Author Topic: Flat dough with 00 Flour - need help!  (Read 821 times)

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Offline mc_79

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Flat dough with 00 Flour - need help!
« on: September 23, 2012, 02:51:48 PM »
Hello, I've been experimenting with different dough recipes over the last month thanks to this site and some info on the Varasano site.  I've had good experiences so far except for my last batch of dough.  To date I had been using 100% KA Bread Flour, 63-64% water, around .5% IDY (fleshmans rapid rise), and 2.5% salt.  I was getting decent results, but kept tweaking things each time in my quest to find that "perfect" dough.  FYI I am limited to a gas oven that maxes out at 550 and I have a decent pizza stone (i think its decent - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000VLQRA/?tag=pizzamaking-20).

So my last batch I decided to experiment with 00 Flour based on info on Varasanos site.  I mixed it 50/50 with the KA Bread Flour, did a 64% hydration (probably ended up about 66% because I didn't use all of the flour), .5% idy, 2.5% salt. I did my usual mixing technique - 1. Put 75-80% of flour in mixing bowl with salt/idy, add water and do not stir - let sit for 20 minutes first (this is what I believe to be autolyse), then i put on the wire wish attachment on my KA mixer and mixed the ingredients for 2 minutes, covered, let rest another 20 minutes, then put on the dough hook (it is the spiral one - not the c hook), and mixed on speed 2 (as recommended in the mixer instructions) for 10 minutes and after 7 minutes slowly started adding most of the remaining flour.  Then cover and rest another 20.  I floured my counter with some of the remaining flour and hand kneeded for 1-2 minutes to reshape and get the ball smooth.  I ended up with just a small amount of flour remaining (probably used 95-98% of it).  Then i cut the dough into portions, balled them up, and put them into glad containers with a tiny amount of wiped on olive oil to keep from sticking.  Covered and into the fridge for 3 days.  After that time I noticed I was getting a normal rise like i was accustomed to in my previous batches - It did spread out some but just not as much.  I also looked at the bottom of the container and the bottom of the dough did not seem to have any air bubbles which my previous dough did have.  When I pulled the dough out to shape into a pizza, it was extremely sticky and part of it was sticking to itself making stretching extremely difficult.  I topped it with my cheese and sauce (strianese and polly o whole milk).  Cooked at 550 until the cheese and crust looked down (crust did not brown but it looked done).  However it was very flat and dense and did not have any spring or air bubbles to it.  It was still chewy on the inside but just not light and airy/springy.  Can someone evaluate this last batch to tell me where I am going wrong?  Do I need to avoid the 00 flour?  Is my mixing/kneading technique ok?

Thanks!


scott123

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Re: Flat dough with 00 Flour - need help!
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 04:15:47 PM »
Mark, if you've read Jeff Varasano's recipe page, you should have an understanding that pizza's most important ingredient is heat.  Without an intense heat/fast bake time, you get less oven spring, which produces a flatter, denser dough.

I can understand your reticence to run your oven on it's cleaning cycle like Jeff recommends, but, at the same time, a 9/16" cordierite stone isn't 'decent,' in terms of what you're trying to achieve and the 00 flour that you're working with. You need a hearth material with a far faster rate of heat transfer (such as steel), combined with additional heat from above by using the oven's broiler during the bake.

I would also, if I were in your shoes, probably reconsider using 00 flour, since it only, imo, begins to do it's magic in less than 2 minutes, and, with your oven, I don't think you're ever going to break that 2 minute barrier, as gas broilers are fairly notorious for not being able to pump out enough top heat for Neapolitan pizza. You'll probably save yourself a lot of angst by embracing NY style completely - malted flour, 1.5-2% salt, a little oil, a little sugar, and, most importantly, a 4-5 minute bake.

With the right hearth, you can hit an oven spring puffiness producing 4-5 minute bake.

Btw, as you use up the 00 flour, keep in mind that the lack of malt slows down fermentation, so either bump up the yeast a bit and/or extend the fermentation time. The lack of bubble formation on the bottom of the container indicated that you hadn't fermented the dough long enough.  Even with sufficient fermentation, though, 00 flour will not shine at the bake times your oven can produce.

Offline mc_79

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Re: Flat dough with 00 Flour - need help!
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2012, 05:06:25 PM »
Thanks for the response! Can you point me in the right direction for a better stone/material?  I thought I had a good one but obviously not... What should I look for?  Would something like this work: http://www.fornobravo.com/store/Professional-Grade-Pizza-Stone-15.5-Round.html

So if i stop using the caputo 00 flour completely and go with just KA Bread Flour, what IDY % would you recommend to use?  And how would that % change if I add back in the oil/sugar?

Also, does my mixing/kneading process look adequate?
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 05:18:16 PM by mc_79 »

scott123

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Re: Flat dough with 00 Flour - need help!
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2012, 05:35:02 PM »
Mark, it's all relative.  Your stone is 'good' for thousands of home bakers who really aren't striving for the perfect pizza, but if you're reading Varasano's page and posting here, you want something better.  The fornobravo stone, at 3/4" is a little better than 9/16", but it's way overpriced and, being cordierite, may not work in your setup.

Cordierite is a lot easier to purchase and lighter/far easier to take out of the oven than 1/2" steel, but in order to hit respectable 4-5 minute bake times, you've got to have an oven that will reach 600-625. 

I normally just tell people to buy 1/2" steel plate, but, because of the weight, it's worth investigating other options first.  Do you own an infrared thermometer?  If you don't, that's the first thing to get.  Once you have an IR thermometer, pre-heat your current stone using the bake setting on an upper middle shelf (about 6" from the broiler) for an hour and a half and see how hot you can actually go.  If you can break 600, then you can go with cordierite:

http://www.axner.com/cordierite-shelf-18x18x1square.aspx
http://www.axner.com/cordierite-shelf-16x16x34square.aspx

going with the 18" stone if your oven can fit it.

If your stone clocks in between 530 and 600, though, then it's time to start shopping for 1/2" steel plate (look up metal distributors in the yellow pages).

Btw, just to confirm, this oven has a broiler in the main compartment, right?

Offline mc_79

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Re: Flat dough with 00 Flour - need help!
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2012, 06:17:28 PM »
I don't have an IR thermometer but will order one and check it out.  The oven does have a broiler and the cooking component is all in the top.  I have been using my stone on a middle rack. So I will try moving it up closer to the heat source. 

scott123

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Re: Flat dough with 00 Flour - need help!
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2012, 05:23:58 AM »
Mark, your oven has two burners, correct?  One at the top, for broiling, and one under the bottom, for baking, right? You pre-heat using the bake setting, right?

Offline mc_79

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Re: Flat dough with 00 Flour - need help!
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2012, 09:39:47 PM »
Yes I just figured out the main "bake" heat source is at the bottom and the "broil" heat source is at the top.  I tried moving my stone down closer to the bottom to get it hotter and left it on bake the whole time.  How should I incorporate the broil cycle into my baking?  I did notice a crispier crust from moving it closer to the bottom. 


 

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