until then, though, I'd increase the oil and decrease the kneading.  4% oil, is, imo pushing the boundaries of the style, but it will go a long way in giving you tenderness and should provide a more open crumb with longer bakes. Once you've got the right oven setup and flour, though, you should be able to back down from that.


Offline slybarman

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2012, 06:55:37 PM »
Thank you Scott for the detailed reply. That seems to make sense as I had just lowered the oil from 2% to 1.75. So it looks like I went in the wrong direction with that.

My bake times with the stone I have are in the range of 6:00 - 6:30. I have been following the steel discussions and was intrigued but also a bit worried over the bottom burning many seem to be having. I have a cast iron pizza pan that I used initially, but my pizza always seemed chewier off of that pan than from the stone.

Based on your reply, I would say I am definitely over-kneeding the AT. I have been mixing in the KA mixer for 2 minutes to allow all the flour to be taken up, and then 7 more minutes after that.

What you describe with oil pooling on the edges of the dough ball is exactly why I stopped oiling the dough ball and now only lightly oil the tupperware.

I had also been thinking of bringing the hydration back up to 60% from 58%, but your comment about getting better oven spring with less water has me rethinking that.

Thanks also to Craig and everyone else for your posts of encouragement.


Offline scott123

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2012, 07:19:26 PM »
You've hit 6 minutes with cordierite? Wow, that's faster than I expected. Could you describe your stone to me? Is this a kiln shelf? 1" thick?

Is the stone a comparable size to the cast iron pizza pan?  If the stone is flat and the pan sits flat on it, I might try stacking the cast iron on the cordierite stone.

Go with 5% oil.  I was doing a search for examples of beautiful undercrusts and came up with this post from Norma:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17417.0.html

I think, but am not certain, that she's in your bake time realm. If you can do something like that, I would be very happy with it.

Steel plate doesn't have burning issues.  We've got a member right now who's having some issues dialing in the right temp, but there have been other members who have gotten the perfect level of browning with steel plate

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12887.msg127366.html#msg127366

There's a chance you might get into the magic 4 minute realm with stacking, but, if that doesn't work out, I'd still consider steel plate.

Water is an important aspect of the slight bump in spring relating to thickness factor, but hydration of the dough is a slightly different matter.  In the dough, less water doesn't necessarily equate to better oven, nor does more water.  With every flour, there's going to be a formula where oven spring is ideal, and there's no way to knowing without testing.  You want to start around a flour's absorption value and then move up and down and see what kind of results you'll get. 58% is pretty darn low for AT, so I think your inclination to go up to 60% is a good one.  60% is still a bit low, but that should balance with the 5% oil nicely.

For now, stick to your normal mixing/kneading routine and just see what 5% oil gets you. If 5% oil is still a bit tough, then you can tweak the kneading time.

Thank you Scott for the detailed reply. That seems to make sense as I had just lowered the oil from 2% to 1.75. So it looks like I went in the wrong direction with that.

My bake times with the stone I have are in the range of 6:00 - 6:30. I have been following the steel discussions and was intrigued but also a bit worried over the bottom burning many seem to be having. I have a cast iron pizza pan that I used initially, but my pizza always seemed chewier off of that pan than from the stone.

Based on your reply, I would say I am definitely over-kneeding the AT. I have been mixing in the KA mixer for 2 minutes to allow all the flour to be taken up, and then 7 more minutes after that.

What you describe with oil pooling on the edges of the dough ball is exactly why I stopped oiling the dough ball and now only lightly oil the tupperware.

I had also been thinking of bringing the hydration back up to 60% from 58%, but your comment about getting better oven spring with less water has me rethinking that.

Thanks also to Craig and everyone else for your posts of encouragement.



Offline slybarman

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2012, 07:28:20 PM »
Scott:

My wife bought the Cordierite stone from William Sonoma. It is not very thick and has a whole metal frame thing that it sits in. I do allow an hour and a half for preheat.

I had the hydration so low because I am a total nob at handling/stretching the dough. I have improved some and I think I am ready to ratchet the hydration back up some.

Norma got some nice browning going there. I also see what you mean by cottage cheesey from that second photo. She says she mixed for 19 minutes!

I will try one at 60% hydration and 5% oil and see what happens. Thanks.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 07:30:18 PM by slybarman »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Disappointing pies tonight
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2012, 07:55:50 PM »
I had the hydration so low because I am a total nob at handling/stretching the dough. I have improved some and I think I am ready to ratchet the hydration back up some.

I think your hydration is right about where it needs to be. I did 58% with the dough I mixed today (using All Trumps), and I like how it feels, although I might bump it up to 60% for the next batch. I probably won't go any higher than that.