Author Topic: nasty raw dough!  (Read 2816 times)

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Offline Christopher

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nasty raw dough!
« on: December 10, 2005, 11:29:59 AM »
hey guys,
i have been experimenting more now with my preferment from and have noticed flavor benefits, but am having problems with lack of rise and color and areas of raw dough in the middle.  :-X

i have been using a recipe based on the lehmann style. i dissolve salt in water and add about 3/4 of the flour (with a pinch of ady) and mix. i then add my preferment (liquid) and add the rest of the flour. i let it sit for 30 minutes. i then hand knead for a few minutes (adding oil at this stage) and then divide into balls. they then rest on the counter and i use the stretch and fold technique (which does create nice big voids) over a three hour period. a total of 4 stretch and folds.
i have tried the counter rise and cold rise and only the first time did things turn out well. light and fluffy and thin.
now they are colorless, gummy and gross! i have not changed technique and know if it wasnt for the starter these would be great pizzas. the starter gets bubbly, but never bursting! it smells good and definately adds flavor, but no spring. i started adding the ady to help in the spring area.
i do cook on a pizza pan for the first 6 minutes or so and then slide it onto the tiles to crisp it up and finish the browning.
i have done this without preferment and it was very good, but with the preferment more flavor but bad everything else.
i am sure there is a ton of stuff i have left out, but any preferment suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: nasty raw dough!
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2005, 12:26:07 PM »
Not clear from your post how long you ferment the dough. With natural starters only, mine ferment for at least 18 hours at room temp. At this point, I form and proof or put in the refrigerator if not using right away.  Unless you ferment long enough and you start with a fully active starter, you won't get good results.


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: nasty raw dough!
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2005, 02:08:34 PM »

I agree with what Bill has said, but I am also wondering whether temperature was a factor in your sub-par results. You didn't indicate whether you temperature adjusted the water or how much preferment you used, but if it has turned cooler where you live, as it has recently done with a vengeance here in Texas, your room temperature may have turned cooler also. That will affect the degree and rate of fermentation. Also, your preferment may not be warm enough to really perk up. What I personally do under these circumstances is to use warmer water, more preferment, or both, or I use a longer fermentation time, or I use a simple proofing box (you can also use a slightly warm oven) to get the temperature of the preferment and dough up several degrees. I don't use a stretch and fold technique but I don't see offhand why that should make a difference.

I assume that you have not changed anything else, such as the oven temperature or bake time. I mention this because a dough will sometimes have an underbaked or raw center if the pizza isn't baked long enough or if the oven temperature is too high and the bottom of the pizza is done before the top. The rawness can also happen, of course, if you use too many toppings or too many raw toppings, especially raw vegetables. You mentioned that you used a pan for baking the pizza. That can also be a factor, especially if is a shiny, unseasoned pan (e.g., of bright aluminum). Whether or not the pan was implicated in your results, I would suggest that you use a pizza screen instead if that is an option since the screen will give you a better oven spring than a solid pan. In my experience, a cold pan with an unbaked dough on it will not produce as good an oven spring as either a pizza stone/tiles or a screen when the pizza and pan are put in the oven. A lethargic, underfermented dough will behave even more poorly.

I might also add that if you want to use active dry yeast (ADY), you should proof it first in a bit of warm water (at around 105-115 degrees F) rather than putting it in dry in with the flour. If you want to combine yeast with the flour, you should use instant dry yeast (IDY). If a too-low temperature is part of your problem and you still want to use commercial yeast along with the preferment, you might want to increase the amount of commercial yeast a bit also.

Once you consider the above points and can rule out certain possible causes for your dough's underperformance, I'd be happy to put my thinking cap back on.


Offline Christopher

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Re: nasty raw dough!
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2005, 10:56:47 PM »
thanks, guys, for the replies,
i guess the first mistake i made is with my preferment, i just dont think it is at its peak when i am using it. that thing will just not get super bubbly and frothy like i expect it too. i began adding the commercial yeast to help it along.
the pan i use is an aluminum pizza pan which is room temp. strike two.
the water temp is at around 80 degrees. the kitchen has become cooler and i have used a 16 hour counter rise and a 1 day and 2 day fridge rise and all sucked, the fridge being the worst.
i placed my last batch in my proofing box at 70 degrees over night and these were also bad. the dough acted as a yeasted dough and rose and showed all the correct signs, but no luck.
so to recap, cold pan, not sure if starter is even working, and temps too low in kitchen.
i am going to try the just commercial yeast version again and see the results.
the starter is so baffling to me. i know i am not getting peak or any performance out of it. i follow the instructions in the booklet and am not getting what i imagined would happen. it is so hard to get results when you dont even know what to look for and how it should taste wghen it comes out right.
the good thing is i definately know what i have now is dead wrong.  :P
thanks for listening to me whine,

Offline Christopher

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Re: nasty raw dough!
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2005, 11:00:49 PM »
i guess one other thing i should mention is that i have used this method pre preferment and my results were excellent with commercial yeast. the colder kitchen is probably not helping my situation, but i have not done a commercial yeast version since it got into the twenties here in ohio. the last three batches were all starter based.
just a thought,

Offline scott r

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Re: nasty raw dough!
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2005, 03:20:30 AM »
I have had to totally reinvent my recipe with winter setting in.  I need more hydration, more yeast, and less salt.  I always was aware that this stuff mattered, but I had no idea how much things could change with this significantly  drier and cooler environment.  The Caputo pizzeria flour seems even more fickle about the change in seasons than my King Arthur or my General Mills flours.

Offline Kinsman

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Re: nasty raw dough!
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2006, 06:22:40 PM »
Don't add commercial yeast to a natural starter.....

My start goes absolutely bonkers in just a few hours at about 70 F.....I mean if the quart jar is more than about half full, I can count on a volcano.  I have never used a stronger leaven of any kind, including quick yeast.  I live in a cool and dry country too...well, summers can be hotter than the hubs of Hell but usually it is cool or downright cold and about 30% relative humidity.

Barometric pressure probably figures more than absolute temp or relative humidity.
Chris Rausch

Long Riders BBQ
Florence, Montana