Author Topic: Tender and pillowy dough even when cold  (Read 1333 times)

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Offline fornographer

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Tender and pillowy dough even when cold
« on: March 28, 2013, 05:49:54 PM »
What is the biggest factor(s), when preparing dough, that will result in a still very tender and pillowy crust even when the crust has gotten cold (10+ minutes out of oven)?



Offline bakeshack

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Re: Tender and pillowy dough even when cold
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 06:14:49 PM »
1) Be very gentle in handling the dough especially when pressing the air out to the edges. 
2) Don't overcook your pies.
3) If you are using sourdough, make sure you control the acidity of your culture when you add it to your dough. 






Offline scott r

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Re: Tender and pillowy dough even when cold
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2013, 07:59:03 PM »
all great tips bakeshack, and number 1 can go even further..  I say dont knead or develop the gluten too much at any stage (includes bakeshacks forming skin, but also mixing and balling stages)





Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Tender and pillowy dough even when cold
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 11:13:36 PM »
Yes it is ALL about balancing gluten development.  This occurs when all the variables are in balance with eachother.  Hydration, protein content, gluten developement, fermentation, opening (to a lesser extent), and the bake.  This doesn't occur too often for the homebaker and even doesn't occur at all for some commercial joints but when it does, it is quite magical.

Offline mkevenson

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Re: Tender and pillowy dough even when cold
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2013, 06:54:21 PM »
I say dont knead or develop the gluten too much at any stage (includes bakeshacks forming skin, but also mixing and balling stages)






In this case, is there a test to know when one has developed the gluten too much, before the baking.

Mark
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Tender and pillowy dough even when cold
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2013, 07:17:03 PM »
In this case, is there a test to know when one has developed the gluten too much, before the baking.

Mark

If your fermentation time is more than 24 hours, you're probably overdeveloping your gluten during mixing/kneading. There is no test, just experiment. It doesn't take much unless you're doing a short rise.
Pizza is not bread.

scott123

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Re: Tender and pillowy dough even when cold
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2013, 07:27:28 PM »
In this case, is there a test to know when one has developed the gluten too much, before the baking.

To test it right before you bake it? Not really.  You'll feel the gluten development during the stretch, so that will be an excellent indicator, but, other than that, there's no test to confirm gluten development pre-bake.

As long as you're aware that any time dough moves (including the movement of rising), gluten is formed, you can make sure not to overdevelop it.  This means never being aggressive with it.  No kneading for long periods of time/until smooth/until windowpane, no balling aggressively (a couple times over itself, max) and no stretching aggressively/no slapping (unless you want a bit more chew to certain areas of the crust).

I think it's also important to keep in mind that gluten tends to become a lot more reactive as a dough ferments. Kneading a dough a bit too long is far less detrimental than a late re-ball (less than 12 hours from stretching) or a slappy stretch.

It's also important to be aware of the fact that time develops gluten as well- to a point, so you'll need considerably more kneading/gluten development for short ferments than you will for long-ish ones.  For really long ferments, the gluten will eventually atrophy, but up to about 3 days, the longer the fermentation time, the less kneading is required.

And, of course, this is all based on the premise that you're looking for a tender crust, working with mid high gluten flour (12-13.5% protein) AND you're applying heat in such a manner that maximizes oven spring. You can be gentle as you want with the dough, but if the oven doesn't send the crust soaring, the end result won't be tender.

Offline bakeshack

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Re: Tender and pillowy dough even when cold
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2013, 09:27:14 PM »
In this case, is there a test to know when one has developed the gluten too much, before the baking.

Mark

You can tell how strong or weak the dough is by touching or poking it gently with your finger after kneading and during the course of fermentation or even before baking.  It takes some experience to get that "feel" for your dough but it can help you determine whether the dough is ready or not. 

If you overdevelop the gluten, you can always let the dough go further during the fermentation stage until the dough feels really soft and the indentation from your finger does not spring back right away.  You have to be careful not to underdevelop the gluten as well because you can very well end up with the same result that you are trying to avoid - flat, dense, and chewy crust.


scott123

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Re: Tender and pillowy dough even when cold
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2013, 09:41:05 PM »
You have to be careful not to underdevelop the gluten as well because you can very well end up with the same result that you are trying to avoid - flat, dense, and chewy crust.

I'm with Craig on this one.  I've never seen a 24+ hour dough that had underdeveloped gluten. The only problems I've encountered with gluten development have been related to undermixing. Undermixing produces incredibly weak, wet, sweaty areas on the stretched skin.