Author Topic: Dough "relaxer" question.  (Read 3606 times)

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Offline chefjeff

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Dough "relaxer" question.
« on: April 17, 2013, 01:20:41 PM »
Greetings all.  I'm the guy who can make just about anything from scratch.  The biggest cooking enigma for me though regards forming my pizza crust.  How many videos and how many tutorials have I watched on this topic?  Well how many stars are in the sky?
Hand tossing/stretching for me does not seem to be in the cards in our home.  Slightly embarrassed to admit that I do use a rolling pin.  The good part is that my pizzas are off the hook delicious, but rolling out the dough is such a hassle for me...especially when I've been relaxing and sipping on something that adjusts attitude, before it's time to start making my pies :)
For years I've heard about dough relaxers/improvers/conditioners that you add to dough, and then rolling out the dough becomes very easy.
I would love to get some feedback if my resulting pie will be different when it comes out of the oven. 
I just called the King Arthur baking hotline to ask, and all I got was someone who talked and talked, but basically could not answer my question.
Anyway, thanks so much for reading my post.
Cheers,
Jeff


Online norma427

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Re: Dough "relaxer" question.
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2013, 01:44:14 PM »
Jeff,

I am not the dough doctor, but products like L-cystenine, or a similar product like PZ-44 can be using to make pizza dough more manageable. 

I used the Stretch Out product from Caravan and had some decent results at Reply 44 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13820.msg139567.html#msg139567  but if you might get a good laugh when I used too much of the stretch out product at Reply 61 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13820.msg141261.html#msg141261

Really though, I think if you found a good formulation with proven methods, you really wouldn’t find a need for a dough relaxer.

Maybe if you posted exactly what kind of pizza you would like to make members might help you.

Norma
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Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Dough "relaxer" question.
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2013, 02:31:19 PM »
Hi Jeff;
Norma is right, with the correct formulation and the right dough management procedure there shouldn't be any need for a dough relaxer, but for those times when we just can't make our pizzas without them we have a number of them to select from.
Garlic and onion (powder or flakes) is a pretty decent dough relaxer especially well suited for those times when the dough just needs a little encouragement to open into a pizza skin.
For those time when more encouragement is needed, especially when we're making no-time or short time doughs something with a little more "oomph" is needed, this is where we get into L-cysteine (commercially available as PZ-44) or glutathione (dead yeast). You have to be careful with these last two since they can/will liquefy a dough if used at excessive levels. In the pure form this translated to about 90-parts per million based on the flour weight, but thankfully, there products are commercially blended to make scaling much easier so we're looking at 1 or 2% of the flour weight when used in a commercial ingredient blend. When used within the recommended use levels, you will never know it is there in the finished crust, but if used at excessively high levels, assuming you can handle the dough, which is now very soft and sticky, the finished crust can impart a slight stinging or tingling sensation to the lips as the crust is eaten. This closely mimics the effect of thirst on the lips (yes, you will be licking your lips), but that's about the extent of it. If you are holding the dough over in the fridge for several days, you might end up with an overly soft, unmanageable dough that has been so weakened by the reducing agent that the finished crust takes on a flat, poker chip appearance with a knife edge. Plus, if the dough cannot support the weight of the toppings, it will collapse in the center section resulting in a beautiful gum line. How do there things work? The work by breaking the protein molecules at their bonding points (sorta like taking a bicycle chain apart by removing the master link(s). This can be reversed to a great degree by using an oxidizing agent such as ascorbic acid, or potassium bromate, just to name a couple. Enzymes (protease enzymes) can also be used to achieve the same end result but unlike L-cysteine and glutathione (both are amino acids/protein building blocks) the enzymes hydrolyze the proteins so they are no longer proteins, hence the dough softening resulting when protease enzymes are used cannot be reversed, plus, the enzymes have a nasty habit of continually working to hydrolyze the proteins, so they just don't stop working in most cases. This can make long term management of the dough in the cooler much more tricky, and management of scrap dough is all but impossible. Excessive use levels will easily turn a dough into a bucket of slime way before you Will ever have enough to impact the finished flavor of the crust. Think of it like this, when we imbibe in a little relaxer it can be good for us, but too much can result in unwanted problems, the same can be said for relaxers and dough.
Have a great day, and use those relaxers in moderation.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline chefjeff

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Re: Dough "relaxer" question.
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 03:03:06 PM »
WOW, what a wealth of information.  Thanks Norma, and as for you Dr. Dough....well this was really an interesting read for me.  I would LOVE to go just the garlic powder/onion powder route.....if I'm doing a dough that has roughly 7 1/2 or 8 oz. of flour, would you have a ballpark figure of the total amount of powder I should use?  I might do half garlic and half onion, or maybe just one of the two powders.  I did get caught up in the threads for All Trumps un-bromated and unbleached flour.  I managed to get a 50 pound sack, so for quite a while from now, this will be the exclusive flour for anything I make that calls for a bread type of flour.

Thank you again for your thoughtful response.

My best wishes,
Jeff

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Dough "relaxer" question.
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 03:24:08 PM »
Time is also a good relaxer. Adjust your formula/workflow so that you can get a longer rise after you ball the dough. Ideally this would be at least 12 hours. I like >20 hours in balls.  Be gentile as you open the dough. The rougher you are, the stiffer it will get.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline chefjeff

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Re: Dough "relaxer" question.
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 03:27:20 PM »
Thanx TX.  Typically I will make my dough and let it do the slow rise thing in the fridge.  I keep the dough chilled for no less than 3 days.  Right from the fridge, I re-ball the dough and let it sit loosely covered for 3 hours or so, and then I proceed.

Cheers,
Jeff

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Dough "relaxer" question.
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2013, 03:42:17 PM »
Right from the fridge, I re-ball the dough and let it sit loosely covered for 3 hours or so, and then I proceed.
Jeff,

You might have hit on the problem with the above quoted sentence. I do not advise re-balling the dough right after it comes out of the refrigerator. That causes the gluten matrix to be reoriented, resulting in an increase in elasticity ("buckiness"). You will want to handle the dough gently. Sometimes, the passage of time straightens out the gluten again but I have seen cases where far more than three hours were needed. In some cases, they don't seem to recover at all or to the degree that one would want.

Peter

Offline chefjeff

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Re: Dough "relaxer" question.
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2013, 04:07:41 PM »
OHMYGAWD Peter....if that wasn't the most potent bit of advice I've ever gotten, I don't know what then!  Huge Sherman Oaks thank you.  I am most certainly going to give heed to your advice and the next pizza I make (next week) will have me adding to this thread with the results.  Whether or not this is my answer, you've given me about a week's worth of something to happily obsess about :)  My favorite form of meditation!
Cheers,
Jeff

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Dough "relaxer" question.
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2013, 04:55:43 PM »
Jeff;
All of our research has shown that about 0.25% of either garlic powder, onion powder, or a combined blend of the two will give the desired reducing effect. This is the reason why we suggest keeping the combined onion/garlic level to not more than 0.15% of the total flour weight when you don't want to experience the reducing effect.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline chefjeff

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Re: Dough "relaxer" question.
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2013, 05:03:44 PM »
Thank you again Dr.  Between your advice and Peter's, I've now got 2 new things to try.  You've all made me very glad that I posted today.

Cheers,
Jeff


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Dough "relaxer" question.
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2013, 05:06:06 PM »
Tom,

Will supermarket brands of garlic and onion powders be suitable? I have seen some of our members really load up on the garlic and onion powders, far in excess of the amounts you recommend. And with no complaints.

Peter

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Dough "relaxer" question.
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2013, 09:11:21 AM »
Peter;
Yes, we used to buy generic garlic and onion powder from the supermarket and it performed similarly to the commercial stuff we now get from our supplier. The thing is that the mechanism of these products in breaking the gluten structure is different from L-cysteine or glutathione in that it breaks the protein chain at a different point (which I still don't fully understand) as a result the reducing effect is limited (not limited with L-cysteine, glutathione, or enzymes) to providing not much more than about a 25% reduction in dough mixing time. This makes it a pretty gentle and easy to use relaxer. Easy to use in that you just can't over dose a dough with it. When used in a home pizza making setting the natural thing to do is to slightly adjust the water (absorption) in the dough to compensate for this softening effect, or even add a little additional flour. I can't speak for others, but when I make my pizzas at home if the dough seems a little slack/soft I just use a little more dusting flour during the kneading of the dough to correct it. I'm guessing that this is what others are doing at home when they use onion or garlic powder in their doughs. Since the dough making process is much more regimented in a pizzeria setting they don't see the softening effect until after the dough has been mixed, and since they don't hand knead there is no way to correct for the softening until they make another dough, at which time they normally just reduce the dough absorption several percent to correct the dough consistency and handling properties.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Dough "relaxer" question.
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2013, 09:44:45 AM »
Tom,

Thanks for the explanation. That is very good information.

Here are a couple of examples of what I was referring to in terms of the amount of garlic and onion powders that some of our members use:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12849.msg124477.html#msg124477

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9705.msg84249.html#msg84249

In both cases, the percent of powders was over 1%. Elsewhere I have seen as high as 1.6%. At one point, I engaged member abilak (Andy) in a discussion of the use of onion and garlic powders, and specifically posted on the subject at Reply 6 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9698.msg85561.html#msg85561 (and elsewhere on other occasions). At least in Andy's case, his hydration values were on the low side for the types of flours he was using. He is a very good and skilled pizza maker and may have compensated for his high usage of the onion and garlic powders, either by design or intuitively.

Peter

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Dough "relaxer" question.
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2013, 12:47:47 PM »
The thing is that the mechanism of these products in breaking the gluten structure is different from L-cysteine or glutathione in that it breaks the protein chain at a different point (which I still don't fully understand) as a result the reducing effect is limited (not limited with L-cysteine, glutathione, or enzymes) to providing not much more than about a 25% reduction in dough mixing time.

Tom,

I don't fully understand the chemistry at work here either, but there are some interesting organosulfur parallels. Alliinase, found in members of the garlic/onion, has 10 cysteine residues per monomer - eight in disulfide bridges and two free thiols. The thiols can be attached to other molecules without affecting the enzyme activity or protein structure. I wonder if it somehow interferes with the oxidation(linking) of the gluten molecules?

Or, and I think this is probably more likely, perhaps garlic’s dough weakening mechanism is a product of the alliianase reaction? a,b-unsaturated carbonyl compounds such as Fumaric acid block gluten disulphide bonds. The alliianase reaction produces 2-aminoacrylic acid, also an a,b-unsaturated carbonyl compound. If this is right, the effect may be reversible/mitigated by glutathione which is an antioxidant and would work opposite to an electrophile such as a carbonyl.

On a different yet similar note, have you ever experimented with cysteine/thiol/sulfhydryl proteases such as papain or bromelain?

Craig
Pizza is not bread.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Dough "relaxer" question.
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2013, 08:53:40 AM »
Craig;
A number of researchers that I've discussed this with have also alluded to the alliianase reaction due to the limited reducing effect on the protein chain. Both L-cysteine and Glutathione work to break the bonds at the S-H bonding points on the protein chain (of which there are many), hence the ability of these products to literally liquefy a dough. I did the original application work on papain in wheat based doughs back in the late 60's. In addition to being an excellent meat tenderizer, it is also an excellent dough reducing agent, but extreme care must be exercised when using it due to the fact that it works very fast, and like the Everready Bunny, just keeps on working, and working, and working, and to add insult to injury, to the best of my knowledge, the action cannot be reversed by simply oxidizing the S-H bonds on the protein chain so the effect is more like that of a proteolytic enzyme. Bromelain, on the other hand, has been tamed and is, or at least was, available as a commercial product for softening wheat doughs at one time.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Dough "relaxer" question.
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2013, 09:24:22 AM »
I did a little more reading on this yesterday, and I was surprised to find that, despite the known effects of compounds found in the allium family on wheat dough, little appears to be known about the actual chemistry behind the practical applications. I have a few ideas including the a,b-unsaturated carbonyls noted above. I'm going to encourage one (or both) of my boys to study this for their science project next fall. I think there might be publishable material here.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Dough "relaxer" question.
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2013, 09:29:59 AM »
Craig,

Member November talked about using papain and/or bromelain to break down gluten, in the edit to Reply 36 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4443.msg40379/topicseen.html#msg40379.

Peter

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Dough "relaxer" question.
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2013, 10:30:44 AM »
Craig,

Member November talked about using papain and/or bromelain to break down gluten, in the edit to Reply 36 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4443.msg40379/topicseen.html#msg40379.

Peter


Thanks Peter. In my reading yesterday, I cape across that post. That papain and bromelain act on the protein in flour is somewhat intuitive to me. My imagination is more captured by organosulfur chemistry at work when garlic is introduced into dough. This is the first I've heard of it. That not much is know about it makes it all the more interesting.
Pizza is not bread.


 

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