Author Topic: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?  (Read 67231 times)

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Offline canadave

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2005, 11:55:20 AM »
After reading the Glossary just now for the first time, I wholeheartedly agree.  Newbies, check it out!  It's a superb resource.

Dave


Offline Dartanian

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2006, 03:39:03 PM »
I just finished an attempt at this dough. I don't think I came near getting it right.  After following the instructions -- measured with a scale -- the dough was extremely sticky and was not forming into a ball when being kneaded.  I'd say I had to add 10 to 15 teaspoons of flour to get to a point where those dough was still sticky but able to be handled.  Is this normal?   

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2006, 04:38:52 PM »
Dartanian,

I would say no. I usually use King Arthur bread flour, which is a bit higher in protein than other brands, but I have used other brands of bread flour on several occasions and did not experience a shortfall as great as 10-15 teaspoons of flour. I don't have an open bag of KA bread flour to check, but 10-15 teaspoons would weigh from about an ounce to about 1 1/2 ounces (about a third of a cup). If you used all-purpose flour, then I could see where the hydration would be too high. Assuming you used bread flour and your weights were correct, the next time you may want to hold back part of the water and see if you need it as you get closer to finishing the dough. Weights will get you close but there is frequently a need to tweak the quantities that go into the bowl since each home situation is different from the next. But, even then, it would be rare, at least in my experience, to have much water left over at all.

I can assure you that once you find the "sweet spot" you won't easily lose it thereafter. It's one of those things that is more easily shown than described, but you should get a better handle with experience. If you have a digital camera and can post photos, that might also help us better diagnose whatever problems you may experience.

Peter

Offline chiguy

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2006, 07:02:26 PM »
 Hello Dartanian and Peter,
 I think you probably made a mistake upon measuring ingrediant's. The formula Peter worked out is very solid and all the ingrediant's are in order to make a good dough. I do not want to sound like a fool or make you sound like one. I was curious if you worked out the Bakers % yourself or did you go by Peter's posted formula in grams. There was an error in the decimal point on the oil percentage 203g should be 2.03g. I do not want to make anybody look ridiculous here but sometimes mistakes like this can happen. I only thought of this because of the amount of extra flour you had to add to even get to a sticky dough. That amount of flour(15t) should have brought you're hydration down to about 52-53%, not exactly sticky. Anyway i hope this experience does'nt deter you and i advise you to try it again with careful planning.  goodluck,  Chiguy

Offline Dartanian

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2006, 07:33:53 PM »
Thanks very much to both for the reply.  Whatever the problem is, I am sure it is one of my own making.  I did get the dough to what did feel like a "tacky" state.  I don't know how much that messed up the hydration. I guess I'll find out when I eat it.  Let me ask a question about scales.  The one I used I purchased today after going to 4 stores to find one that did not use fractions.  Even then, it only goes to one number after the decimal point.  So I can get a measurement of 5.3  ounces but not 5.35 if that's what's being called for.  Nor does the scale seem able to give me precise measurements on the yeast and salt, which were of such small quanitites that they either did not register at all or did but not in prescisely.   The scale I have is a Salter. It was $50.  Any thoughts on this issue?   

Offline chiguy

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2006, 07:48:49 PM »
 Hi Dartanian,
 As long as you did not make the mistake with the oil that i mentioned the dough may still make a good crust. I have a sunbeam that measures in grams, i cannot remember what the cost was. It would be a nice feature if you're scale measured in grams, especially since you are making such small recipes. If you can return the scale i would and get a scale with gram measurements. Let us know how the pizza turns out.  Chiguy

Offline Dartanian

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2006, 08:07:32 PM »
Hi chiguy --

Will your scale register a measurement of less than 1 gram?  My scale measures in grams, but I just tried to see if would give me a measurement for 1/4 a t. of IDY and I got nothing.  It's too little.

Offline chiguy

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2006, 08:11:30 PM »
 Hi dartanian,
It measures in 2g increments. It should say it's measurement increment's on the box or in the instructions?This is the hard part about measuring smaller formulas/recipes. I usually tend to calculate the bakers % and make a little extra dough, sometime i use it sometimes i toss it.I stck to even numbers like 500g flour to make things easier.    Chiguy
« Last Edit: January 07, 2006, 08:15:19 PM by chiguy »

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2006, 08:47:29 PM »
chiguy: Thanks for finding the error. I went back and fixed it. If my math is right, 203 grams of oil would translate to 7.16 ounces, or 43.5 teaspoons. The recipe I posted calls for 1/2 teaspoon of oil.

Dartanian: I wouldn't worry too much about scale accuracy and your inability to get the precise weights of all the ingredients. The main ingredients to weigh are the flour and water. The other ingredients, like yeast, salt, oil, etc., are too lightweight to be weighed on scales intended for consumers, and especially in quantities for a single dough ball. There are scales that can handle the very small weights, and I am aware of a few members who have them (which is the reason I post them in recipes), but using the volume measurements for those items is plenty good enough. That's the main reason why I convert weights to volumes for the lightweight ingredients.

Since I don't know what kinds of scales people have available to them or their accuracy, my practice is to post what my calculator or my spreadsheets come up with. If you were a professional pizza operator making hundred or thousands of dough balls, the accuracy rate would increase dramatically as you scaled up the numbers. But, for a single dough ball, most of the accuracy is of no consequence. Like in horseshoes, close is good enough.

I might add that many of our members, especially those located overseas and use the metric system, prefer using grams rather than ounces because it is more accurate. I, too, prefer grams over ounces for that reason, but most of our members are not used to working with the metric system. So, I tend to favor our system of measurement in my postings. Fortunately, most modern digital scales allow weighing in both ounces and grams, some with accuracy down to 1 gram, so those who have such scales have the option of selecting grams or ounces as desired. I often switch between the two, depending on which system is used in recipes.

Peter

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2006, 09:17:06 PM »
Dartanian,

As I was looking for something on another thread, I stumbled across something I had written relative to making a Lehmann style dough. I thought it might help you so I have cut and pasted it below:

My practice in making doughs is to hold back on some of the water I have weighed out to use to make the doughs. If, after all the ingredients have been mixed and kneaded in the bowl, I see that the dough looks and feels dry or stiff, I trickle in a bit more water and knead that in. I keep doing this until the dough is smooth and feels a bit tacky and it has absorbed most (or all) of the water. The hydration of the flour is not instantaneous, and a dough that looks like it has absorbed a lot of the water can often take more, especially if you do a bit of hand kneading to speed up the absorption of the water by the flour. But I don't try to force the dough to take more water just because I weighed it out in accordance with the recipe. Flours vary from one lot to another and from one bag to another, and will change with time and storage conditions. When the dough is properly made, it should definitely clear the sides of the bowl and it should come off the hook in pretty much one piece. Stand mixers are not especially efficient machines so I will usually do a bit of hand kneading before putting the dough into its container.

Peter


Offline Dartanian

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2006, 10:18:50 PM »
Pete and chiguy --

Thanks once again!  This is great counsel and I look forward to incorporating your advice into my next batch of dough, which will be tomorrow.

Offline Dartanian

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2006, 09:04:32 PM »
Pete and chiguy --

I made the pizza tonight.  And as chiguy suggested, it turned out to be, all in all (the dough had the correct amount of oil), a pretty good crust .  Shaping it was a little difficult.  I let it sit on the counter for 2 hours after taking it out of the fridge. Whatever I did to it initially -- not enough flour I guess -- made it very sticky to handle when it came time to shape it.  Which leads me to ask this question: when  you take it out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter at room temperature, do you typically take it out of the container (or in my case plastic bag) that it was in in the fridge or leave it in the same container?  I cut off the top of the bag and left it sitting on the bottom part, dusted it with flour, then draped some plastic wrap over it.  If you do completely take it out of the original container, do  you dust the countertop or whatever it's sitting on with flour so it doesn't stick to the counter when its time to shape?

Also, fyi, I noticed after I was done making the dough yesterday that I had not removed a rubber clip from the platform of the scale I'd just bought earlier in the day. So my measurements were probably all messed up, which probably led to the problem. To practice, I made another batch for a 12 incher this afternoon and it went well.   

Thanks again for the counsel!! 

Dartanian

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2006, 09:35:15 PM »
Dartanian,

I'm glad that things turned out reasonably after all. I didn't calculate the actual hydration of your dough, but there are NY style doughs that have hydration percents above 70%. It takes a lot of practice and real skill to handle doughs with such a high hydration, which is why I don't recommend it for beginners. Even 63%, the hydration ratio I posted in the formulation you used, is a bit on the high side. However, my experience is that most people seem to be able to handle that degree of hydration reasonably well.

The way I handle the dough once it comes out of the refrigerator is to remove the dough from the container, whether it is a bowl, metal tin, plastic storage bag, empty bread bag, or whatever, and put it on my countertop to come up to room temperature. I first dust the countertop with bench flour before putting the dough down and I dust the top of the dough also with bench flour. If the dough is a bit misshapen from my attempts to extract it from its container (sometimes the dough will stick to its container and resist removal), I simply gently reshape the dough into a round shape and gently flatten it into a disk. I don't re-knead the dough since doing this will only mess up the gluten structure and make the dough very elastic. Given enough time, the dough will recover from the re-kneading but there is no point in tempting fate. Once the dough is ready to warm up, I put a sheet of plastic wrap over the dough to keep the dough from developing a crust on its outer surface. Since the dough has been dusted with flour, the plastic wrap won't stick to the dough. If you choose not to dust the top of the dough ball with flour, you can spray the underside of the plastic wrap with a light oil spray. That will keep the plastic wrap from sticking to the dough. My personal preference is to dust the top of the dough with bench flour.

The approach you used should work OK but using the approach I mention saves you the storage bag so that you can reuse it another time. Otherwise you will go through bags like crazy if you make a lot of pizzas.

Peter

Offline chiguy

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2006, 09:45:34 PM »
 Hi Dartarian,
 I am glad the pizza turned out ok, i can't stand wasting a dough that can probably be salvaged. I am sure the next pizza will be even better now that you addressed the scale problem.The reason for the shaping problem may have to do with the extra flour you added that brought the hydration down to 52%, a higher hydration is usually easier to stretch. This is if you are referring to a lack of stretch/elasticity?? As far as resting dough outside of the fridge, i use bowls that have been oiled then covered until ready to bake. The dough comes right out of the container with a spray of canola oil before placing the dough in the bowl. always keep a rested dough ball oiled,dusted(flour), or covered to prevent a skin from forming. I Hope the next one turns out alot better. I can tell you are hooked on this whole pizza making thing, pizza 2 nights in a row is usually a good sign.  Goodluck, Chiguy
« Last Edit: January 08, 2006, 09:53:33 PM by chiguy »

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2006, 09:56:55 PM »
chiguy,

Your comment reminded me of another reason I take the dough out of its container. Usually the container as it comes out of the refrigerator is cold also, and the laws of thermodynamics being what they are, the dough should warm up faster outside of the cold bowl than inside of it. Of course, if you want to prolong the counter warm-up time to accommodate scheduling considerations, leaving the dough within the cold bowl will do that very nicely.

Peter

Offline chiguy

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2006, 10:13:54 PM »
 Hi Peter,
 I am sure you are correct, it will probably warm it up faster. I am usually pretty patient so
I do prep work and turn on oven during the 2 hour waiting for the dough to warm up. I do have a trick for warming the dough up in about a third of the time. I fill the sink(4 inches) with hot water but not too hot. I then place the covered dish/ bowl in the warm water and if it is not too heavy it will float in the water. The dough is ready to be shaped in about 30 minutes. Be careful not to add too much water,you do not want the water to over flow back into the bowl.        Chiguy

Offline Dartanian

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2006, 10:28:57 PM »
Pete/chiguy --

Thanks again.  I am hooked on learning how to make a good pizza.  Your contributions toward that goal are much appreciated.  chiguy, the difficulty I had with the dough was, in addition to it being really sticky, that it was super stretchy -- not a problem of elasticity.  Combined with the stickiness, I think it might not have had enough flour and/or I let it get to warm before shaping it.

Dartanian

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #37 on: January 08, 2006, 10:53:11 PM »
Another useful tip for warming up a dough, especially in a cold kitchen, is to use an inexpensive, easy-to-assemble "proofing" box, such as described, for example, at Reply #6 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,403.0.html. The proofing box can also be used to rise doughs to be used the same day. I have already used my proofing box several times this season since the cold weather arrived. It is one of my favorite tools.

Another simple technique to assist a dough in warming up is to place a large (e.g., 4-cup) Pyrex glass measuring cup filled with water in a microwave unit, heat the water to boiling, and then place the dough that is to be warmed up, in its container (covered), within the microwave unit. The container of water is left in the microwave unit. Until the water cools down, it will provide a warm environment for the dough. Using either this approach or a proofing box is far preferable to having to heat the entire kitchen to achieve the same results.

Peter


Offline chiguy

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2006, 11:17:18 PM »
 Hi Peter,
 The oven is not part of the proofing, it is just procedure to let the oven warm up(1hr) while i am cutting veggies and waiting for the dough to warm up. I only use the warm water in the sink to speed up the warming process. I am sorry if my post sounded a little confusing. I have seen the homemade proof boxes here before, very ingenious.  Chiguy

 Dartanian,
 That's right, i reread the post. You had a problem with too much hydration. This is always a problem for shaping. i am sure with the scale problem fixed you should not have a problem with this again.  chiguy                                                                                              
« Last Edit: January 08, 2006, 11:21:55 PM by chiguy »

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Re: Tom Lehmann's dough tips for the amatuer pizza maker at home ?
« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2006, 11:33:31 PM »
chiguy,

Your post was not confusing. I understood it as you intended.

Peter